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This closing is so brilliant.  It ties together the story of his life with his message of hope and rebuts the doubts about his patriotism that have plagued this campaign.  Obama effectively frames his story in the larger context of  the American dream to achieve a better future.  Finally, he challenges the Democratic party, and the super-delegates implicitly, to believe in his message and in his ability to win this election.  It was a brilliant speech and addressed the problems the media has focused on but did so through a narrative more persuasive than any argument.

Please pass it along.  I'll add a transcription here when I finish it.

That's the choice that you have North Carolina.  You know during the course of this campaign, I was very proud to say we were running a positive campaign.  We didn't want to get caught up in the bickering, the back and forth, and the tit for tat.  But you know, I wanna just say this publicly, that there were times where we slipped into the old habits; there're times we have been less than perfect.  I'm reminded every day of my life, by events or by my wife, that I'm not a perfect man.  And I had to tell my staff just a couple weeks ago that let's remember what this campaign started with--the spirit with which we began.  Because, ultimately this election is not about Barack Obama; it's not about Hillary Clinton; it's not about John McCain.  It's about you; it's about the American people; it's about your hopes, and your struggles and your dreams.  I noticed that, over the last couple of weeks, there's been an attempt to make it about me.  He doesn't wear a flag pin.  He's gotta funny name.  That ex-pastor of his, that's a problem.  I understand this.  

And so, I just wanna close by saying a little bit of something about my values, my character, why I'm here.  You know I was born to a teenage mother.  My father left when I was two.  So I was raised by a single mom and my grandparents, grandparents who were born in a small town in Kansas, during the Great Depression.  They didn't have a lot.  And when Pearl Harbor was bombed, my grandfather joined the army and left my grandmother with a new baby and she worked on an bomber assembly line while he fought in Europe in Patton's army.  And when he came back, part of that arsenal of democracy--there was a government there who understood that if we invest in these young GI's coming home, we might build the middle class.  So he got a GI bill that allowed him go to college.  And there was a government that understood that if we loan families enough money to buy their own home, that will boost the economy, and it won't just be good for the economy, it will be good for families.  And so they bought their first home with the help of  an FHA loan.  And as that little baby, my mother, got bigger, and she was ready for college, there was financial aid there to make sure that even though they didn't have a lot of money, she could get a good education.  And when I got a little bit older, even though my mother didn't have a lot of money herself, she was able to provide me with the best education possible.  And when after school I met my wife, it turned out she had the same story--a father who worked as a shift worker for the city and never went to college.  A mother who worked as a secretary for the city and never went to college.  And yet somehow they were able to support two children and buy a home and send their kids to college and retire with some dignity and respect.  

And so I understand that I am here before you today, just as my wife would be, as the beneficiary of everything that is good about this country.  My story is not possible except in the United States of America.  I could not be here were it not for the fact that somebody, somewhere stood up for me.  And because one person stood up, a few more stood up, and then a thousand stood up, and then a million stood up.  That's why Hillary Clinton can run for president.  That's why I can run for president.  Because somebody stood up, and the question now is, will the Democratic party stand up for the next generation?  That's my patriotism.  That's why I'm running for President. Those are my values; those are your values, North Carolina.  That's what we're fighting for in this election, and if you'll stand with me, if you'll vote for me, I promise you, we will not just win this nomination, we will win this general election.  And you and I together will change this country and change this world.  God bless you.  God bless America.

Originally posted to foxsucks81 on Fri May 02, 2008 at 09:21 PM PDT.

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