Candidates for the Presidency of the United States raise hundreds of millions of dollars and compete in primaries and caucuses in state after state in order to win convention delegates. They engage in a series of nationally televised debates, appear on political programs like Meet the Press and Hardball, and strive to demonstrate to America and the world in the early months of presidential election years that they are ready to take their campaigns to the next level.
Obama’s campaign strategists knew all of these campaign events were relatively important, but realized they were just preliminaries to the supreme test of leadership that awaited him. They knew by early April that the time had come to get serious, that the time had come to launch the most crucial phase of Obama’s presidential campaign, that the time had come for Obama to go where the votes are, to go to the only place he could go in all of America to face that supreme test of leadership.
Grand Forks, North Dakota.
I knew that too, so I went here:
My brother Craig, a lifelong Republican, joined me as I waited in line. That line kept getting longer, and longer, and longer . . .
17,000 Americans came from small towns all across North Dakota and Minnesota to see the next President of the United States. They came from farms throughout the Red River Valley, they came from the colleges and universities of the Upper Midwest, they came from Native American reservations, from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, from the VA Hospital in Fargo, from homes and schools and churches in this country’s heartland, where Americans still believe in decency and justice and democracy.
These men and women and children who came to see and hear Barack Obama, who stood in line for hours on this spring day in this eighth year of BushCo fascism don’t want to see less jobs and more wars. They’re sick and tired of less jobs and more wars, of lies and torture and Katrinas, of Enrons and Bear Stearns and Deciders, of endless coverups and endless betrayal. They want to believe in America again, they want to be heard in Washington D.C. again, they want their country back, and it looked to me like they are damn well ready to take it back.