COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) - Sometimes you stumble on stories. Thursday was one of those times.
We were outside Veterans’ Memorial in Columbus reporting on early voting. I approached a man with an “ I just voted” sticker on his lapel to ask him whether he’d encountered any lines. The “lines weren’t bad” he said, with a broad smile. Lines were the last thing on Aaron Wheeler’s mind as he explained why he drove 600 miles back to his old hometown from Virginia, where he moved this month, to vote in what he called “one of the proudest days” of his life.
“My family has been Republican for three generations,” he said, but “I knew I had to change and vote Democrat in the first time almost ever.”
Wheeler said he was one of about 16 black Republican delegates at the 2004 GOP convention, and was proud to support George W. Bush.
This time, he said, he did not attend the Republican convention –and decided he would go one step further and vote for Democrat Barack Obama.
What’s influencing his vote? The economy was one factor, he said. But said he he made his decision “when I saw Barack Obama beaten down for no reason by negative things by Palin.”
Wheeler reminisced about marching with Martin Luther King as a boy, and referred to the slain civil rights leader when he told me he voted for Barack Obama… “not just because of his color….but in the words of Dr. King, the content of his character.”
“Tears come out of my eyes as I cast my ballot,” he said. “I voted for Barack Obama today.”
I don't think there are words to describe how good that story makes me fee.
YOU ARE A SMART MAN TO VOTE FOR OBAMA. GOD IS GOOD!!!!
this election is going to trump race, color, party, religion and the divisiveness and petty politics by the republiklans...after 8yrs of bush, i need change.
VOTE EARLY – BARACK THE VOTE.
If this was a story for McCain/Palin you fools would rake him over the coals.. be real here folks you lefty's are sickening..
After following this election very close I think the world is in for a pleasant surprise in November. I am convinced Obama is going to be elected in a landslide.
There are just too many sensible people to vote Republican because of party affiliation when the future of their country is at stake. McCain is definitely not presidential material and appears very unstable not to mention Palin who would be hard pressed to put a couple of sentences together coherently if they weren't written out for her beforehand.
Wow, Aaron you are an awesome man! Obama and his team thank you!
Turnabout is fair play...
I want to reply to Sarahs latest "subtle" atack re: Ayers & Wright; by asking everyone: What did those Characters see in Todd & Sarah at the A.I.P. [Unrepentant Secesssionist-Joe Vogel[ & [Rev, Muthee] the WitchCraft Excorcist ? :)
The negative campaign from Sara Palin and Mccain have run many voters to Barack.
Proud to be an American today. As Americans we are finally staring to live up the creeds we decry to the rest of the world. We the people are moving this great country forward in God's will. Can you feel it my fellow Americans? We are evolving. Wow what a time to be living.
AWESOME ARTICLE AND VOTE EARLY!!!!!!!!!
When white Democrats vote for McCain, it portrayed as racist. So when black Republicans vote for Obama, why is that not also racist?
we need more people like Aaron who can see mcbush and palin for who they are.
thanks so much. i am switching too.
This guy represents something that happened to a lot of black people in this election
I too decided to turn away form John McCain when he resulted to extremely negative campaigning and actually using racially tinged code-words.
McCain/Palin will obviously deny that their campaign has been negative or even racially divisive, but the reaction from their supporters only confirms the response that McCain/Palin wanted from their rallies.
They purposely incited hatred and planted the seeds of hatred.
I have lost my long held respect of John McCain, and so have many other republicans.
I'm White, I'm a veteran, I'm a christian, and I'm a Republican!
I would swim 600 miles to vote for Obama! And yes, it IS 100% about the content of his character.
McCain WAS a good man. But no matter how much my fellow GOP try to deny it, the man is not fit to run any more. He has lost all of his honor. He truly is a stain upon the fabric of the American Political Scene. And out of respect for my party (perhaps former party, I'm not leaving it yet, but I don't know if it will ever be back after what McCain has allowed it to be mistaken as), I refuse to discuss Palin, I think that say's it all!
In a time when neither candidate is the perfect choice, I must go with the one that has shown true leadership, the one that has shown restraint and the one who has maintained his honor..and at the same time...shown me he is tough enough to soundly whoop the pants off a supposed rough and tough war hero. Obama, with pride I salute you!
God bless you Mr. Wheeler. There is still hope for Doctor King's dream. I have voted for the republican candidate for president for years but no more. Oregon is going for Obama. I can not wait for November 4th at 8 pm Pacific. By 9 pm we will have to start practicing saying President Obama.
THANK YOU, MR. WHEELER! WE ARE ALSO FORMER REPUBLICANS SUPPORTING SEN. OBAMA!
GOD BLESS YOU!
I am for Obama too.....but his campaign has 'beaten down Palin' also.
This has been a super negative campaign from BOTH sides.
Vote early, Vote often!!
Fantastic story...America has changed, Barack respresents the best in America and unfortunately, Sen. McCain has shown that he is out of touch with the issues we face. I too voted early and must say that the vast majority of people in there were eagerly voting for Barack.
Oh please - what was so negative? I hope you would have to shed much more tears 1 year from Obama being elected.
My exact sentiment – not the color of his skin but the content of his character plus my pocketbook.
Good man god bless you.Obama....08
Great story. Stories like this are occuring across the country, and that is why Barack Obama is going to be our next President. Way to go Sir!
And CNN's headlines says race won't be a factor? Whose kidding who. Sometimes it feels like an African King is trying to ascend to the Oval Office instead of a presidential candidate – he definitely found the goose that laid the golden eggs – no public campaign financing.
I can't wait to vote! You are truly and inspiration.