January 18, 2009

Locals at Inauguration: Looking forward to seeing the great campaigner

Jeremiah Williams is a believer in the political process and an ardent supporter of the community.

As a one-time Modesto City Council candidate and a member of numerous community boards, including the effective Weed and Seed and Community Action Coalition of Stanislaus County programs, Williams is all about involvment and improving the lives of people.

That's a big reason he's heading back to Barack Obama's inauguration. He wants to see the man who he says ran about as perfect a campaign as there can be, and will make a great president.

"Beyond his ethnicity, he ran a superb campaign," Williams said of Obama. "Some say he won because McCain wasn't a great and this, that and the other."

"There was never a breakdown in (Obama's) communciaiton, his demeanor, his poise, his position, his overall posture of how he presented himself.

"He carried himself all the way through."

And that included being a gracious winner.

"Even in his victory speech, where he could have gone Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., or evangelical, where he could raise his voice to a decibel where he could excite the crowd, he still kept his cool," Williams said.

Williams, who is African-American, says his admiration for Obama goes far beyond race.

"I e-mailed his campaign manager and said (to Obama), 'I want to congratulate you for being the 44th President of the United States." ... and I never mentioned the word black or African-American. I just did it because he did a wonderful job.

"Anyone who can run a campaign like that and receive the highest spot in America, he receives my attention."

Wiliams, who secured his ticket to the inauguration through the office of Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, will arrive in Washington later htis week. He plans on doing some volunteer work for Obama on Saturday and whatever else he can do to help the president-elect.

While Williams is heavy into politics, this will be his first inauguration. He said he was "glad for Clinton, glad for Bush, glad for Bush and all others before that," he said. "But it was never really something I wanted to see first-hand until this time."

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