President Obama’s Coming to Madison; The Excitement Builds

There hasn’t been a sitting president visiting Wisconsin’s capital since the days of Harry Truman. Meaning, about 1950. A political blog last week called this a victory lap for Obama, since this is about the time he was elected to the presidency last year. Possibly, but his speech about educational incentives from the stimulus act is batting a thousand in this part of the Midwest.

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The kids at James C. Wright Middle School are very, very excited.

We’ve all said the “Pledge of Allegiance” before, but most of us haven’t said it in front of all our peers, friends, teachers, several media outlets and he President of the United States.

That’s what Ari Davis will be doing. But before he does, he’s spending the night rehearsing.

“Mr. President, Secretary Duncan, distinguished guests…”

Ari Davis has rehearsed his lines a few dozen times. But no matter how much he goes over them, he still gets a little nervous.

“Yes, I do feel a little nervous. But I’m confident. ”

Confident… because this won’t be his first time meeting President Obama. About five years ago while in D.C. with his family, Davis met then-Senator Obama and took this picture with him.

Davis says he didn’t know what to think about Obama then, but a lot has changed in five years.

“He was a Senator then and now he’s the President.”

Two days ago, Davis found out that he’d be reading an intro to the President and reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

He says when he first heard the news, he had mixed feelings. He was nervous and excited at the same time. His parents say they’re just proud.

Ari’s mother, Andreal Davis, “It seems like a moment that every parent hopes for when you birth your child.”

Ari’s father, Arlington Davis says, “I was a little jealous because my wife found out first. But I was very, very excited.”

For Davis there is still a lot to do before his big moment in front of the Commander-in-Chief tomorrow. He’s busy laying out his suit and deciding what tie he should wear. Davis says he’s really hoping the President will notice his suit and give him his approval.

Wright Middle School sits on Fish Hatchery Road here in Mad City. I was there this summer at a money management seminar aimed at black youth, but open to all adults. It’s located in the mostly black Southside of Madison, and it’s fairly new, clean, well-kept and well-loved. It is named for a now deceased black minister who died in 1995; his widow is yet alive.

Fewer people are more excited about Obama’s visit Wednesday than the woman affectionately known in Madison as “Mother Wright.”

Jacqueline Wright, widow of the Rev. James C. Wright, said that Wednesday’s visit is all about the students and it’s a day they’ll remember the rest of their lives.

The Rev. James C. Wright was a civil rights pioneer in Madison. He died 15 years ago after 24 years as the head of Madison’s Equal Opportunities Commission.

The Wrights’ two children will join their mother Wednesday at the presidential event.

I just wish someone would pull Arne Duncan’s drawers down and whack his flanks all the way back to Chicago to take responsibility for the debacle that was Fenger High School and Derrion Albert. What a total fraud he is.

I’ll be watching on one of the channels tomorrow. No, I don’t think I have the time to stand and watch the presidential motorcade come and go. I’m not that Obama mad. It’s going to be a zoo.
I don’t think that this is the time to see our first black president. The traffic on this narrow isthmus is going to be a major attitude changer in the morning and in the afternoon rushes. The cops are going to close down Fish Hatchery Road early and lay out the detours. Besides, Fish Hatchery Road isn’t conducive to bystanders; it barely has sidewalks. The Secret Service is already on the school premises. And I’m sure the Madison police are going be in fine fettle after having to pull overtime during the weekend dealing with 44,000 drunken kids and adults during Freakfest.

~ by blksista on November 4, 2009.

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