Hillary and Obama at their best

The Hillary-Obama debate made riveting television yesterday. Words can’t
describe the atmosphere in the University of Texas, Austin, auditorium as the
two contenders outlined their policies with passionate conviction to an
entranced audience. We saw the power of words and the exultation of the
listeners. If you missed the live telecast like me, you can still watch it here. I watched the entire 88-minute videocast without getting
up from my computer, it was so good. You can see the transcript at the same time
as you watch the video.

Anyone who says Hillary is uninspiring as a speaker should have seen her
speak on health care. This woman cares. But Obama was something else. I have
watched him on television deliver soul-stirring speeches like the one in Chicago
on Super Tuesday when he said, "We are the change we have been waiting for." But
he can mesmerise even when he is answering questions, like he did at the debate
yesterday. Young, handsome, making his points forcefully, calmly, in a resonant
voice and clear enunciation that would do a Shakespearean actor proud, he was
commanding, presidential.

It’s Hillary’s misfortune — and I say it as one of her admirers — that she
is running against such a charismatic figure as Obama. I have no doubt she would
make an excellent president. But so would Obama — if he is half as good as he
looks and sounds. See I am still a Hillary supporter, saying Obama would be
excellent if he is half as good as he seems! Actually, when I saw and heard him
on television, I had no such doubts.

The finest words in the debate were spoken by Hillary in the closing minutes
when she said:

You know, the hits I’ve taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on
every single day in the lives of people across our country. And I resolved at a
very young age that I’d been blessed, and that I was called by my faith and by
my upbringing to do what I could to give others the same opportunities and
blessings that I took for granted. That’s what gets me up in the morning. That’s
what motivates me in this campaign.

The audience cheered.

But Obama was magnificent too. I wish whoever wins would choose the other as
the running mate. They would make a dream team.