Saturday, February 23, 2008

"... an almost mesmeric fervour ..."

Mary Tyszko, a white, 50-year-old health worker, clutched her hands. “He has given me hope. I really believe in him. And I just trust him.”

Then Mr Obama took to the stage. The noise was deafening, a long, exultant roar with all the force and overwhelming power of a jet engine before take-off. “Obama! Obama! Obama! Obamaaaaaaaaa!” they chanted

From four giant screens hanging from the ceiling, Mr Obama’s image could be seen from the farthest reaches of the stadium, waving, clapping at this adoring crowd, as they stared up at him with an almost mesmeric fervour. At one point in his speech, delivered in the religious cadence of Dr King, Mr Obama had to blow his nose. “Obama!” they chanted and clapped again, as their idol wiped his face.

This is a daily ritual for Mr Obama. Only 24 hours earlier, he appeared in a Mexican-American enclave of western San Antonio and drew a crowd as big as that which greeted Pope John Paul II when he visited the same area in September 1987. . . . he is greeted by massive crowds, never before seen during a presidential primary campaign, filled with young and old, black and white, men and women, steelworkers and fund managers, nurses and accountants. No wonder he believes the White House is now within his reach.
Tim Reid, The Times [UK] February 23, 2008.