I’m finally getting around to sharing my thoughts on Tree Hugger Fest last week in Denver, CO…
The final event on Thursday night was an amazing spectacle. I had to keep reminding myself that we weren’t at a football game – but a political rally with 84,000 people who were “fired up and ready to go”. It was fun to see famous people like Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, Shawn Johnson, Will.I.Am, and MLK’s two kids. Howard Dean was surprisingly subdued. Joe Biden was fine…no major foot-in-mouth incidents. Nancy Pelosi was a little underwhelming in her two brief presentations – a little rattled be the enormity and emotion of the whole event. Al Gore’s speech was probably the best non-Obama presentation of the evening. Made me wonder where “that” Al Gore was in 2000 when he ran for President. He was engaged, passionate, and comfortable in his own skin…things I don’t recall him being several years back. I guess winning the Nobel Peace Prize does something to a person’s confidence.
Obama’s speech was excellent. He hit all the necessary talking points, outlined his strategies for the economy, education, tax cuts, and the war — all of which appeared to be well-thought-out. I was literally on the edge of my seat throughout most of his 45-minute speech. He exudes confidence…without being contrived, which is rare for a politician. Always under control…always calculated…always respectful.
The only “disappointment” was the negative turn all the speakers made in taking shots at McCain. I felt what has always set Obama apart is his unwillingness to tear down his opponents, but instead, remain positive about who he is and what he stands for. I understand that his campaign strategists felt they needed to define McCain as an old stubborn conservative is bound to make all the same mistakes that George W. did as president. Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen – it just seemed beneath Obama to spend so much time going after McCain.
(That said, it was refreshing to hear Obama’s comments after the news that Sarah Palin’s daughter is *gasp* pregnant and unmarried!)
All is to say, it was a great trip…one that I will remember for a long time. It was fun to see the mountains again…and even more fun to hang with my sister, Krista. I also got to meet the Sarcastic Lutheran (Krista’s almost-pastor, Nadia) which was a treat. We went for a hike at Eldorado near Boulder on Friday morning, which was invigorating.
Pictures available here.