23
Jul
13

President Obama: “Expanding Our Moral Imagination”

President Obama: “Expanding Our Moral Imagination”

by @zizii2

President Obama’s moving remarks last Friday July 19, 2013, that Trayvon Martin could have been him 35 years ago took me back to another high note in his presidency – the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo, Dec 10, 2009.

Nobel Prize acceptance 12-10-2009

Oslo 12-10-2009

***

Both the polite audience seated in the cavernous Norwegian auditorium, as well as a global audience of admirers and skeptics all listened with rapt attention. President Obama could have chosen to deliver saccharine pabulum about ideals of peace as gloss over his global superstardom. He didn’t. Instead he punched his audience in the gut with uncomfortable truths about:

Pres. Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech 12-10-2009

1. Fundamental difference between his responsibilities as head of a state embroiled in 2 wars who must deploy military force when needed to protect his nation, and those of other Nobel Peace Prize recipients such as Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. who served as conscience leaders and advocated non-violence as means to achieve justice.

2. The Niebuhrian concept of Just War, which stipulates that  there IS evil in the world that does not disappear through diplomacy, prayer or concession. It must be fought with blood and treasure.

3. An active peace that requires that we all EXPAND OUR MORAL IMAGINATION, or else the assurance of human dignity and societal growth will be stunted

Pres Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech 12-10-2009

From the 29:10 minute mark, Pres. Obama described the concept thus:
“Agreements among nations. Strong institutions. Support for human rights. Investments in development. All these are vital ingredients in bringing about the evolution that President Kennedy spoke about. And yet, I do not believe that we will have the will, the determination, the staying power, to complete this work without something more — and that’s the continued EXPANSION OF OUR MORAL IMAGINATION; an insistence that there’s something IRREDUCIBLE THAT WE ALL SHARE.

As the world grows smaller, you might think it would be easier for human beings to recognize how similar we are; to understand that we’re all basically seeking the same things; that we all hope for the chance to live out our lives with some measure of happiness and fulfillment for ourselves and our families.

And yet somehow, given the dizzying pace of globalization, the cultural leveling of modernity, it perhaps comes as no surprise that people fear the loss of what they cherish in their particular identities — their race, their tribe, and perhaps most powerfully their religion. In some places, this fear has led to conflict. At times, it even feels like we’re moving backwards….”

***
Pres Obama deftly captures the paradox of our technologically advanced world in this 21st century – that the more time and space shrink between us as individuals, families, communities and nations, the more we are inclined to recoil into isolationist security blankets. Yet, that very impulse is inherently nihilistic, and precisely what will doom us. It is, however, enlightened self-interest that beckons us to walk in another’s shoes and pool ideas to maximize our chances of survival. He said:

“…for the one rule that lies at the heart of every major religion is that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
Adhering to this law of love has always been the core struggle of human nature. For we are fallible. … Even those of us with the best of intentions will at times fail to right the wrongs before us.

But we do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached — their fundamental faith in human progress — that must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey.

For if we lose that faith — if we dismiss it as silly or naïve; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of war and peace — then we lose what’s best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass.

… Let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls
We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of depravation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed, we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace. We can do that — for that is the story of human progress; that’s the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth.”

***

It all sounded lofty in the presence of that august body in the auditorium, but when Will Smith and Jada Pinket asked him what he meant by “expanding our moral imagination” in a short interview afterwards, Pres Obama broke down the tactile truth like a fraction.

Pres Obama interviewed by Will Smith and Jada Pinket-Smith 12-11-2009

Pres Obama:
Well…when you think about what’s happening in the world, on the one hand it’s shrinking. We see the internet, and livefeeds and YouTube. And that means that nobody around the world should be a stranger. And that should be bringing us closer together, because it should remind us that we are all fundamentally the same in terms of our aspirations, our hopes, our love for our children… But it’s disorienting. And so a lot of people pull back into their own specific identities; their race, their tribe, their religion. And that’s a dangerous thing because it can splinter people, and cause conflict …

…. And so one of the critical ingredients of any effort for peace is my ability to stand in your shoes, to see through your eyes, to constantly imagine what’s like being a mother in Bangladesh right now, and if the water is rising because of climate change. That kind of ability to imagine ourselves in different situations, helps us then connect with those other people. And hopefully that can be what drives us to wanna do better on a whole host of things”

Smith:
What that ultimately does though is…in the situation you’re in…is it’s always gonna slam you into a dilemma. Because once you get to that point and you comprehend (2:36 mark) what the other person is saying..”

Pres Obama::
Right, right…”

Smith:
…And they comprehend what you’re saying, and that there is still only enough water for one of y’all…” (laughter)

Pres Obama:
“Well, but hopefully, hopefully what then starts happening is that you start figuring out are there other ways we can work together to build a new well as opposed to fight over the old well that we’ve got….And look, I don’t wanna simplify it. None of this is easy. But what it does mean is that for example when wealthy countries think about foreign aid, thinking about it as an investment…[means]…in a way, we don’t have to send soldiers on a peacekeeping mission, because peace is already there. This is a way to make sure that we’ve got new markets, because now that these folks bought a bicycle, they’ll be interested in buying a car. Now that they’ve got a stove, maybe they’ll be interested in buying a refrigerator, and maybe they can start trading with us.

Constantly thinking about how are we able to create opportunities for collaboration, and cooperation, as opposed to conflict. When you think about Europe, after WWII, we could have just said, “we sent a whole bunch of troupes there, we defeated Hitler, now we’re broke we need to go home and take care of our business”. Instead, what we did was organize the Marshall Plan, rebuilt not just those countries that had been our allies, but helped to rebuild Germany, which had been our enemy. Did the same thing in Japan. And those efforts are part of what created the international security that allowed America to enjoy far greater prosperity than we ever would have otherwise. So, part of that Moral Imagination is also being able to think 10, or 20, or 30 years down the line, both in terms of the consequences of action, but also the consequences of inaction”

***

Many PBO supporters, me included, can almost recite verbatim some of his oft repeated turns of expression, almost as if they were cute verbal tics. But they aren’t. They are radars pointing us to brave the untrodden trail, and risk abandoning comfort zones. Why? Because in this 21st Century those “comfort zones” offer neither comfort nor will they be habitable zones any longer. That is scary. But it is hard nosed realism.

***
At least PBO’s telling us the way out of fighting over a well that soon dries out and leaves no-one alive, is to knock our heads together competitively in knowledge-inspired coalitions to figure out how to build additional water wells, heck even discover new elements that supersede natural H2O’s utility for our survival. Innovation is survival. Stagnation is death. Period.

***
But fighting and killing each other over dying wells is exactly what Koch brothers and their ilk are offering us as the Gospel of Freedumb. In a piece I wrote a few years ago for the now defunct WeeSeeYou website, titled “Dismantling Our Commonweal”, I wondered exactly what the endpoint of Koch-Ayn-Randian project is. So the social safety nets are gutted, healthcare, labor protections, environmental, financial and all regulations, child labor laws, minimal wage laws, Food & Drug Safety inspections, all dismantled. They siphon off all the wealth from the Middle classes into their mega kitties. Then what? Who is going to be alive to be consumer in their libertarian capitalist paradise? Worse of all what do they think the emerging global economic powers will be doing while America is feudalized, and exited from the race toward new technological frontiers? Wage war on everybody else for leaving America behind? I don’t get it.

***
If the Kochsters were deploying their ruthlessness to discover cutting edge knowledge frontiers, I’d pay them grudging respect. But they aren’t. They’re clinging to every possible outmoded idea and defunct industry imaginable, while bribing their lackeys to snuff out new technologies, and erode people’s hard won rights. Even emperors of a dying Roman empire were not this regressive!

***
FDR saved the butts of America’s wealthy classes from Bolshevik slaughter by creating a Middle Class buffer zone. Henry Ford figured the only way to keep his wealth regenerating was to pay his workers enough to buy his product. Not so today’s band of inept billionaires whose only skill is the craft of vampire capitalism. Problem is the old wells, including those stolen from others still dry up. There is only so much distance bloodsucking taxpayer $$$ can go when the taxpayer no longer exists (eg Detroit). There are only so many weapons that can be amassed to guard fortresses against the hordes when paranoia and the ramparts crumble on their own weight.

***
The Obama presidency has lifted the scab off many unhealed wounds in this country – racial, economic, and geographical inequalities. But it has done more or worse depending on one’s perch, lobbing garlic at the ghosts in the American machine.

***
Expanding our moral imagination is NOT an exercise in do-goodism. It is a basic act of self-preservation, lest brains, heart, and body atrophy.


99 Responses to “President Obama: “Expanding Our Moral Imagination””


  1. July 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Such great memories that had dwindled for the time being……until Zizi thrust them back into the forefront! Bravo Once again…..

  2. 8 utaustinliberal
    July 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    • 9 jackiegrumbacher
      July 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      We have come to such a sorry pass when we look at the Supreme Court arguments with dread and expect nothing but the worst.

  3. 10 jacquelineoboomer
    July 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you, Zizi.

  4. July 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm

  5. 21 jackiegrumbacher
    July 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Oh, zizi, thank you for this. We get distracted by trivia and faux scandals and outrage at GOP antics and we forget first principles–that we are living in a time of a great and brilliant leader who will be remembered in history as one of our greatest presidents. It isn’t just his accomplishments or his remarkable temperament, or his humanity, or his empathy, or his ability to inspire us to action, it’s the level at which he can conceive of the world and our place in it. There are few great world leaders of whom whom you can say ‘he expanded my vision and helped to make me a better person.’ Barack Obama is such a leader. Once again, zizi, you’ve lifted us to another level.

  6. July 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    A beautiful, thoughtful piece, as ever Zizi:

    “The Obama presidency has lifted the scab off many unhealed wounds in this country – racial, economic, and geographical inequalities. But it has done more or worse depending on one’s perch…..”.

    Truth.

  7. 25 Gazelle
    July 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    [Brahimi is in a peace maker group called Elders which includes Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter.]:

    UN Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said Monday that divisions in the Syrian opposition are a key factor delaying a planned peace conference, as well as remaining differences between Washington and Moscow over who should attend.

    “The opposition is divided, that is no secret,” Brahimi, speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Monday, in response to a question from Al-Monitor about why the Geneva II conference has been pushed back until at least the fall.

    “They are trying to get their act together, [and] work their way to a truly representative delegation,” he said. “So that is one of the problems.”

    Praising the May 7th agreement reached by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to hold a peace conference as a “huge step,” Brahimi however acknowledged that the two powers still have disagreements, including over whether Iran should be invited.

    .
    More here: http://backchannel.al-monitor.com/index.php/2013/07/5824/brahimi-on-syria-we-need-to-get-out-of-this-vicious-circle/

  8. July 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Looks like the country didn’t take President Obama’s remarks to well…….? and the GOP has a itty-bitty immigration problem!

  9. 30 desertflower
    July 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Oh my goodness, zizi. Oh my goodness. Should be read by everyone…will you xpost this at TPV?

    • July 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Hmmm. I feel so ashamed. Spandan invited me to write for TPV last year, but I was so overwhelmed by some new grad classes I had to teach that I never followed up after having agreed to write. I lost the passwords and access and could not muster the courage to post there. I you have that access, you can go ahead and cross-post for me.

  10. 36 GGail
    July 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    zizi2, your words make me want to cry and shout “Yes” at the same time (and I’m sitting at my desk at work).

  11. 38 MightyPamela
    July 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Finest birthday gift I have ever received ~ PBO accepting his NPP with so beautiful a speech!

  12. 39 Gazelle
    July 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you, Zizi, I’m hoarding my read for the commuter ride! Can I go home now?!! :)

  13. 40 Dakota
    July 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I always have such a time catching up here, so I’m on the late freight with the royal baby hoopla.

    Prince William to Prince Charles: “Ok,pops. We’re down to two names for the baby…Barack or Spencer(after Princess Diana). Pops? Pops? Are you alright?”

  14. July 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm

  15. July 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    zizi,

    you absolutely rock.

    thank you so much.

    • July 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Thank you my sister. you have been on this journey for 3 years now since WSY days. thanks for the support/readership. Blessings! :D

  16. July 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Hey Zizi, the Will Smith Nobel interview reminded me on this……..

    • 51 jackiegrumbacher
      July 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      57, this is really good news. West Virginia has resisted change because it means the end of coal mining jobs. If they can find alternatives and make a living, it opens up a whole new future. Fear of change has also led W Virginians to cling to outmoded Republican policies that end up hurting them. If alternative energy jobs work, well..,maybe a few eyes will be open.

      • 52 desertflower
        July 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        ABSOLUTELY, jackie! The coal industry is a dying one…it has sickened countless, hardworking, brave West Virginians that made their living under the earth….I love that fact that these miners are doing this…and people will begin to see the value in clean renewable energy. If I were an enterprising individual in WV…I would be growing hemp, or soybeans or some biofuel for the future….WV is a beautiful state, with beautiful people. Unfortunately, they have been sold a bill of goods from the GOP and those old habits die hard. I think they want to break free, they see that they are being killed by coal, cheated by owners of coal mines (Massey/ Patriot) and just want an honest wage for an honest days work. The next few years will be very critical for them….this is good to see.

      • July 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm

        It’s interesting the culture that grows up around an industry like coal-mining. I know in England when the mines began to close, people were upset about losing the way of life as well as the paycheck. I’d bet that the WV people’s grandfathers and great-grandfathers would have loved to have an opportunity to make a living in a less dangerous way that involved fresh air. But the descendants cling to it and can’t see an alternative.

      • 54 57andfemale
        July 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm

        This is what I don’t understand: the only job is not a coal job, for God’s sake. New energy sources require new employment. It really is that simple.

  17. 55 57andfemale
    July 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    • 56 jackiegrumbacher
      July 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      So true, 57. I worry about many things in the course of the day–nasty Republicans, family health problems, finances, debilitating weather conditions–but I can honestly say I never woke up worrying (or even thinking) about a drone.

  18. 57 57andfemale
    July 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    • 58 ericfive
      July 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      In addition, more whites are on welfare, use food stamps, and public health services numerically than blacks and Latinos. More whites rely on social security, Medicare, and farm supports statistically and proportionally than blacks or Latinos. In Mississippi and Alabama the poverty and unemployment rate among whites is among the highest in the nation.

  19. 61 MightyPamela
    July 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    {{{{JO’B}}}}. ;) :lol:

  20. 62 57andfemale
    July 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Oh my effing God:

    • 63 Linda
      July 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      Dempsey told them there will be no war with Syria…so they go to their fall back country.~

    • 64 ericfive
      July 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      If the U.S. is as broke as the GOP claims, how can we AFFORD to go to war with Iran? Can we raise taxes on the rich to finance the war? The wheels are falling off the GOP’s celebrated messaging machinery. They are a mess.

      • 65 Jovie
        July 23, 2013 at 6:11 pm

        We can’t, that’s the point. The only spending the GOP goes with is Defense, everything else be damned.
        Just like the Ancient Romans’

      • 66 57andfemale
        July 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm

        How can we afford to pay subsidies to the oil companies, making record profits? How can we close government offices but we can afford to make sure all congress-critters can get on the flights they want with no delays.

        They would do what they did under Bush, if they could: not put the wars on the books so the next Democrat has to fix their fiscal irresponsibility. Of course the economic meltdown led to increased deficits when PBO took office, but part of the ‘increase’ was the fact that PBO was honest about paying for the unnecessary wars Bush/Cheney (and Graham/McCain) got us into.

        Short answer: Republicans will lie about the costs.

    • 67 anniebella
      July 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Is Lying Lindsey going to fight in that war? Or send some one else children to fight in his war.

  21. 68 MightyPamela
    July 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Chipsticks: about to send you a photo of the perfect retirement spot, I would be honored to join you there!!! :lol:

  22. 70 JER
    July 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    LIVE NOW: Anthony Weiner Press Conference – http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

  23. 71 ericfive
    July 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Zizi, yet another great thought provoking post. You have thinking back on the PBO phrases I have adopted. “Don’t the perfect be the enemy of the good” is my favorite. Thanks again for such a beautiful post.

  24. July 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    President Barack Obama’s speech on economic policy Wednesday will be the first in an ambitious series of six addresses laying out a sweeping vision for America’s future. The philosophy at the core of the campaign will be familiar, but there will be “aggressive new ideas.”

    That’s according to Cody Keenan, the speechwriter in charge of crafting what may be Obama’s most far-reaching second-term effort to get Americans to sign on to his plans.

    Keenan sat down with Yahoo! News for an exclusive interview in his office in the basement of the West Wing, a windowless space with a ceiling so low that the president’s head brushes it when he pays a visit. The walls are covered in political memorabilia, and the famous “bikini graph” on his desk sits next to a can of Red Bull.

    Keenan, who at 32 holds the lofty title of Director of Speechwriting, pulled the curtain back on the process of writing a major presidential address. He also described how Mike Ditka could have kept Obama from reaching the White House, and what happens if you argue with the president about what he should say — and win.

  25. July 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Excellence all around, zizi!

  26. July 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Hmm, so Rep Diaz-Balart is blasting Jay-Z and Beyonce for boycotting Florida (notice he did not mention Justin Timberlake or Madonna who are also on that list….hmmm why Jay and Bey???)

    Anyway, Jay-Z responded to Rep Diaz-Balart: http://youtu.be/Oz_-VaTHpc8

    • 76 Jessica
      July 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Or what about Springstein and the long list of other celebds that are boycotting? He must still be mad about the Cuba trip.

      • July 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm

        Honestly, Jessica, that probably is it. There’s still a significant segment of my community—to which Diaz-Balart belongs—that wishes the US to invade the island.

    • 78 Linda
      July 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Florida Boycott List That Included Kanye, Jay Z, Alicia Keys Discredited

      Representatives for a number of artists on a purported list of musicians and performers boycotting the state of Florida in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict said Tuesday that their clients have never heard of or been contacted about the list.

      American Urban Radio Networks White House correspondent April Ryan first reported the list — which includes heavyweights like Justin Timberlake, Jay Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Madonna and more — on Monday and credited it to “sources close to the Stevie Wonder camp.” The Huffington Post linked to Ryan’s list and noted at the time that representatives for artists were being contacted. Late Monday night, HuffPost sources revealed that Rihanna was not involved, despite being named. MotherJones received word that the Rolling Stones — who also appear on the list — had never heard of such a campaign.

      Additional representatives on Tuesday confirmed to HuffPost that other boldface names on the the list were not involved, but declined to identify their clients on the record. Denials reached a critical mass that began to shed serious doubt on the veracity of the list. On Tuesday, Ryan posted an update on her website in which she said that representatives of artists named “are uncomfortable being identified on that list.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/23/florida-boycott-list-discredited_n_3641100.html

      • 79 dotster3
        July 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm

        I wondered about that—suspicious because those performers are under contract—–if they have dates in Florida—–and those dates are set up months —-a year—in advance. And are they going to want to disappoint and anger all those fans who have bought tickets? I wondered about the worthiness of the whole deal—-asking people to boycott Florida when many, like me who have a 95 yr. old mother and sister and bro in law and extended family there—-seemed impossible and pointless. Plus those who have vacation reservations made months/year in advance. Never seemed like the way to go in response to this case. An emotional response which wouldn’t make a dent when more targeted, smart action needed.

  27. 82 Jovie
    July 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm

  28. July 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    zizi, thank you that is a wonderful recap of the president’s speech. What a vision he casts for the nation! “Expanding our moral imagination” is just what we have to do – what people failed to do with Trayvon Martin, women’s issues, a whole host of areas. He keeps trying to lift us higher. We have an amazing man for president.

  29. July 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I posted a graphic about the ACA lifting lifetime caps on care on Facebook, and my friend asked if that applied to the 180 day inpatient lifetime cap for mental health. I don’t know, although I don’t think it does- but does anyone here know specific information about it? Her son is in his early thirties, and is having terrible issues at the moment: depressed, suicidal, as well as multiple physical issues such as diabetes.and has been in and out of hospital since February so I know that is her concern. I looked on the white house website but couldn’t find specific information.

    • 86 Linda
      July 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Maybe HHS can help you with that ?

    • 87 desertflower
      July 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      you can go directly to healthcare. gov site and live chat and ask that question…did it last week, works like a champ!

      • July 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm

        Thanks! Did not know that!

      • July 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm

        Hi df, thanks for the suggestion. I did go on it, but I don’t think the agent understood my question or knew where to find the information. I asked whether the no-caps-on spending clause applied to mental health inpatient care too. She made it sound as if it would apply if you buy your insurance through the market place, but maybe not if you keep the policy you have now. So I ended up with two questions instead of one. 1. does theno-lifetime-cap apply to inpatient mental health care and 2. does the no-lifetime-cap apply to insurance not purchased through the market place.

  30. 90 desertflower
    July 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Watch and smile:) Renew yourself

  31. July 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Change of plan! LP will post next, and I’ll follow it up with a This and That.

  32. 92 desertflower
    July 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Maybe this was why Turtle and Rand were looking so forlorn today :)

  33. July 23, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Hey TODer people!

    Well, I just got home from seeing Beau Biden and Kamala Harris speak to a small group of OFA volunteers and other invited guests high up in a very fancy office building with gorgeous views overlooking SF Bay. First of all, let me just say that Beau Biden is INCREDIBLY:

    humble
    smart
    thoughtful
    kind
    and BEYOND handsome.

    Seriously, he is an amazing man. He and Kamala spoke about the challenge of working on common sense gun reform and Beau talked about his experience in that endeavor in particular as AG for Delaware. He spoke for about 20 minutes or so and then took questions for at least another hour. He was very, very generous with his time and did his best to address questions that were very challenging.

    I sat close in a middle aisle seat in the 2nd row, so was just a very few feet away. Kamala Harris is gorgeous and crazy smart. She projects strength and courage in so many, many ways, I’m just thrilled that she is my AG. SO, these are two very distinguished rising stars in our party and we should be very proud of them!! I encourage you to keep track and support them both in any way you can.

    Throughout his talk, Beau kept making eye contact with me in such a kind way. So, after the event I walked up to him just to thank him. I waited patiently as he was mobbed with people wanting to give him their card and introduce themselves and have a photo taken. Then Christine Pelosi walked up next to me and when Beau was free, I told her to go ahead and get in there and meet him. He was glad to meet her and they talked for a few minutes about the work she’s doing now and some of the stuff that’s happening now with PBO and VPB about gun reform. They both talked about how much they loved PBO’s remarks on Trayvon in the WH briefing room and Beau said he thought PBO should do more of that because he’s so good at it. Then when the moment came, he turned toward me and I shook his hand and thanked him for his service and just said I want to wish him the best in this very tough fight. He was soooooo sweet and thanked me. I told him I love his father very much and he seemed very touched by that. He looked at me and said, you know, my father is really, in real life, a very nice man, a very good man. I said, I know! That is why I love him! And your mother, too. He said, yes, my mother, too. I said I thank all three of them for their service to our nation. He seemed very sincerely touched by that. He said he’s going to need a lot of help when the legislature looks at his gun reform bill again in Delaware in January and I said if I can help, I will. He smiled and thanked me and said, please stay in touch with me. Please join my Facebook page. I smiled and said, OK.

    Honestly, Beau is just a very warm, honest man and one of the most sincere guys you’ll ever meet. Just a wonderful man. And again, OMG, just very, very handsome in person, incredibly fit. He has a lot of the mannerisms of his father and looks so much like him in many ways, I was sort of taken aback. Anyway, I so wish all of you could have been there with me. It was very, very special.

    • 95 desertflower
      July 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      OMG, meta:) What a wonderful way to spend your day! thank you for this update of how things went there….so glad that you got to meet and speak with him. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree there….both incredible human beings with compassion and caring for others through service to their country. Any pics?? :) Lucky you…let’s do this thing!

    • 96 dotster3
      July 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Happy to hear you had such a great time with these 2 talented people. The Bidens are indeed a sincerely nice and good——and handsome—–family. A very memorable afternoon, eh?

  34. 98 hopefruit2
    July 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Zizi – this is a terrific post. Thanks for reminding us of our President’s excellent speech in Denmark, and for your insightful analysis of exactly what he meant and how relevant his words are to current society.

  35. July 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Thank you Hopefruit2


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