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Hey, Kossacks. Depending on the way you're looking at things, some of the latest news is a little bit bleak, and I've been thinking for the past few days about how to cheer you guys up a bit.

After all, we've got a lot of work to do, and maintaining our morale is crucial. If we're going to win this, we're going to need the one thing that the other side doesn't have -- heart.

So I'd like to share something with you that has given me hope.

I have a friend who is a little bit kooky. A loud-mouthed, hippie redhead who drives a hybrid car with a sizeable bumper sticker collection. Among them: "My terrier is smarter than your honor student," "I'd rather be at a Neil Diamond concert," and "Obama '08."

She's originally from Illinois, and she remembers Barack from his Illinois Senate campaign, where he often trailed, but came back near the end for a dramatic victory.

Before the first votes were ever cast in this thing, back when I was still a supporter of John Edwards, wondering if he had what it took to beat Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Caucus, my friend told me something that I remembered often throughout the hard-fought primary.

She said...

"The thing you need to understand about my guy is, he's a late closer -- but he's a closer. He'll make you nervous from time to time. You'll wonder what his plan is. And then -- BAM! -- he sweeps in for a last-minute, game-saver at the buzzer."

I doubted her often, but as the Democratic primary wore onward, I saw the wisdom in what she had said. I could see that Obama did have a plan to win it, and indeed he did win it -- beating the biggest Democratic dynasty since the Kennedys. And he did it with style and positivity.

Sometimes I think we forget just how unlikely and difficult that was for him to do, but it's already in the history books. He did it.

From where I'm sitting, I don't know what Obama's plan is this time around, but based on past performance I do believe he has a good one. I can't see it yet, as I could in the primary. But it's going to win, and it's going to amaze people.

So I just thought I'd share a few words that have helped me keep my spirits high when they should be down. I hope they are a help to you, as they have been for me.

Originally posted to Shelbyville Manhattan on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:14 AM PDT.


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