Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Family Ties

Last night, the first night of the Democratic Convention in Denver, Colorado was great. To me it was family night; a combination of a family reunion and meet the new in-laws. Senator Barack Obama’s sister Maya spoke beautifully about their mother and her influence and inspiration in their lives. Then Caroline Kennedy, daughter of slain President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, introduced a Ken Burns video tribute to her uncle Senator Edward “Teddy” Kennedy. Wondrous to behold, Ted Kennedy himself, currently battling brain cancer, gave another of his brilliant, inspiring and moving speeches. This one all the more poignant because of his own battle and the unspoken but palpable fear that this could be his last great moment before us.

Soon after, Michelle Obama’s mother, Mrs. Marian Robinson, narrated a video introduction to her daughter called “South Side Girl”. Following the film, Michelle’s brother, Craig Robinson, introduced his “little sister” to the Convention. Then it was Michelle’s turn to speak. And speak she did. She has always impressed me with her ease and eloquence, but this time she was particularly terrific. As the crowd roared its approval, her daughters Malia and Sasha joined her onstage. Then live via a video connection, we saw Barack Obama speak to his wife and daughters from the living room of Jim and Alicia Girardeau, in Kansas City, Missouri.

See what I mean? Family reunion and meet the new in-laws. All that was missing was the cookout, complete with potato salad, three bean salad, Jello molds and blue ribbon desserts. Perfect for a summer evening in August.

If you’d like to read any of the speeches click here.

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