I just watched WSB-TV and saw a lot of coverage of President Barack Obama's speech to the DAV, but not much on the DNC/OFA fundraiser speech----So here's an eyewitness report for you.
When I received an invitation from the DNC and OFA to attend a luncheon for President Barack Obama at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta on 8/2/2010, I knew I wanted to accept, but wasn't sure I could make it.....BUT, with the help of the Georgia Federation of Democratic Women, of which I am president, and the Middle Georgia Democratic Women's Club, of which I am a long-time member, miraculously I found myself there today. It was a major logistical performance. When I woke up this orning, my right knee said "Let's GO" and my left knee said, "I ain't going anywhere today!" I grabbed my cane and told my left knee that I was the boss. My sister Charlotte rode with me to Decatur, where we hooked up with my nephew and neice, Steve and Gretchen Perkins, both ardent Democrats. Gretchen, accompanied, by Charlotte, drove me downtown. So many streets were closed that the closest we could get to the Hyatt Regency was a block away on Harris Street. So, cane in hand, and camera in purse, off I went. There were police and blue lights everywhere!
After the guests had registered and showed our identification, we all entered the banquet room where we were "wanded" before making our way to our numbered tables.
I was tickled pink to be sitting at the same table with Congressman Sanford Bishop and Mrs. Bishop, and right behind the table where Congressman John Lewis was sitting.
One of my life goals has always been to shake hands with that great American, John Lewis, and I satisfied that goal today. Also got my picture taken with him, and I am including it in the "photo scrapbook" even though both he and I are missing the tops of our heads!
Now to the program. The greeting and introductory words were spoken by Congressman John Lewis in a strong oratorical voice that had everyone hanging on his every word and interrupting with applause. Following Congressman Lewis at the podium was Rev. Jasper Williams, who delivered an inspired invocation. After the invocation, the servers started coming around to the tables, picking up our salad plates, and delivering a delicious plate of what I identified as baked trout, accompanied by rice and artisan bread.
Atlanta's Mayor Kasim Reed gave the President a strong and loyal introduction...and then....enter The President of the United States, Barack Obama. Everyone rose to their feet and clapped and cheered as he smiled his familiar big smile and greeted the crowd.
The President spoke for a little over 30 minutes. Most of the speech was serious but some was really humorous. He presented a wonderful analogy comparing the economic problems he inherited to an automobile stuck in a ditch. While the Democrats are pushing hard to get the car out of the ditch, the Republicans are standing by making comments like "You aren't doing that right" or "Why don't you push it this way or that way." Meanwhile the Democrats keep pushing. Finally when the car is almost out of the ditch, the Republicans say they want the keys back. "But," said President Obama, "they can't have the keys back because THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE!" Well, the crowd of Democrats roared with laughter at that. The President was interrupted by ovations and shouts of agreement throughout his speech, and a standing ovation upon leaving.
At the end of the event, I went to the front of the hotel, and chatted with some of the DAV folks, who appeared to be very pro-Obama. The ones I talked with were pleased at what he is trying to do for veterans.
Then my niece, Getchen, and sister Charlotte, made their way back from Decatur to pick me up. Naturally they got to hear an earful about the event. Now at home I am still coming down off the cloud --- it's a special day when you get to hear President Obama speak and shake the hand of Congressman John Lewis.