In this speech, Jon gives us a glimpse into how Barack Obama - and his election as President - helped a young man overcome his cynicism and follow his dream of making a difference in the world. As someone entering their "golden years," I'm facing that same thing on the other end of life's journey. Through the tears, I just want to say: "Thank you, Jon. You are an inspiration."
He [President Obama] taught me the value of honesty and authenticity in writing. After delivering one of the most candid, heartfelt, politically risky speeches on race in America, he said to me, "I don't know if you can get elected president saying the things I did about race today. But I also don't know that I deserve to be president if I don't say the things that I believe."It strikes me that at that moment, Barack Obama didn't know how that speech would be received by voters. He simply knew that he'd said what he believes and was willing to live with the consequences. That's the definition of authenticity.