Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Yes We Can

Nobody has been more surprised than we have at the overwhelming support for Barack Obama we're seeing in Idaho. In what is often thought of as one of the most conservative states in the nation, almost 15,000 people (Eric, Violet and I among them) stood in the snow early last Saturday to get in to his speech at Boise State; nearly 8,000 die-hard dems lined up again (and again, in the snow!) to participate in Idaho's caucus on Super Tuesday.

Though she won't remember it, Violet's first political rally was memorable in more ways than one. This kind of enthusiasm for a democratic candidate was something not many people expected; Obama himself remarked, "and they told me there weren't any democrats in Idaho!" They told us the same thing, and we were happy to find out they were wrong. But more important than the discovery of democrats in this the reddest of states was Obama's ability to bring that disenfranchised group together, get them excited, and yes - give them hope. In a characteristically compelling speech, his message of hope and change captivated the Boise audience as it has so many others across the country. And our girl wasn't intimidated by the roar of the crowd in response to its inspirational speaker. In the midst of all the clapping, cheering, and thunderous stomping, Violet just sat on her dad's lap, grinning, and soaked it all in.

Violet missed the next big event, Idaho's democratic caucus last night, because it was past her bedtime. Obama's fans were out in force, propelling him to an 80% landslide victory over Clinton and the other candidates. Idaho appears to have been Obama's most dramatic win so far, something not even Idahoans probably would have predicted. Noting Obama's unlikely wins last night on MSNBC, Chris Matthews even exclaimed, "God - Idaho!" The times they are a changin' . . . we hope.

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