When Gov20LA started we were asked to state three words about what we hope to accomplish, take a look at the Wordle above and guess what my three words were (if you follow me on Twitter, you already know...)
My compliments to @digiphile for creating this wordle.
I apologize for the lack of post here in the MDLU over the last week.
I was proud to see the President visit Orange County. The sight of the executive fleet landing at the OC Fair was both awesome and amazing. The way the pilots can bring them down in such a small area shows that not just any pilot gets to fly POTUS and his staff.
The President's visit, from my observations, was a lot like an episode of The West Wing. Combine both California 47th and 20 Hours in Los Angeles and that was exactly like the past 48 hours.
So, look for more coverage from the MDLU in the future.
With less then 20 hours remaining in the Bush Administration and on the eve of a historic inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, the United States is in a peaceful transition of power.
While we view the transition of power as the inauguration, this transition has been in motion since a warm July evening in 2004 where an obscure Illinois state senator gave a speech to the crowd at the then FleetCenter. This man from Illinois spoke to the crowd and delegates as a candidate for U.S. Senate. His signs were simple and his bumper stickers simply read "OBAMA: Democrat for U.S. Senate." Obama came to the podium with the music of "Keep On Walking" to give a speech. To the delegates he was just another surrogate trying to fire-up the crowd to vote for John Kerry, to the VIP's he was just background noise while they talked and lobbied, and to the staff, who were running around putting out small issues before the nights main speaker, just part of the atmosphere.
I was sitting at a makeshift staging area for the Technology team. We had a series of tables set up under the bleachers of the FleetCenter. We had networking equipment and radios sprawled all over the surface. I think my brother was flipping through the media guide and some of us were trying to figure out what party to go to after the gavel dropped for the night. Seeing that everything was quiet on the tech front, I decided to go out and walk the floor. I walked out through the tunnel, past the pushy fire marshals and the reporters doing on the spot interviews to take in some of the convention.
Delegates were still finding there way to their seats as the evening line up of speakers launched into their sometimes never ending oratory escapades. In the beginning, it seemed as if there was just another speaker, but there was a quiet buzz in the convention hall. It was far from the smoke filled convention halls of the past, the smoke replaced with the low roar of conversations as a man with a funny name approached the podium. This man, who was unknown outside of Illinois at the time, stood at the podium under the glare of the lights of the national media, not knowing where he would be in four years. This man gave a speech that made the crowd quiet down and listen, they heard about his life story, how his mother was from Kansas and his father was from Kenya. He talked about the struggles in his life and how that made him a better person. His life didn't reflect the traditional American life, it reflected a modern American life, a life where no matter what your background, the color of your skin, or your religious background, one can become successful.
I've seen my share of political speeches, from my first convention in 2000 where President Bill Clinton delivered his last major speech as President to the hope of creating a "Stronger America" in 2004, but this man delivered a speech that brought the delegates to their feet. I was leaning against the wall of the tunnel, right next to the CNN spot on the floor, for the speech that launched a path towards history. While some that night watched the speech on television (or for some of us with good Internet connections at the time, streamed it live), I was there and I saw history with my own eyes.
Tomorrow, when Barack H. Obama raises his hand and swears (or affirms) the following:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the
President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability,
preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
He will become the 44th President of the United States of America.
It just gives me goosebumps thinking about what I witnessed four years ago and what we will all witness tomorrow as Americans.
For those of you who are interested, Chapman School of Law is hosting a symposium entitled "Lincoln's Constitutionalism in Time of War: Lessons for the Current War on Terror?"
The Symposium will have various tracks. Tracks include an analysis of the suspension of rights for public safety, WWLD (What Would Lincoln Do?) Constitutional Approaches to Wartime Finance and Economics, and Civil Liberties for Civil Rights: Justifying a decline in Civil Rights for an increase in Civil Liberties.
No mater what side of the political fence you may be on, this symposium will offer an interesting analysis of the time of Lincoln compared to our current struggles with terrorism. Attorneys, Government/Non-Government Organizations, Judges, and Students are invited to attend this highly informative and educational symposium.
The Chapman Symposium will be held at Chapman School of Law on January 30, 2009 at 8am.
Registration information and forms may be found on Chapman School of Law's website.