Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bruce Springsteen at the Philadelphia Vote for a Change Rally

What an amazing man, what an amazing speech! Springsteen, this time. Who says celebrities are empty-headed nothings? A remark Charles Barkley made one time as a guest on Monday night football has stuck with me for a long time. He mentioned having a conversation with Oprah, and Tony Kornheiser said something like, "Wow, you hang out with pretty powerful people." Barkley's response was that people who rise to the top of their profession, whatever it is, tend to seek out other people who have risen to the top. So, it makes sense that someone at the top of his profession, as Bruce Springsteen is, would seek out and support Barack Obama.

Here are some excerpts from his very moving remarks, as well as a video:

"I've spent 35 years writing about America, its people, and the meaning of the American Promise. The Promise that was handed down to us, right here in this city from our founding fathers, with one instruction: Do your best to make these things real: opportunity, equality, social and economic justice, a fair shake for all of our citizens, the American idea, as a positive influence, around the world for a more just and peaceful existence. These are the things that give our lives hope, shape, and meaning. They are the ties that bind us together and give us faith in our contract with one another.

I've spent most of my creative life measuring the distance between that American promise and American reality. For many Americans, who are today losing their jobs, their homes, seeing their retirement funds disappear, who have no healthcare, or who have been abandoned in our inner cities, the distance between that promise and that reality has never been greater or more painful.
I believe Senator Obama has taken the measure of that distance in his own life and in his work. I believe he understands, in his heart, the cost of that distance, in blood and suffering, in the lives of everyday Americans. I believe as president, he would work to restore that promise to so many of our fellow citizens who have justifiably lost faith in its meaning. After the disastrous administration of the past 8 years, we need someone to lead us in an American reclamation project. In my job, I travel the world, and occasionally play big stadiums, just like Senator Obama. I've continued to find, wherever I go, America remains a repository of people's hopes, possibilities, and desires, and that despite the terrible erosion to our standing around the world, accomplished by our recent administration, we remain, for many, a house of dreams. One thousand George Bushes and one thousand Dick Cheneys will never be able to tear that house down."

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