I still don't believe he'll be elected president, but I have a newfound respect for Sen. Barack Obama after watching this exchange between the presidential hopeful and a few hecklers at a rally last week.
Obama was speaking at a rally in St. Petersburg, Florida on Friday (8/1) when he was interrupted by three young black men holding up a banner that read "what about the black community?" Acknowledging that this country was built on Freedom of Speech, the senator asked the young men to allow him to continue his speech, then their voices would be heard.
After his speech, Obama did indeed address one of the young men's concerns. For 10 minutes he engaged the brother while addressing each of his issues point by point.
When the crowd booed, Obama reacted, saying, "I want everybody to respect him...He has a legitimate question."
This is in stark contrast to the way Obama's opponent, John McCain handles American citizens who oppose his views. Hecklers are ignored by the candidate and they are often manhandled and physically removed from the room by McCain's overzealous staff.
Not only does McCain not waste his precious time engaging his fellow citizens, er, hecklers, but it matters not to him that his attention could possibly sway a heckler to change his views and vote for him.