I took this photo about a week before the election. Bill Clinton was touring around his former state--my home state of Arkansas--in support of Barack Obama. And let me just say, Bill Clinton still has "it", whatever that is. And I'm incredibly excited that our new President also has "it". At the risk of being too self-referential, I would like to point out that I foreshadowed this great historical event in an earlier posting here. The gist of that post was that if Barack Obama (or Hillary Clinton) were to become the next president, then we would be able to say that their was ONE good thing to come out of George Bush's presidency.
Speaking of that sad legacy, which grows sadder and bleaker each day he occupies that office, I drove past the thousands of vacant FEMA trailers lined up on the Hope airfield. The waste is just mind-boggling. Combine that image with the already unfathomable incompetence displayed after Hurricane Katrina and all you can do is chant a calming mantra, "January 20, 2009, January 20, 2009." So there I was, confronted by the current President's sheer ineptitude--by the thousands--ironically stranded in the birthplace of his predecessor, Bill Clinton. I was in Hope to shoot some footage at the birthplace and first home of the 42nd President of the United States. Standing there in the modest home decorated in era-appropriate furniture, you really get a sense of the improbable journey that took a small boy from Hope, Arkansas to the Presidency of the United States. Since I was a boy, I've grown up in a landscape dominated by Bill Clinton. He was Governor for pretty much my entire childhood, then he became President my freshmen year at the University of Southern California--my first year living out of the state. It's like he was following me. So I guess I kind of take Bill Clinton for granted in a way, or at least his success and achievements. But here, in this small Southern railroad town of Hope come tourists from around the world--today I met a couple who had driven from Ontario, Canada. It's a pretty incredible story that started in this town of Hope (a town aptly named after the daughter of a railroad family, laid to rest in Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock). But let's not forget to mention the other Presidential candidate in 2008 from Hope, Arkansas--Mike Huckabee.
But as amazing and challenging as that journey must have been for Bill Clinton, the story of Barack Obama and his path to the presidency is even more incredible. It is a story that re-ignites a faith in the American Dream, that re-affirms the ideals of our founding doctrines, and hopefully can give this country the change that it needs so desperately. Who knows, we may end up having to change the name of this blog.