What Obama Means to Me | Teen Ink

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.

on Dec. 15 2009 at 2:43 pm
socialism_is_evil123, San Jose, California
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
I will never apologize for the United States — I don't care what the facts are... I'm not an apologize-for-America kind of guy. -President George H.W. Bush

President Obama is a huge disappointment- that's really all I can describe him as. He has all of the wrong views and policies for this current time. His "achievements" that the liberal media parades around have scarcely been earned by him. I mean, seriously, who was the idiot(s) that decided to award him with the Nobel Peace prize? For what? For escalating a war? Economically, his policies will prove to be disastrous for America and he'll be voted out in 2012. He is too radical for the times.

on Nov. 1 2009 at 8:36 pm
conservative71196 BRONZE, Harrison City, Pennsylvania
2 articles 0 photos 37 comments

Favorite Quote:
"THE KBG WILL WAIT FOR NO ONE!! Its true." -The Office

"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." Psalm 23

So what if McCain is older than Obama?

It is very sad that people judge people on their age. If you would be willing to vote for Obama because he is younger than McCain, then what has this country come to?

I am very disappointed.

Error BRONZE said...
on Nov. 1 2009 at 9:40 am
Error BRONZE, Plano, Texas
3 articles 0 photos 56 comments
Oh, please, your being melodramatic. And anyway, there is a very high approval rating for obama at the moment.

To respond to your Questions, she is probably very happy with her president.

And anyway, can you please try your best to make LOGICAL arguments against the Prez? What about Obama is socialist? Its a buzzword. It doesn't have anything to do with Obama. Also, Obama didnt increase taxes. This is getting rather ridiculous.

Two more things. How is obama selling us out? How does medicare for all kill the old and sick, anyway?

Think about it.

McoYo said...
on Oct. 11 2009 at 4:07 pm
Why? I mean, what makes you love him so much? Just... Think about that. I am a fan of Obama my self but still, it makes sense to simply ask yourself "Why?" before you say you love him so much. Just curious :D

Sean3 BRONZE said...
on Sep. 18 2009 at 7:16 pm
Sean3 BRONZE, Fowler, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 13 comments
Yes Obama is a ledgend in the world of politics, by being the first black president, But, it does not mean he is instantly the best thing for america, while he has done some great things in his presidency, most of what he has done is not very good for what obama wants....

i am not saying he is a communist, i am just saying he is not the right man for the job... Mabye he could fire a few people that are more interested in lying to the people of america..... and maby he could live up to campaign prommises by being Not JUST change but GOOD change...

on Aug. 1 2009 at 5:20 pm
despurlock DIAMOND, Morgantown, West Virginia
79 articles 0 photos 179 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The heart has its reasons which reason does not know." -Pascal, Pensees, 1670

This is phenomenal! I was at the inaguration with a youth leadership camp (PYIC) and I feel like I am back where I was on that freezing January day, trying not to get lost from my friends as we all huddled together with strangers sharing the saqme enthusiasm at wittnessing the history our children would read about in history bookd. You have done a fantastic job. Keep writing, this is great!

Tiz said...
on Aug. 1 2009 at 2:04 pm
It would be nice to know when this article was published but by the looks of it sometime in Jan/Feb of 09. I would be interested (and will look at other writings of the author) to see how she feels NOW, in Aug of 09 about this Unknown president. Is she happy about the Change now? Liberty for Socialism? Freedom for Taxation slavery?Is she happy about the deficit of the country? MORE people are out of work now and the numbers are increasing not decreasing as he promised. Broken Promises! Is she so excited about this man in the white house who is selling her country short and who makes apologies for our country and countrymen? He is selling you out!Tell me can you now write in total admiration about the change, the nickel and dimeing of our citizens, the health care reform that will kill your grandparents and disease stricken friends that this Great Obama has done for us?? Now that it is Aug 1st 2009, can you see that the country comes together.. the old and the young,the Democrats and Republicans, the rich and the poor? It has brought a new revolution and the people are waking up to what this man is bringing down. We are fighting to survive against such terrorism this Obama Administration is bringing to our country.Such admiration you write of will be nothing but dust in the wind.

on Jul. 17 2009 at 4:59 pm
morgie7<3 PLATINUM, Tremont, Illinois
34 articles 0 photos 93 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
~Michael Jordan

this is a VERY well written article. Although we all have our own political opinions, I loved the way you wrote this piece! Wonderful Job!

on Jul. 12 2009 at 10:01 pm
Electricity PLATINUM, Bradenton, Florida
30 articles 0 photos 271 comments
Wow... I agree on every term. Obama is truly amazing; he means a lot to many people in the world. I think you really captured the reader's attention. It was well thought out, and I came close to crying (believe me, i don't cry at everything) :D It was really good! I have to show this to my friend who's family is a fan of Bush (I have a hard time when I spend the night over there >.<)!! Your article is so inspiring I love it!! ^_^

Cathy said...
on Jun. 12 2009 at 5:19 am
All I have to say to Alexandria is Wow. Good job. I think you really captured the feelings of most Americans. When you said that Obama was just a face but then became a human being in your eyes. I felt the same way. To Missfuturepresident the nation started going downhill long before Obama was known. Haven't you ever heard about "trickle down economics", a theory that is ineffective but still used. Plus Bush was most to blame because he had started an avoidable war, which taxpapers had to suffer for. Before that he cut taxes for people who made at least $50,000(that part of the tricle down economics). So don't blame Obama, he had nothing to do with it. If anything socialism will free does who are living pay check to pay check. I think Obama is the perfect person for the Job. He is bringing new ideas the Republicans couldn't.

on Jun. 5 2009 at 1:23 am
LaShaeKnight BRONZE, Bham, Alabama
3 articles 0 photos 9 comments
Obama has meant a lot 2 me

Our first black president!!!

He made me cry when he was elected!!!


on May. 25 2009 at 8:32 pm
This is what Obama means to me:

My children and grandchildren in crushing debt

The freedom many gave their lives for destroyed by socialism.

The consitution ignored, or, ultimately, destroyed...do you think our forefathers created "a new nation,conceived in liberty" for this!!

on May. 19 2009 at 2:32 pm
oodles12 BRONZE, Towson, Maryland
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments
All i can say is..he won and he is WAY better than George Bush

MimiRocks096 said...
on May. 1 2009 at 12:33 am
ii agree with you obama is eveything mcCain is NOTHING anymore and was nothing he is an old man

HOPEMVP said...
on Apr. 30 2009 at 5:36 pm
I personally dreaded the day Obama would be sworn into office. Although he presented at "winning capaign" I did not like the fact that some of his comments, promises, and debates were NOT REAL. Some news reporter said "everything he says he profounds in like (Shakespeare). Which I think insults the playwrite in many ways. Obama was basically in my opinion was NOT the best for the job.

elfman said...
on Apr. 29 2009 at 2:55 pm
i fully disagree because obama was way over rated and was not as good a choise as mcain =o

HOPEMVP said...
on Apr. 27 2009 at 4:54 pm
LOVED THE COMPOSITION! the way its written

on Apr. 23 2009 at 1:08 am
The_Music_Man BRONZE, Fort Myers, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments
Great job keeping with the theme throughout the composition, keep writing opinion papers you're good at it :)

But I'm going to have to agree with Scooby. it's great that we have our first black president, but that is no ground upon which to choose the leader of our nation. It scares me that empty promises of change and the color of one's skin can get someone elected... People throw the word change around but do they actually know what he's changing?

on Mar. 16 2009 at 3:01 pm
BrokenPieces BRONZE, ..., Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I was so glad that he had won, maybe we can actually get some real changes, but you never know.

scooby said...
on Mar. 16 2009 at 12:10 am
Excellent composition! Keep writing. =)


I am only seventeen. When I grow up, I do not want to face American policies that have been influenced by his socialist regime. I am not a "radical libertarian," but "more govornment" means "more encrochment" on our dwindling American freedoms. The freedoms that our founding fathers worked so hard to establish! Praise the Lord that America has elected its first black president, but we really need to scrutinize where his policies will take us.

Again, keep up the great writing!