Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Barack the vote!

Yesterday was an extremely politically charged day here at Beloit. Two major political figures were on campus: Chelsea Clinton and Barack Obama.

Chelsea spoke in the early afternoon, answering several questions about her mother's policies. One student asked if she was planning to run for President in 8 years, but she said her political aspirations only went so far as to actively campaign for her mother in this election. Liz Ziner, '10, got to meet her afterwards with a small group of students and ask some more questions one on one. What cool opportunity! One of the most interesting pieces of Chelsea's talk was hearing her say that she had waited for quite some time before deciding to support her mother as a candidate. She wanted to make sure that she believed in what she was endorsing. It was neat to hear that she's just as careful about her politics as the rest of us; that her family ties didn't automatically make the decision for her. Here's a picture of a group of Kappa Deltas and Miss Clinton. This was on the front page of the Beloit Daily News this morning:

Then, as soon as Chelsea finished, a large group of my friends ran to the sports center where Obama was set to speak in 6 hours. We passed the time (the first hour of which was outside in the freeeezing cold) by playing a card game that Angie Bonilla, '10, had brought along, singing various tunes (the louder the better!), and snuggling as best we could under blankets. Obama spoke for 45 minutes, and if you needed proof that he was at Beloit, here's a picture of him in our gym (Go Bucs!):

THAT IS CRAZY!!! We were so close to him! I can't even begin to explain what an experience it was. The flood arena was packed past capacity, the energy was so positive and lively it made everyone really emotional and hyped up. I love his ease with speaking, the way he worked the entire crowd- young and old, student and working citizen. He certainly knows how to give a speech! The words thrilling, inspirational, historical, and motivational come to mind. After Obama was done speaking, he came down and shook hands with people in the crowd (including mine, yipee!). Angie was very excited and moved and had been crying most of his speech. Here he is meeting her afterwards:

He called her sweetheart :)

Favorite quote from his speech:
"Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom."

Yesterday was a momentous adventure, blessing, and crazy opportunity. I am so thankful and lucky to have this experience and to have shared it with my school and with my wonderful friends.

Also, I voted today.