Watching the always impressive Frontline program on PBS this evening, about our presidential candidates (it can be seen in its entirety here), I was struck by a comment made by one of Barack Obama’s early campaign managers. As he and a friend were watching Obama’s historic address to the 2004 Democratic Convention on television, they laughed as they recited the speech along with Obama nearly word-for-word. “This was the same speech that he used to give to, like, ten people,” he said, referring to their early days in the churches and meeting halls on the south side of Chicago. Only now, it was galvanizing thousands in the convention hall and millions across the nation. People were weeping, cheering, and predicting the rise of a new American leader.
I couldn’t help but think of those early videos of David singing at weddings, school assemblies, and parties… And even of cozy Tuesday nights on the couch… Those of us in the “base” will undoubtedly watch with similar recognition as the weeping and cheering spreads far beyond our corner community. This may well be the last few moments in time when we are able to claim David as our very own. His circle of devotion is about to widen.