President Obama addresses the attendees of BlogHer ’12 live via satellite
To say it was an historic occasion is something of an understatement. The excitement in The Grand Ballroom of The Hilton New York was, quite frankly, palpable as we awaited President Barack Obama’s address.
I’m not sure any of us really believed it was going to happen. And when a fellow blogger turned to me and said, “This is a really big deal for us”, I reflected for a moment as the citizen of two countries, neither of which is the United States, and replied, “It’s a really big deal for me too”.
It seriously was. I was buzzing anyway, having spent the whole day being inspired by amazing women at BlogHer’s Pathfinder Day, but this was something really special. The leader of one of the world’s greatest countries, one of the most powerful human beings on earth, chose to address a group of mostly women bloggers. People don’t always hold bloggers in the highest of respect. Many of them don’t really understand what we do, or have any concept of the amount of influence we have. But the President of the United States clearly does.
I was absolutely thrilled when the room erupted in cheers as The President was introduced. I had worried there might be a few hiccups, as the assembled crowd were by no means members of only one political party. But for a moment, the Americans assembled there were just that, Americans. Not Republicans, not Democrats, just Americans. I think The President was a bit overwhelmed by the response. He sat, biting his lip, as the cheers continued.
And then he began – began by celebrating the women in his life, and their influence on him and on his family. He then thanked his audience, saying that. ‘The fact that Sasha and Malia can go to places like BlogHer and read the writings of thousands of thoughtful women, is reassuring as a parent.’
Of course, as this is an election year, the President did take the opportunity to campaign, but you could hardly blame him. And those of us assembled there clearly forgave him, as cheers drowned out the last few sentences of his address.
I’m not American, and I’m never publicly political about countries I don’t live in, but I really was filled with joy by what The President of the United States did today. His actions reflected that he understands not only the influence held by the women he addressed, but also their audiences. It reflected a respect both for bloggers and for women that I found incredibly touching.
It’s an amazing start to BlogHer ’12. And after a start like that, I seriously can’t wait for tomorrow!
Shared with The Gallery of Favorites.