The first question on the survey did not ask about the issues. It merely asked, "What's most important to you?" I think his answer will look familiar to you:
Uniting a polarized America. There are those who are preparing to divide us. I say to them, there is not a liberal America, and a conservative America, there is the United States of America.
That's a direct quote from the man himself. When I read these words now, I have heard them so many times that I can hear his voice as I read them. But something became clear to me when I saw these words in my notes. This is not something his speech writers wrote for him. These are his words. These are words that Barack Obama said. The guy from Illinois with the funny name said these words, word for word, back in 2004 to a person that thought he was nobody.
He said that people who work hard should not struggle for survival. Not anywhere, but especially not in America. Healthcare was not even an issue that we asked about, but it's interspersed throughout his answers. He brought up working poor and healthcare again and again.
This is a man on his way to the U.S. Senate who picked up the phone to call a labor activist who was creating a small website that few people would probably see. This is a man who talked about America's working poor and the plight of people without healthcare even when the questions didn't require those answers. This is a man who had real, specific answers to complex and difficult issues that other candidates simply could not talk about in detail.
Before I looked at my notes, I was convinced that this is a man who is truly sincere. A man who cares about ordinary people. After looking at my notes, I'm even more convinced than ever. For the first time in my life, a presidential candidate has convinced me. For a cynic like myself, that is extraordinary.
Sure, it's kind of cool that I can say I talked to Barack Obama before he was somebody. But what's really important here, what's really important for America, is that Barack Obama was willing to talk to me when I was nobody. That's something special.