What Obama Means to Me MAG

February 26, 2009
By inkwaves SILVER, Alexandria, Virginia
inkwaves SILVER, Alexandria, Virginia
9 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Two years ago, Obama meant nothing to me. His name did not ring any bells of hope or change or bring huge traffic to my hometown. However, just a year later, he became the Democratic nominee for president and his name rang the bells of history. Obama meant history was in the making.

Six months ago, Obama meant ­debates at the school lunch table and people selling his campaign buttons for five bucks and the scratched ones for three. Obama was my friend’s Halloween costume, and if a house had a McCain sign, he would take his mask off, get the candy, then say, “Vote for Obama.”

On November 4th, Obama meant campaigning was finally over. His ads would stop. His signs would be taken down. My family watched as the election was called and he won. To think that I thought it was all over that night … I thought his name would fade from the news ­because it would never again hold that suspense it had carried before the election. I was wrong. It only intensified. Every day the news brought something about him: “Today Obama met with President Bush,” “Today he is in town looking at schools for his daughters.”

Obama also meant some unexpected claims-to-fame for my family and friends. He attended the same high school as my stepdad. Apparently everybody called him “Barry” back then. One of my friends goes to the school in D.C. that Malia and Sasha now attend. She said she sees Malia and Sasha sometimes and the Secret Service walks around a lot. “One of the agents looks like a gorilla,” she noted.

Finally, on January 20th, Obama meant a day off from school. Being locals, my mom and I decided we would regret it if we missed such a historic event. So we timed our inauguration outing perfectly. We watched Obama get sworn in on TV. Then we took the Metro, which was practically empty. Once in D.C., we were instantly met with throngs of people. They blanketed the National Mall, the streets, and the Metro stations, most looking overwhelmed or just plain lost.

We walked in front of the Capitol where huge ­jumbotrons showed the Obamas going to a luncheon while we waddled outside in the cold. My mom and I walked between the rows of empty plastic chairs, like a sea of soldiers facing the inauguration platform. Litter tumbled by: newspapers with headlines related to the inauguration, the wrappers from hand warmers, a lonely glove, empty water bottles, and even a blanket from an expensive hotel. The Capitol reflecting pool was frozen, so people were out on it, sliding, dancing, or cautiously toeing the ice. I joined them, starting to feel like I was a part of something.

The crowd was enormous, bigger than any I had ever seen in Washington. They were bundled up, holding flags and wearing Obama pins. We met all sorts of people from almost everywhere. There was a couple all the way from Hawaii, wearing fresh but tired-looking leis and capris with long socks. Some people were dressed in traditional African clothing. We also saw a guy in an Obama superhero suit – a white spandex bodysuit with “Obama” written across the chest and fake muscles poking out everywhere. People had been asking him for pictures all day, he said nonchalantly as he leaned back in his chair at a Japanese restaurant, as if that was the most normal thing. And it was, because on inauguration day, I wasn’t surprised.

My mom and I challenged ourselves to wave to all the media. We waved to CNN. We waved to NBC. We jumped up and down and shouted “OBAMA!” whenever a camera passed. By the time we claimed our spot to watch the parade, I was freezing. The procession ­started at last, and lines of ­soldiers and bands marched past. A big truck inched by with cameramen in the back, aiming their cameras at the cars behind them.

Then a black car rolled by and the crowd ­started screaming … but it turned out to be Secret Service. Finally another appeared and we knew it was him. It was President Barack Obama. There was screaming and camera flashes. There was shoving and craning for a better look. There were squeals and gasps. And at the same time, it felt like slow motion. The car inched past. Even through the tinted windows, you could see our president ­grinning, and he gave us a wave.

After Obama passed, we watched the rest on TV in a restaurant. On the streets, people were selling everything Obama: T-shirts, buttons, key chains, mugs, and pictures of him from every angle (some more flattering than others). Then there were the “Take your picture with Obama” stands where you could stand next to a cardboard cutout.

After the inauguration, Obama represented not ­only an office, but also a person. At first, Obama was just a name. Then he was a face, a slogan, and a voice. Now, he was a person – very human as he gave one of his goofy grins that seem to say, This is all for me? As he entered the presidency, he became one of the unattainables. He is now in a fish bowl of scrutiny and admiration. He’s a celebrity, an influence, but that smile he flashed as his car passed us reminded me that he is still only human.

Humans, while not perfect, are capable of extra­ordinary things. Obama has already brought people together: from Hawaii and Kenya, Democrats and Republicans, blacks and whites, young and old voters, and the many who stood in the cold on January 20. I feel like “Obama” should be added to the dictionary. What other word describes hope, faith, unity, change, expectation, history, and leadership in just three ­syllables?



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This article has 104 comments.


Icypyro BRONZE said...
on Jul. 23 2010 at 7:07 pm
Icypyro BRONZE, Piqua, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
For I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Finally! Someone with some sense commenting on this article!!

on Jul. 23 2010 at 2:37 pm
Elizabeth_Pipko SILVER, New York, New York
6 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
Adversity causes some to break, others to break records.

That is what I have been trying to figure out. Everyone says they love him so much, but they never have a reason why they love him so much.

on Jul. 23 2010 at 2:34 pm
Elizabeth_Pipko SILVER, New York, New York
6 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
Adversity causes some to break, others to break records.

he is not saving America. You can not just comment and say he is saving America or he is amazing with facts behind your answer. Everyone says they think he is great, but if you ask them why they say "i dont know, just because." He has not done anything except apoloqize to the muslims for what Bush did. After 9/11 Bush was tough and kept the country free of terrorist attacks. I don't like a lot that Bush has done, but I respect him and thank him for keeping our country safe. Did you see on tv when Obama was elected, Muslims dancing in the streets. I wonder why. Now that Obama has apologized, it is all over. The terrorist attacks are coming because they are not scared of us anymore. And the noble peace prize. He never did anything to deserve that! I am glad our county has the first african american president, I really am, but you can't like him just because of that.

on Jul. 23 2010 at 11:32 am
AgnotTheOdd GOLD, Aptos, California
17 articles 0 photos 315 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The reason for your unreasonable treatment of my reason so enfeebles my reason that I have reason to complain of your reason" ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Yo dude.  I think that like...totally someone needs to just..like...take a chill pill man...relax a little.  Perhaps a back massage?  

You just can't stop quibbling, can you?  If you like, I can tell you plenty of the things Obama has done.

And I am aware of texting language, I was just using that as an example.  You're taking things a bit too seriously.  Lighten up.  Giggle.  Cavort.  Frolic. Dance, sing - maybe even in the rain.  And if you were wagging your finger of shame at Kaileigh for going off topic, I think your pointless retaliation to something that was clearly not that seriously is "WAY out of the left field" as well.

And just 'cause my username has "odd" in it means you shouldn't listen to me?  I am worried about where our society is headed.


Icypyro BRONZE said...
on Jul. 23 2010 at 10:54 am
Icypyro BRONZE, Piqua, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
For I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Oh yeah, Mr./Ms./Mrs. AgnotTheOdd, it's hard to take criticism from someone who calls themself "odd" in their name. I just can't take you seriously, especially your self-coined phrase, "quarrelsome quibbler". It sounds like something my grandma would use. No wait, even she wouldn't use that.

Icypyro BRONZE said...
on Jul. 23 2010 at 10:46 am
Icypyro BRONZE, Piqua, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
For I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Okay, I spelled "nothing" wrong on purpose. If you have a cell phone and text, you will realize that in "texting language", "nothing" is often spelled as "nuthin". And yes, I know my name is contradictory. You would think I would look into my name before I used it as my username, right?

Oh yeah, Kaileigh918, I forgot to tell you on my last reply, that comment about Sarah Palin's daughter came WAY out of left field. Stick to the topic of conversation next time you have an argument, okay?


AshLynn BRONZE said...
on Jul. 23 2010 at 4:58 am
AshLynn BRONZE, Pueblo, Colorado
4 articles 3 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
you must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

I thought that Obama was going to change the world, and make more history than just being the first black president. turns out i was wrong. all he ever changes is his suit. not the world.

on Jul. 22 2010 at 8:21 pm
AgnotTheOdd GOLD, Aptos, California
17 articles 0 photos 315 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The reason for your unreasonable treatment of my reason so enfeebles my reason that I have reason to complain of your reason" ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Ok Icypyro, you are what is known to the world as the quarrelsome quibbler.  It is term first coined by AgnotTheOdd on 7/22/2010 at around 6:13 PM, though when this comment is submitted, it will be later.  See the quarrelsome quibbler is one who, during an argument, raises petty objections bearing no true relevance to the matter at hand, to distract from the initial subject.

If you'd like an example, allow me to assume the role for this paragraph.  Wow man...wow in your first post, you spelled "nuthin" when you should have typed, "nothing".  I don't think we should listen to a guy who can't spell nothing right (pun intended :P).  And something that's icy, when coming into contact with a fiery force, will melt, and therefore not be icy anymore.  To call yourself icypyro is a little contradictory.  And in this world, nothing (notice how I can spell that word right) can be a contradiction.  Therefore, I have concluded that you do not exist and therefore your ideas have no merit.


on Jul. 22 2010 at 8:11 pm
AgnotTheOdd GOLD, Aptos, California
17 articles 0 photos 315 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The reason for your unreasonable treatment of my reason so enfeebles my reason that I have reason to complain of your reason" ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I would want a mastermind to run the country...

Funny you don't.


Icypyro BRONZE said...
on Jul. 18 2010 at 12:25 pm
Icypyro BRONZE, Piqua, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
For I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Once again, ANOTHER typo! The word is surprise not suprise. Wow, lady, wow.

on Jul. 15 2010 at 11:57 pm
Treefiddy BRONZE, Tarzana, California
1 article 0 photos 158 comments

40 percent approval rating-

Americans do not want socialism, they don't want their liberties taken away from them, they don't want higher taxes, they do not want their health care system destroyed, they do not want a group of masterminds to run the economy.


Icypyro BRONZE said...
on Jul. 4 2010 at 7:41 pm
Icypyro BRONZE, Piqua, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
For I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Okay, healthcare that'll put us another billion/trillion in debt, I'll give you that. Great job, Obama.

Brookelyn said...
on Jul. 2 2010 at 1:41 pm
Health care for starters? One of the first presidents to tackle health care and when he does america complains, when no one has health care america complains...or should I say the majority of republicans who are mad there is a democrat in office

on Jul. 1 2010 at 7:18 pm
Kaileigh918 BRONZE, Orange Park, Florida
4 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There's no shortcuts to anywhere worth going"
-me

it was a stupid typo, I know how to spell idiot. god... i mean, really. YOU ARE SO IMMATURE!!!! Suprise suprise, it was Sarah Palin's daughter that got pregnant.

Icypyro BRONZE said...
on Jul. 1 2010 at 6:12 pm
Icypyro BRONZE, Piqua, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
For I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

HEAR HEAR!!

Icypyro BRONZE said...
on Jul. 1 2010 at 6:11 pm
Icypyro BRONZE, Piqua, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
For I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Acomplished good things such as... what? I'm not seeing anything as of right now.

Icypyro BRONZE said...
on Jul. 1 2010 at 6:10 pm
Icypyro BRONZE, Piqua, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
For I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Wow... that's all I have to say about that!

Icypyro BRONZE said...
on Jul. 1 2010 at 6:08 pm
Icypyro BRONZE, Piqua, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
For I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

I think I'll reply to this.

 Saving our Gulf Coast from the oil spill? Nothing's happened.

Saving our economy? It's helped itself up, thank you.

Saving America? Not a chance.


Icypyro BRONZE said...
on Jul. 1 2010 at 6:05 pm
Icypyro BRONZE, Piqua, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
For I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Seriously?!?! THE REPUBLICANS?? Take a look at the House and the Senate, girl, and see who has control of it... the Democrats, that's right. And who's the idiot, not being able to spell the word idiot right in their reply, jeez.

on Jul. 1 2010 at 2:45 pm
Kaileigh918 BRONZE, Orange Park, Florida
4 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There's no shortcuts to anywhere worth going"
-me

Ugh, the only reason he hasn't done much is because the republican idots won't let him do anything!


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