You have to give the Obama campaign credit. They sounded credible in a post-racial way with the problems facing everyday Americans. I say this because the stories told in this video were all of our stories. People struggling just to make it through a window of opportunity that is getting narrower and narrower and a landscape where corporate promises and the investments of lifetimes of work are squandered and forever lost.
John McCain and Sarah Palin can stump all they want about "scary" Obama, not ready "yet" Obama, and not telling you the truth Obama.
After last night's 30 minute commercial, there can be little doubt, that Barack Obama is at least capable of presenting to America what the real problems are.
But perhaps, for me, the most devastating moment of the Obama infomercial is the story of Larry Stewart from Sardinia, Ohio. Larry worked his entire life for the B & O Railroad and retired only to find the rising cost of medical coverage for his wife's arthritis and other issues to be overwhelming.
An immediate parallel can be found earlier in the campaign when Michelle Obama spoke about her father- who worked despite his degenerating physical condition- just to put food on the table and to take care of his family.
Chris Matthews, in an exchange with Keith Olbermann, astutely pointed out the fundamental pride men feel for being able to take care of their families. It is true of my generation as it has been for all of those before. We are not a country of whiners. We want to work. We will work hard. Our productivity is the best in the world- in this respect we are an exceptional people.
When 73 year old Larry Stewart went back to work he had to do so as a sales associate for Wal-Mart. I am a tough man. A military veteran. I've served amongst brave men. And I teared up when I saw Larry put the name tag on his shirt.
This is a proud man. This is an American and his story is my story and your story and all of our stories. The Republicans were against social security because they said it was a threat to freedom. They used the same argument to fight medicare and they'll use the same argument to fight health care reform.
Why putting a 73 year old man back to work at Wal-Mart is the responsible aim of a free society- while setting up a Big Brother super-spy state is not considered a hypochondriac destruction of our nation is beyond me.
We have become slaves of consumption. We make nothing worth buying anymore. And worst still, there are those among us who do not feel the responsibility to take care of our own.
I hope the future is better for Larry. That he can retire with dignity or perhaps get a position he wants to work at and earn enough money to take care and provide for his family. He deserves more credit than Joe the Plumber.
Another thing I wanted to mention, though I did not feel it warranted its own entry. Obama has remarkably transformed the America I know into an America of unity.
I saw no racial pandering in the Obamercial. Just different shades of each of us. Truly remarkable.
Bonus headline in MINNESOTA Senate campaign:
Last Laugh on Coleman. Franken Wins!
Larry Stewart from Sardinia, Ohio.
Thank you for the feedback, folks. What I wrote down was just what all of us are thinking. A democratic phone banker called me today and asked if I was voting Obama. I said, absolutely. I'm voting straight ticket. I told her let's win this thing.
You guys give me confidence we will.