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Inspiration at the DNC
September 7 2008

Do you know that feeling you get when you know what you want to say but don’t know how to say it? How about the feeling that truth has been in front of you all this time and yet you didn’t see the obvious, and now that you have, you want to shout with joy and at the same time, you want to kick yourself for not realizing it earlier. I was fortunate enough to experience all of these emotions at the Democratic National Convention. Nevertheless, I completely expected to experience these emotions. In fact, it was the least that I expected considering I was going to a convention where Barack Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton and thousands of Democratic supporters would get together under one roof. What surprised me though was that it wasn’t just Hillary or Barack who brought these feelings out. It was Senator Ted Kennedy, Dennis Kucinich and Governor Brian Schweitzer.

While everybody expected the likes of Obama, Hillary, Bill and Joe Biden to knock it out of the park, no one expected Senator Ted Kennedy to come out on stage. Seeing this legend on stage was an emotional moment in itself, but the fact that he defied all doctors and medical advice to come out and make his speech brought out so much emotion in me. We got to see first hand why the Kennedys are like royalty in America and it was inspirational to see a man who showed that the power of patriotism trumps everything else. The love he has for the people of this great country and for the Democratic Party knows no bounds. Apart from his rousing speech, his mere presence sent out a powerful message to the people. If he can come out and speak, you can go out and vote.

I remember the buzz when he was about to come out. People started talking about everything from the history of the Democrats to JFK. Some people even prayed that Kennedy doesn’t come out because he could hurt his health. Every time we heard some applause, we thought he was coming out. Then Caroline Kennedy came out and introduced him. After that, they played the video about him. That video was great and people started to get more excited. Then it happened! He stepped out on to the stage. The next few seconds were stunning. People couldn’t control themselves. They stood up and applauded him and bowed down to him and cried and laughed. It was an emotional roller coaster and one thought that it was Ted and not Obama who was running for office.

Another special moment that I will always remember is the speech of Dennis Kucinich. Things were warming up and we were geared up for an evening of fireworks. When Kucinich came in to speak, people were still distracted and settling down. Then, he started to speak. It was simply unbelievable. His speech was short and to the point. He spoke about the government, its irresponsible spending, the war in Iraq, the oil companies and healthcare. The speech was entitles “Wake up America.” At the end of his time on stage, that is exactly what he did. I was up on my feet, screaming with joy and I truly felt like I had woken up. Most speeches were directed towards Democrats but this speech went out to all Americans. The way people reacted was amazing. They were pumping their fists, jumping up and down and it was like they were ready to go to war. Kucinich pointed out the obvious while telling people that even though they realized what the truth was, they needed to do something about it. The fact that such a passionate speech came from someone we least expected it made it even more special.

At this point, everyone was excited and looking forward to the rest of the festivities. Every one was now waiting for the big guns to arrive. But the Democrats had one more surprise. Governor Brian Schweitzer stepped up to the podium. He started off by talking about his achievements as governor of Montana. He then started to draw parallels between himself and Senator Obama. Slowly but surely, the speech started to gain momentum. It became livelier and more humorous. He attacked the Republicans and John McCain and the crowd just loved it. They cheered, chanted, applauded and became even more excited. Schweitzer too became more animated. At one point, he asked people to get on their feet and show their support for Obama. The crowd lapped it up. They absorbed every moment. Then, this young guy sitting behind me made a comment that actually made our section laugh and at the same time, nod in agreement. He said, “Doesn’t Schweitzer remind you of George Bush? Especially the way he bobs his head.” Of course everyone started to observe the governor and it was eerie how correct that guy was. It was like a Democratic George Bush, except he made sense!

All in all, the Democrats came out to win an election. While everyone expected the heavyweights to steal the show, there were a lot of other speakers who struck the right chords with the people and it wasn’t all about how great the Democrats were. It was about the country and the need for change.

The DNC was an amazing event and delivered on every expectation. The crowds were amazing, the speakers passionate and the organization was perfect. If someone asked me what my favorite moment was, I couldn’t tell you. It was a series of moments and each was special in its own way. I am just glad that I could experience them all.

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