Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Obama: Iowa Caucus Victory Speech

Here is Obama's victory speech given after he won the Iowa Caucus. Leading up to Iowa, all eyes were on Obama's campaign. The pundits questioned...

How will he fair in a predominantly white American state?

Is this the test that he must pass?

Many completedly dismissed any likelihood of Obama beating Clinton, primarily due to the demographics. And, others speculated that if he did not fair well in Iowa, he could not possibly win the Democratic nomination.

Iowa was the test that Obama passed with flying colors. From the lips of Obama,

"A change is coming to America!"

Here's an excerpt from a TIME article written the day after Obama's Iowa win...

"Barack Obama's first words after winning the Iowa caucus were intended for history and they were gorgeous: "They said this day would never come." Perhaps he was thinking small. Perhaps he was thinking about the long days in July and August and September when he trudged along the trail, well behind Hillary Clinton — who seemed a juggernaut at that point. Perhaps he was thinking back to his childhood, to the father who barely knew him and the mother who let her parents do most of the child rearing. But I suspect he was thinking bigger, back to Martin Luther King — and King's dream that someday his children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

That day has now come, at the highest level of American politics. A black man with a dangerous-sounding foreign name trounced his opponents in the nearly all-white state of Iowa. And he did so because, after spending months getting to know him, the people of Iowa stopped seeing his color and began to admire his character. In an election where the word "change" became an almost meaningless talisman, Iowa's triumph over race is a message to the world about the real nature of America — and a ratification of Obama's belief that this will be an election year where everything is on the table, where all the conventional wisdom can be tossed aside, where anything, including decency, is possible.

It was a night that was historic in ways large and small. The sheer size of the Democratic turnout — 236,000 people, nearly twice as many as 2004 — distorted the caucus process...

The size of the turnout was driven by young people, who supposedly never turn out — and by independents, and Republicans who crossed over, and by people who never had attended caucuses before but figured that this year political participation was, for once, mandatory. And a very clear message was sent: Iowa, at least, was ready for a new generation of leadership. That had been Obama's intent from the start. In my earliest conversations with him, he had expressed frustration with the perennial, divisive baby boomer political battles — "the dorm fights of the '60s," he called them — and he had a perfect foil in Hillary Clinton, whose husband had been the first baby boomer President and whose tenure, in the 1990s, had been marked by a heathen contentiousness (most of it the fault of Republican extremists, a generation of showboat demagogues.)

Iowa's decision was not only pro-Obama, but very clearly anti-Clinton — not so much anti-Hillary, whose solid, steadfast campaign earned the respect of many Iowans, but anti restoration, anti the notion of having a former two-term President elide the Constitution by returning to the White House as a spouse, anti the petty, contentious politics that seems to follow the Clintons — much to their dismay — everywhere they go..."

To read the entire TIME article, click here.