During this tumultuous time in our history, I’ve been missing President Obama. I feel fortunate that my husband and I were part of an intimate group invited by Oprah to the first party she hosted in honor of Barack’s initial presidential bid. It was in September 2007, and framed as a grassroots kickoff at Oprah’s home in California. The day was filled with light and peace, a beautiful experience that at once felt simple yet profound. The causal atmosphere that Oprah and her team created felt like a relaxing family function, or a happy neighborhood picnic. Simply the best.
By some streak of good fortune, I was standing in the spot where Oprah brought Barack and Michelle out to stand directly in front of the group as each of them spoke to us, kicking off the day’s activities. As they stood before us, taking turns speaking, the experience gave me an even deeper sense of Barack and Michelle’s personalities. The intangible quality you can sense when you look directly into a person’s eyes as they speak. It was an unforgettable, moving experience.
Earlier in the day, we’d already had a chance to briefly “meet and greet.” First, we spoke with Michelle, then a little later with Barack. Honestly, I told my husband and some friends who were with us that I felt Michelle would make a better president. You know what? Everyone agreed with me. Ha!
Then, as Michelle and Barack stood before us addressing the larger group, we were very impressed that the first thing Barack said was, “Now, I know many of you have already had a chance to meet my incredible wife, Michelle. And I also know what you must be thinking. Why isn’t she the one running for president?”
That’s the moment I knew for sure, he’s the guy I wanted to be our president.
As for being with Oprah, she’s an enlightened angel of a lady and made us all feel comfortable and at home in her magnificent Montecito residence. Wandering around the seemingly endless gardens was a treat in itself. After Barack finished his speech and everyone had plenty of time to mingle and enjoy food and drinks, Stevie Wonder performed for us, followed by a moving ballad by BeBe Winans titled “Born for This.”
As I watched BeBe sing his heartfelt song, and I looked out over the beautiful gathering of people who had come from far and wide, I couldn’t help but cry tears of joy at the sight of everyone. Although the evening ended after sundown and the sky was dark, I saw great light surrounding the collection of humanity that had come together to work for a good cause that special day. The positive energy was powerful. For the sake of humanity, I pray that everyone can experience in their lives that kind of light, the light of hope and progress and freedom. We need it now more than ever.