Barack Obama

Well, last week Kate told me a friend was begging off a social engagement — well, it was actually a planned reading aloud of “A Tale of Two Cities” — because she wanted to watch John Kerry’s speech at the Democratic convention instead. My response was, “No way I’m changing anything in my personal life to watch John Kerry talk.” Yeah, I’m still stuck on wondering what in the world he was thinking when he voted to give Bush the OK to pound Saddam. But I won’t wander down that trail now.

But tonight after picking me up at the airport, Kate wanted to get home quickly to watch Barack Obama’s speech to the convention. I didn’t bad mouth Obama. I’m curious about him as a native Illinoisan and also — just having seen “Fahrenheit 9/11” last night — really wondering if there is anyone out there who might appeal to “the better angels of our nature” (no, I don’t think it’s Michael Moore, though he did succeed in making an occasionally funny, often wrenching film).

So I heard Obama tonight, and right away I was thinking he should be on the ticket. He’s articulate. He speaks from experience. He talks convincingly about inclusion and unity, about looking out for each other and about the keys to helping the poor and disenfranchised succeed. Hope he makes it to the Senate in November (running virtually unopposed in Illinois, I suppose he will). We need a presence and a voice like that on the national scene.

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