Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Early prophets of Obama victory

Andrew Sullivan is having fun unearthing predictions that Barack Obama could never win the Presidency. As a kinder, gentler blogger, I'm having fun locating those who expressed faith early that yes, he could.

Where are the words of the prophets written? Lo, in college newspapers, and local writeups of college rallies. Just about everyone I found on LexisNexis who said unequivocally before November 2007, "Obama can win" or "Obama will win" was under the age of 23. All of them spoke of hope, vision, change.

Starting with the most recent and moving backwards: an Oct. 2, 2007, Cornell Daily Sun account of an Obama rally. Among the speakers were Eronmonsele Elens-Eigbokhan '09, president of Cornell Students for Barack Obama, and co-founder Tim Krueger. First, Elens-Eigbokhan:
"In Barack Obama we've got hope. We've become bound in partisan politics ... but we know Barack Obama brings people together," he said.
Krueger began his speech by alerting the crowd that he did not intend to talk about why Obama should win, but rather why he would win. He then laid out the reasons why he thought this was the case.
"First Barack Obama will win ... for his capacity to articulate a vision to an extent that other candidates cannot," he said.
Lastly, Elens-Eigbokhan himself stood up and delivered a passionate speech about how important it is to still believe in the power of the people and our ability to elicit change.
"[Barack Obama] told us that at every juncture in American history, American people who love America have changed it," he said. "It's very easy for us to say that nothing's going to change ... but if that's what people had said throughout history, then we wouldn't be where we are today."
Seven months earlier the Modesto Bee caught up on Feb. 27, 2007 with a certain Josh Franco, who had recently been appointed statewide coordinator in CA of Students for Barack Obama. Here's Franco to the Bee:
"I think students play a vital role in providing the energy and enthusiasm behind campaigns," Franco said.

Franco said he's convinced that Obama can win in 2008.

"Because he speaks of hope, that's why I gravitate towards him," Franco said.
And on Feb. 15, 2007, writing in the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, Matt Giancola caught the zeitgeist:
There is only one candidate who is capturing the minds of the public, who has the vision to lead the United States away from the failed policies that President Bush led us into, and can win both the primary and general election.

That candidate is Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton, the current frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, is vulnerable on a number of fronts. Her support for the Iraq War has hurt among party activists. She still will not apologize for her vote to authorize the President to take us into this bloody and unnecessary war. Though Obama was not in the Senate when the votes for the war were cast, he has been against the war from the beginning...

It is not simply his foreign policy that makes him an attractive candidate to Democrats. His message of hope and overcoming obstacles that keep our nation down is a message that we have been in dire need of. Yes, he is the first African-American to have a real chance at winning the election, but his attractiveness is in his words, not his skin color.

He speaks to the best in people, to bringing the country together. In his electrifying 2004 Democratic Keynote Address, he stated, "Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope: in the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead." ...

We need to move away from bungling Republican rule; Senator Obama represents
the hope that resides in us all - that better days are ahead.
Perhaps it's not remarkable that the youngest voters would tune in. What's truly astounding is that they pulled the rest of us along.

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