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Feedback: Take One April 13, 2009

Posted by deepblueillinois in Uncategorized.

On my Facebook page yesterday, I jokingly wondered aloud where my career might have gone had I played pickup hoops in the mornings in Springfield  with a famous former Senate colleague instead of panting up and down the court at the Department of Corrections gym during the night shift.

While I’m sure at some point the future POTUS and I did share the court once or twice during our tenure together at the State Capitol, I can’t say it was a memorable experience — unlike some other encounters that I’ll always remember during our time together in the Illinois General Assembly. 

Nonetheless, Barack Obama had made some indelible impressions on folks. In a recent email to my listserv, I asked people to share their favorite personal experiences about President Barack Obama.

Here are some excerpts from the many replies:

I first heard Barack Obama speak at the Democratic National Convention and it was a stirring speech.  I was enamored but, I thought that this country was ready for an African America as president.

A Couple of years ago, he was the keynote speaker at the northwestern graduation. In person he was even more impressive and he gave me/us the message of hope and change we were looking for. He was truly an inspiring speaker and portrayed an humble family man who has come up working hard and has hopes to change the way the nation was going.

The republicans went from having a budget surplus and the world’s sympathy for us after 9-11 to a wrecked economy and a sheer arrogance to world opinion. They went to war on faulty or non-existant intelligence and conducted it with amazing ineptitude.

Thanks,for doing a wonderful job and I hope with your help Barack Obama can make a difference and restore Americans role as a Democratic Leader and restart diplomacy and end these costly wars.

– Kailas


A personal story about Barack Obama;  Sometime during the Obama run for the Illinois Senate, I was invited to attend a small coffee in Winnetka for him.  My only memory of Barack was seeing him give a wonderfully moving speech at the Democratic National Convention.  He was running late, came in the room, mentioned in passing that Chicago traffic was terrible and began his talk to us.
From the first, I thought he was very articulate and clear in his ideas and purpose.  He spoke movingly on the war in Iraq and discussed the President Bush’s poor record on the needs of the American people.  At the end of the talk he asked for questions from the group.
The room was filled with mostly elderly people and, not surprisingly, the first question was what Obama thought about the inheritance tax.  He looked around the room, smiled, and said, “I know what you want me to say, but I believe in the inheritance tax”…..and spoke at great length about why.  It was a defining moment for me.  I knew then, and told my husband later, that here is a man who could have told the audience what they wanted to hear….spin the talk….and flip around to the point of view of the questioner.  But he didn’t. 
I began to follow and support Barack Obama after that day and have not been disappointed for one minute.  He believes what he says and acts on what he believes.
I only wish him the best of luck in his new position.  He is going to make a wonderful President of our country.
– Pam
With the exception of phone banking from home, my volunteer work for Obama consisted of getting in my car and driving to places on my own to “make friends” for Barack.  I did this in NM in September and in PA in October.    

My favorite – On October 25 I was in Dushore, PA – heart of the red part of the state – McCain signs everywhere, as well as some anti-Obama signs.  I went to the Dushore diner.  Everyone eyed me up and down, taking in the  big Obama button on my jacket.  When I left the diner to join my cousin who was driving, two BIG burly men in hunters’ garb followed me outside.  One said, that’s the first and only Obama button I’ve seen in this town.”  I replied something like, “Well, I have an extra one if you’d like to make it two for the town”.  The man said, “Step over here” and walked towards his truck. I blanched abit but both my cousin and I went over.  He opened his coat and surreptitiously showed me a small Obama button on his inside shirt.  He said, “There are more of us for him here than anyone whould think but we don’t dare put up signs”!

I had several other encounters like this one that day – union members (machinist union) who followed me to tell me they were for Obama but didn’t want their neighbors to know.  One man told me that he guessed people might call him a racist but that was because he had never met any “black people” but since he had been reading all about Obama he had decided that he liked him and would vote for him.

When I left PA after my private week there in October I just “knew” that PA would go for Obama (just as I did when I left NM).  People are good and they just need the personal attention that the Obama campaign gave them.  People respond to decency and integrity – and Obama epitomized that and the other campaign did not.

– Nancy

Do you have a story that you wish to share?  Even if you don’t, why don’t you friend me on FB? I’ll look forward to hearing from you either way.



















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