Last night I had the opportunity to attend the Lancaster County Democratic Committee’s Holiday Party in Kilmarnock. Traveling down to the Northern Neck with Virginia 1st Congressional District Democratic Candidate for 2008, Bill Day, we were greeted with a full house of dedicated Democrats ready and willing to share in the joy of election victories and greetings of the season.
Lancaster’s Chair, Donna Thompson was the evening’s hostess and made certain everyone had a great time! Special guests included Levar Stoney, Jim Turpin, and Lincoln Saunders of the DPVA. Bill Day took the opportunity to thank everyone for all their support. 99th District Delegate, Albert Pollard offered his thanks and spoke of the needs in the area prior to introducing potential candidate for Governor, Terry McAuliffe.
At the end of the evening I offered that it was great to see the growth of Lancaster’s committee and how “Fired Up!” and “Ready to Go!” everyone was. Some folks had not heard the story of President-elect Barack Obama’s journey to South Carolina where the chant came from … while I told the story of Senator Obama’s journey and how I was reminded of Lancaster … I know I didn’t do the story real justice … so … I’ve added a video here so everyone can watch it told by Barack Obama himself … enjoy!
Obama: Finally we get to Greenwood. We pull up — first of all, you don’t know you’re in Greenwood right away when you get to Greenwood, there aren’t a lot of tall buildings there. We pull up to a small building, a field house in the park. We go inside. And lo and behold, after an hour and a half drive, turns out there are twenty people there. Twenty people, and they all look kind of damp and kind of sleepy, like maybe they aren’t really excited to be there either. But you know, I am a professional. Ive got to do what I got to do. [applause] So I go around, I’m shaking hands, I’m saying how ya doing, what are ya doing? [applause] Wait, wait. As I go around the room suddenly I hear this voice cry out behind me, “Fired Up!” And Im shocked. I jump up. I dont know what’s going on. But everybody else acts like this is normal and they say, “fired up.” Then I hear this voice say, “ready to go!” And the other twenty people in the room, they act like this happens all the time, they say ready to go. I don’t know what’s going on. So I look behind me, and there’s this small woman, about sixty years old, a little over five feet. It looks like she just came from church, got a big church hat. [laughter] And she’s standing there and she looks at me and shes smiling. And she says, “fired up!”
Turns out she is a city councilwoman from Greenwood who also moonlights as a private detective — I’m not making this up. [laughter] And it turns out she is famous for her chant. She does this wherever she goes, she says “fired up!” and everybody says “ready to go, ready to go.” So for the next five minutes she proceeds to do this, “fired up” everybody says “ready to go.” And I’m standing there and I’m thinking that I am being outflanked by this woman here. She’s stealing my thunder. I look at my staff, they shrug their shoulders, they don’t know how long this is going to go.
But here’s the thing, Virginia — after a minute or so, I’m feeling kind of fired up. [applause] I’m feeling like I’m ready to go. So I join in the chant. And it feels good. And for the rest of the day, even after we left Greenwood, even though it was still raining, even though I was still not getting big crowds anywhere, even though we hadn’t gotten the endorsements of the people we were hoping for, somehow I felt a little lighter, I felt a little better. I’d see my staff, Id say, are you fired up? Theyd say wetre fired up boss, are you ready to go? Heres my point, Virginia — that’s how this thing started. It shows you what one voice can do. One voice can change a room; and if a voice can change a room, it can change a city; and if it can change a city it can change a state; and if change a state, it can change a nation; and if it can change a nation, it can change the world! Virginia, your voice can change the world tomorrow! [applause] In 21 hours, if you are willing, if you are willing to endure some rain, if you are willing to drag that person you know who was not going to vote to the polls, if youre willing to organize and volunteer in the offices, if you are willing to stand with me, if you are willing to fight with me, I know that your voice will matter. So I’ve just got one question for you, Virginia. Are you fired up? [“Yeah”] Are you ready to go? [“Yeah”] Fired up? [“Fired Up!”] Ready to go? [“Ready to Go!”] Fired up? [“Fired Up!”] Ready to go? [“Ready to Go!”] Fired up? [“Fired Up!”] Ready to go? [“Ready to Go!”] Virginia, let’s go change the world. Thank you. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.