Published on July 2nd, 2011 | by thevyne


President Obama in Philadelphia

Have you ever had a time in your life when, at that moment, you knew you were experiencing something special…something meaningful that you would probably never forget? I recently had the very special opportunity to see our 44th President, Barack Obama, speak live at the Bellevue in Philadelphia. Since I didn’t get to see him when he was on the campaign trail, I knew I had to make time for this moment. Not to mention the fact that this would be his only time stopping in Philadelphia for his 2012 Presidential campaign. So after deciding on what to wear and walking approximately a mile in my black work pumps, I stood amongst a crowd of young professionals awaiting the arrival of arguably one of the most poised, intelligent and charismatic Presidents the United States has ever had.

The festivities started with a yummy hors’ d’oeuvres buffet of premium meats and cheeses, spreads and breads and everything Philly including mini cheesesteak sliders, fries, soft pretzels, water ice and Tasty Cakes. I attended the event with several friends so after sampling a few culinary delights we headed to the front of the banquet hall to “rope off” our desired standing area.

Before President Obama hit the stage the local Philadelphia officials preceded to warm the crowd up. Those in attendance included, Senator Bob Casey, Mayor Michael Nutter, Congressman Bob Brady and Congressman Chaka Fattah. Also in attendance to say a few words was DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Senator Bob Casey had the pleasure of introducing the President to a thunderous round of applause and paparazzi style picture snapping from the crowd. I was only five rows back and stood there in awe of what I was experiencing. I couldn’t believe I was a stone’s throw away from our President. As he launched into his speech, peppered with his classic style of humor and cool, I noticed something about him. I noticed, a look of tested experience on him. A look of hard fought determination to push past fatigue. A look of seriousness and certainty about what he was saying to us. There was a point where a few people called out to him with their protest signs and media attention efforts. What was interesting was how the rest of the crowd responded when these few folks tried to derail the President’s speech. It was as if we collectively and unconsciously colluded to take care of our President in that moment. So much so, that no sooner than the few protestors started shouting did the rest of the crowd break out into applause and begin to chant “O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!” until the protestors were escorted out. It was as if we, in that moment, wanted to take care of our President so that he could share the words he came to share with us in a setting that appreciated him taking time out of his busy schedule to be with us. In a setting not designed to challenge his every decision but rather to listen intently to why he’s making the decisions he’s making. So I did….I listened intently, I watched carefully, I let the whole experience soak in and then…I sent up a silent “thank you” to God for blessing me with that moment in time.

President Obama Speech Highlights:

“I’m prepared to bring our deficit down by trillions of dollars, but I will not reduce our deficit by sacrificing our kid’s education,”

“We rise and fall together. That’s the idea of the heart of America…That’s the idea of the heart of our last campaign. That’s the idea at the heart of this campaign.”

“I’m prepared to bring our deficit down by trillions of dollars, but I will not reduce our deficit by sacrificing our kid’s education,”

“It’s time to do big things”

Picture: Row 1 – All President Obama; Row 2 (l to r) – Senator Bob Casey, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Mayor Michael Nutter, Congressman Chaka Fattah; Row 3 (l to r) – Me, friends and Jahri Evans of the New Orleans Saints along with his Superbowl ring (had to take a pic of that).



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