Every leader is posed with one question – regardless of culture, time, or status – that they must answer.
“What do you hope to achieve?”
While Barack Obama has not yet spoken at the Democratic National Convention, his campaign’s choice in speakers has worked well – so far. They have addressed the issues that concern many people – family values, energy, veteran care – and each have used quotes, experience, and facts that help to sway people to this side.
If for only his choice in speakers – or his choice in who picked his speakers – I must applaud this candidate for the presidency. (Or as I see it, this pawn looking to upgrade to King, for the world, and many aspects of it, are similar to a game of chess. Easy to comprehend, difficult, perhaps, to master.)
Tonight I watched many people approach the podium, but a few stood out – both by the length of their speeches, and by the reception of the crowd.
Former President Bill Clinton received a good welcome – perhaps not as warm as later ones, but not cold either. Mr. Clinton spoke on many topics, but one line near the end caught my ear. When speaking about the possibility of a Republican being elected, Bill said,
“Thanks, but no thanks. In this case, the third time is not the charm.”
I personally found the line amusing, and was glad to see a speaker who could use a common phrase and turn it for his favor properly, unlike previous speeches.
But when Beau Biden – introducing his father, Joe Biden, the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate – took the stage, the speakers – both Beau and Joe – tried for a less political approach, and a more emotional one. Beau told us of his childhood, of the troubles, of the triumphs, and of how his father was always there for him. He used imagery that most of the world would understand, reaching out to the families. Seeing myself type this is ironic, for I have never been one for family ties, but the Biden family worked together well, painting a picture that was easily understood, and pulling at the heartstrings of all who watched as Beau told the audience,
“Be there for my dad, like he was for me.”
With the intense military-focus of many of the speeches tonight, this connection between military and family (Beau Biden is unable to be here for his father due to his posting to Iraq in October) – and how the war has split so many families due to wars and conflicts – was a strategic tie in to the acceptance speech of Joe Biden.
Joe Biden, a man who reaches out to the people who sit together at dinner, and to those who cannot be together because of reasons that they are hoping to change with this coming election. For a man trying to become President – or King, if we return to chess terms – Joe Biden is an ideal bishop. Supportive, versatile, if somewhat restricted. But his speech… ah, the speech reveals much. How necessary this man is to this cause, how carefully selected he was, and how he worked to live up to the great expectations placed on him by taking this role.
And I must amend my earlier statement, for – at the end, as a surprise to all (including Biden, who asked his wife “Who?” about the “surprise guest”) – the “King” takes the stage! The pawns will not follow if the King does not lead – and this King breaks standards, which is the only way to move forward. He steps out of the back, welcomed by a roar of applause, and the sound of people jumping to their feet, and at this point, the chess players in the audience think one word.
What will the response be?