Obama heals hundreds
AUSTIN ó Ginny McCallum, 43, who has been confined to a wheelchair for
much of her adult life, came to hear presidential candidate Barack Obama
speak at the University of Texas. Afterward she found herself in a
wheelchair access breezeway as Obama and his entourage exited the arena.
The candidate spotted her, came over, grabbed her hand and pulled her up.
She found herself standing for the first time in eleven years.
"He smiled at me and said, ĎYes, you can,í" she says. "I
was so stunned I didnít know what to do."
McCallum is among hundreds of people who say they have
been healed by the Democratic candidate, in one of the most surprising and
little-acknowledged aspects of his campaign. Reporters have shied away
from the story, chalking it up to "Obama-mania" and peopleís feelings of
"We donít talk about it a lot, but yeah, it does
happen," says one staffer who says he has seen multiple people healed on a
rope line. "We donít know exactly how or why itís happening, and the
Senator wonít talk about it. He usually insists that people keep it quiet
and just report it to their pastor or priest."
Greeting supporters after a rousing speech in Houston,
Obama stepped into the dense crowd and spontaneously began touching
people: a legally blind woman, a man deaf in one ear, a cancer sufferer
and a lame man.
"Yes, you can," Obama said as he laid hands on afflicted
The peopleís reactions were so joyous as to be almost
frightening. They jumped and shouted and wept. Before they could thank or
embrace the candidate he was well down the rope line healing others. Their
excitement was lost in the general din of the crowd.
Aides acknowledge that the phenomenon is occurring with
"His power goes beyond simple inspiration," says one
aide. "There is something developing here that Iím not sure any of us
They say Obama has told them privately that his time has
not yet come, so it would be inappropriate to talk about the healings
right now. He says he will wait until the convention to speak publicly
about the "special calling" he believes he has to lead the country. They
do expect him to start alluding to "the providential nature of what is
happening on the campaign trail" in an upcoming address, mostly because
word is getting around.
People have begun bringing relatives by the score to
campaign events in hopes of a healing touch.
"Itís not the speeches that are drawing people anymore,
as good as they are," says a senior staff member. "Itís people wanting to
get better, and wanting their friends and relatives to get better. Itís
the belief that thereís something more here." ē