Did you go to the Obama rally? I couldn’t get in


So I did just barely manage to stay up long enough to head over to the Obama rally, and I got one of my daughters — the USC student — to go with me. But the fire marshall wouldn’t let us in. The Koger Center was overflowing.

Did you go? How was it?

Above, you see the winding queue in which we stood when there was some hope of getting in. This was just past 10:45, the original starting time for the rally.

I spent a few minutes chatting with a Swedish journalist who was also trying to get in (she had missed the cutoff time for the media area; I tend to avoid media areas like the plague when I can). Then a young kid who works for Obama (the sort who looks like he could just as easily have been working for Bobby Kennedy in ’68 — sport coat, open-necked oxford button-down shirt, campaign button on the lapel, collegiate Beatle haircut) came and told us they were trying to work out something with the fire marshal, as the  place was packed.

A few minutes later, the queue started to collapse, and we all drifted toward the door. Rumors rippled through the crowd — "it’s bad news; the line’s giving up" or "all right! they’re letting us in!" — and we paused at the doors while another kid told us (in a voice too soft for more than a few to hear, and a visage and accent that suggested the subcontinent) that it wasn’t their fault; it was the fire marshal.

Eventually, we all realized there was no point. But there was one woman, in a long white coat, who didn’t care, and moved through us leading the chant, "Fired up! Ready to go!" I turned to my daughter, and said "ready to go?," only realizing what I’d said after I’d said it. Ah, the power of suggestion…

My daughter and I began the cold walk back, two-and-a-half blocks, to my truck, parked along the median in the middle of Assembly. Ahead of us for the first block walked the woman in the white coat with a friend. She was completely undaunted, chanting all by herself for the world to hear: "Fired Up! Ready to go?" Below, you can hear her, and the kid making the announcement before joining her cry, on this poor-quality (on account of the light) video:

12 thoughts on “Did you go to the Obama rally? I couldn’t get in

  1. annevilla

    “OBAMA PORTRAIT MUSIC VIDEO” on Youtube – Don’t Miss It!
    For those of you who still have not heard:
    There is a WONDERFUL and INSPIRING music video on Youtube.com entitled “Obama Portrait Music Video by Bjarne O.”
    You can use the free downloaded high-quality stereo version from the composer’s website in DVD form to show at house parties and fundraisers. Even people who knew nothing at all about Obama have been moved: either a thrilling introduction, or further inspiration for those of us who already know and fight for Obama.
    The music soundtrack, which incorporates excerpts from the famous 2004 speech, can also be downloaded separately in high-quality.
    So please, SPREAD THE WORD!


  2. Dena

    I did attend an Obama rally in Dillon last week at the high school gym. As a life-long Republican, I had intended to listen only. But, five minutes of listening to this inspiring, very articulate individual had me up clapping and nodding in agreement. This guy has more than a campaign; he is at the helm of a movement in this country. And, while his fellow Democratic candidates are busy attacking each other (and him), Obama is focused on repairing America.
    Obama said it best at the rally. Responding to those who say he’s too young and inexperienced to run the country, he said that some say he’s not “seasoned” enough and that they want to keep him in Washington long enough to “boil all the hope out of me.” How profound!

  3. alison weil

    I was at the rally at Koger Center – and it was amazing even before Michelle and Barack arrived–
    There was a choir from a local high school who were great and there was an amazing electric fiddle player from Charleston who played to the words of MLK — and then did “My Girl”! – 3000 people singing
    But the single most amazing thing was the people – every age – gender – race — all there for one reason — just to be part of something so profound —
    When Barack did speak – amazing as always – there was something more – there was a calmness — asense of doing this for the “right reasons” — it was 11:30pm and he was still speaking and he was in no rush and neither was anyone else
    If there is justice in the world – the energy and spirit in that hall last night will be felt by everyone– and we all can look to a better tomorrow
    Obama ’08

  4. tramone grant

    In a colorblind society where merit should hold ultimate sway, OBAMA isn’t even qualified to be assistant majority whip. He’s missed a 1/3 of his votes during the 2005-2006 session, and he hasn’t held a hearing as member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His policies are also awful for the nation. He believes in granting drivers licenses to illegals, he wants to ease burdens on employers when it comes to checking the status of workers, he wants to raise taxes on the middle class by trillions of dollars by eliminating the cap on social security contributions, he fails to protect our troops from the iranian revolutionary guard and then attacks his opponents for doing so EVEN WHEN HE MISSED THE VOTE, he was the only person to vote “present” instead of yes or no on bills banning adult shops near schools, and sealing court records of victims of sexual assault.
    Obama is little substance, all hype. The key to his success: a freshness, a lack of record to run on, the constant repetition of simple feel-good platitudes that lull listeners into a sense of trust and induce in them a yearning to believe. No wonder Barack Obama is so popular among denizens of Hollywood like Oprah: they certainly have an eye for those who can create an image, can generate a buzz that compels others to suspend their disbelief, and who can induce a trance-like stargazing.
    I was elected yesterday, Obama said. I have never set foot in the U.S. Senate. Ive never worked in Washington. And the notion that somehow Im immediately going to start running for higher office just doesnt make sense. So look, I can unequivocally say I will not be running for national office in four years, and my entire focus is making sure that Im the best possible senator on behalf of the people of Illinois. He further elaborated: Look, Im a state senator who hasnt even been sworn in yet. My understanding is that I will be ranked 99th in seniority. Im going to be spending the first several months of my career in the U.S. Senate looking for the washroom and trying to figure out how the phones work.
    So, in four years, Obama went from figuring out how to use the telephones and finding bathrooms, to becoming a foreign policy expert, while missing 1/3 of his votes and failing to hold a single hearing as the CHAIR of Senate Foreign Relations committee. Right?
    As a young black man, I can’t stand how OBAMA is being shoved down our throats. What my generation needs to understand is that WORK ETHIC matters more than HYPE. I concede that the remaining three Democrats are more hype than substance, and that they are all political celebrities. However, when you compare their time in the Senate, there is no doubt in my mind that Senator Clinton has been much more hard working than Senator Obama or Senator Edwards. Obama criticized and mischaracterized Senator Clinton’s Iranian Revolutionary Guard vote, even though he missed it. It was sad to see him gain mileage out of that vote in Iowa, where the electorate is more isolationist. It just further reiterates that Obama’s missed way too many votes, and he started running for president even before he finished his first term. In my opinion, his work ethic in the senate makes him look like a resume builder.
    It’s crazy that the media allows Obama’s great speechwriter and his own good teleprompter skills to let him create the image that he is somehow qualified for President.
    It’s the last message my generation needs to hear: Hype and ambition are more important than work ethic.

  5. Tuesday

    I’m not sure which Obama you’ve been following, but the one I’ve been following has more substance and character than any other Democrat or even Republican.
    What is it precisely that the more curmudgeonly among us have against hope? What is actually wrong with feeling good about ourselves and the possibilities for our nation? Do you remember the last time you felt good, Alison? Were you not able to accomplish so much more, and effectively too?
    Please remember that policies and laws are not made from experience (which by the way, he has much of!) but from the ability to lead with character and integrity. An effective leader is able to bring people together and create consensus–This is Obama’s aim, and why I am voting for him.

  6. Tuesday

    Actually, I believe my comments were aimed at “Tramone Grant”. I read the name at the top of the post, as opposed to the bottom. I apologize.

  7. Steve Gordy

    I never voted for Bill Clinton. Regarding some of the posts trashing Obama in the last week, now I remember why.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *