I assume due to the sheer number of people that want to be national delegates to the convention as a result of the fantastic inspiration of the Barack Obama campaign, our original three minute speech segments have been cut pretty significantly. Now I think we get a minute. In the past two weeks I have received roughly 10 emails and 5 or so direct mails by people running for national delegate. They are all insanely qualified and awesome.
So tonight I sat down and wrote this to the delegate list, since I probably won’t get three minutes to talk to them. The below incorporates parts of my original three minute speech that I have been slaving over the past week, as well as some touches that I felt were at least relevant to the point. Anyways here it is, enjoy if that’s your thing:
(Bcc’d the delegate list so it’s easier just to reply to me.)
“The world is changing so fast, and we’re all running to catch up.”
– Jurassic Park
Hello everyone, My name is Stephen Toulouse. Everyone calls me “Stepto” (pronounced Step-toe)
Wow, I have been just humbled to the core by the passion and the qualifications of the delegates I have been exposed to that want to be national delegates, both in email and direct mail. I think I would be proud to have any of them serve to represent our community and our neighbors for Barack Obama. So impressed and confident in fact, I was tempted to withdraw… I’ve decided to stay in to make some points I think are critical to this election that I will share with you.
I think this election has changed so many dynamics that the above quote from the film Jurassic Park has a lot of impact. From fundraising, to primary and caucus processes and mechanisms, to organizing, to involving those that have had so much of their apathy and cynicism darkly nurtured by a broken political process; we can see now that the world today is different if we chose to make it so. Barack Obama and his campaign have inspired Democrats across the country to create this new world, and this primary season has provided a stark contrast to those that came before it. We as Democrats can evolve and thrive in a world without the crass politics of division and opportunistic cold calculations of momentary whim, or become extinct. And I don’t think we can afford to allow a single Democrat to become extinct in this election. It is our moment, right now, to bring everyone together into a world we believe gives everyone an opportunity for support AND dissent.
I view the role of national delegate in this unique election as not just someone who pledges complete faith to the candidate they represent the votes of and the platform for their community, as I do.
Those things are what got us all to this point, I would hope we all share them equally.
No, the role of national delegate in this election is probably far broader and more unique than at any point in modern electoral history for our party.
The national delegate must work hard to bring along all Democrats into this new conversation that has been started, a conversation where our candidate believes almost more in us than we in the candidate. This isn’t just a point about Barack Obama and presidential politics! The national delegate must remember that the work doesn’t end with the casting of a vote in Denver, but to be the helpful and watchful steward of this new politics that embodies our core values for all candidates for all offices.
A politics boldly, and for once truly, unsullied by the lobbyists or the special interests. The national delegate must remember that above all else they have been entrusted with the idea that in this new dynamic, our communities inform the greater whole.
The inspiration of Barack Obama is not about the man who is running. It is not about our platform. It is not about our passion for making America the beacon of a better world. All these things have been within us all this time and in our candidates. That is not what is groundbreaking about this election cycle.
Instead this is about our moment, our opportunity. In this time, in this place, we have the rare chance to forge anew the inspiration of leadership that for so many Americans died with Kennedy in 1963. To revive the dream of a grander world for all humanity that for so many Americans died with Martin Luther King in 1968. To earn, by example, the brotherhood and confidence in America that flared like a nova world-wide on September 11, 2001 and withered a little more than a year later.
To grab hold again the spirit of community focus and self determination that was born in 1776.
This is our task, I believe. It is something that I have seen in individual parts in each email and letter I have read from my fellow delegates.
Again I am humbled by all of our passion. I wish all of us the best of luck, and I could not be more proud of my community, my friends, our party, or our country as I have been in the past few months.
A word about myself, quickly. I was formally the head of crisis response communications regarding computer security for Microsoft. Whenever there was a virus or hacker attack against Microsoft products I was the one who helped coordinate communications to our customers regarding what to do and how to protect yourself and your computer. I served in this role during some of the largest virus outbreaks in the past 10 years. I’m at home in the pages of USA Today or the New York Times or on broadcast through CNN or MSNBC or NPR. Currently, I am the Program Manager in charge of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live, working to help make our online gaming experiences safe and enjoyable for all. My wonderful wife Rochelle and I live in the farming community of Duvall with our two Golden Retrievers, Adia and Buddy.
Rather than bore you with an even more long winded email, I thought perhaps I would list the most relevant links I have posted about my support of Barack Obama in this primary season (these are also duplicated on the main Barack Obama web site):
My endorsement of Barack Obama, in which I confess my past political apathy as well as my stupidity in voting for George Bush in 2000 and why:
My caucus experiences:
Other posts about Obama:
I will be posting this to the Washington Obama delegates website as well as a flyer there later tonight.
Thank you for reading, and may our citizens protect the constitution of the United States of America. I wish you and yours peace and prosperity and look forward to our fellowship on the 17th.