Four years ago, I was sitting on a bus in Washington DC with about 50 college students who were there for a conference with the ONE Campaign. We had just finished dinner and were on our way to take a night tour of the monuments. Suddenly, there was a loud roar from the back of the bus. Steven, a student from Iowa, came charging up the center aisle, phone in hand, yelling, “He won! He won! Barack Obama won Iowa!” The entire attitude in the bus changed. Republican, Democrat, what have you, all 50 of us understood that we were witnessing a major shift in our country. People were cheering and screaming all the way to our first stop on the tour.
Twenty minutes after Barack Obama won Iowa, I was standing where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I’ll never forget that moment.
Another Iowa story, this one from growtowardthelight.tumblr.com:
Four years ago today, I was in the room when then-Senator Obama gave his victory speech to Iowa (my Mom got to introduce him!). It is painted in my memory as the moment I felt most engaged with my state, my country and my fellow citizens.
Afterwards my friends got pictures on the podium because apparently all the security had left for New Hampshire already, and how often are you going to get that chance?
We love this Iowa story morbles submitted today:
As a 17-year-old senior, I was taking American government as one of my last required classes of my high school career. Everyone in my class was required to attend the caucuses, but it was up to us whether or not we wanted to participate. Fortunately, since I would be 18 years old by the upcoming presidential election, I was able to participate in my hometown caucus. Along with my best friend and our Obama llama that the two of us made in Spanish class earlier that year, we trekked up to the school library to participate in our first caucus.
Obama ended up not only being victorious at my hometown caucus that night, but also in the state of Iowa as a whole. It was such an exciting experience being a part of Obama’s team in the first-in-the-nation caucuses, and then watching him plow forward, straight to the White House.
As I write this I am a senior in college, prepared to keep working to help President Obama take a second term in Washington. I am at home on winter break, and out of curiosity I checked to see if I still have my Obama llama. I found him, and here he is, as hopeful as ever.
Here’s to 2012, and here’s to you, Iowa.
Four years ago today.