Power at the Podium

In watching the Democratic debates Monday night in South Carolina, I was reminded of an experience I had while still in my youth. Like most schools, my junior high school (which I have written about here before) held elections in which anyone can run for the school’s student body president. After a week of slogans, banners, stickers and intense campaigning (read popularity contest), the school held an assembly in which each of the candidates presented a short speech of their platform and why they should be the school’s next student body president.

I was in eighth grade when it happened. The more popular kid at school presented a skit based on SNL’s Wayne’s World, which was popular at the time. The whole thing was complete with wigs, air guitars and the legendary, “Wayne’s World, party on, excellent” rhetoric that my generation well knows. The student body received him and the skit well. I’m sure at the time he thought that he had the election in the bag.

Then the next candidate, a black and lesser known student, came to the podium. Dressed in a nice suit, he certainly looked professional. The first words out of his mouth were, “I am not going to stand up here and pretend that I am something that I am not.” He then eloquently outlined what he would do as president, although I do not remember anything he said. All I know is that he won the election in commanding fashion. In watching the debates last night, I was reminded of this experience, an experience that I have not thought of for many years, but was brought to my memory vividly in watching Senator Obama’s handling of Senator Clinton’s terse remarks. It will be interesting to observe what the coming months bring.


4 Responses

  1. […] Sound to Sound put an intriguing blog post on Power at the PodiumHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  2. i had to work mon night – where’s a good link online to watch the debate? too lazy to sift through google search…

  3. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
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