Sunday, October 26, 2008

Politics: Obama Event

The Ds do much better at political events than the Rs. When John McCain and Sarah Palin came to town last month, the Rs stuck with security checks till the bitter end. Th Ds last night got real and about an hour before Obama's scheduled talk, simply started waving people into Johnson Field at the University of New Mexico. We had been in line about 1.5 hours. People had starting walking into the back of the cordoned area about the same time. A friend was in line on Lomas Blvd. near Stanford when a call came from another friend reporting the back door entrance. Our friend got out of line, went to the field and strolled in.
The event stuck with regular political stuff. There was nothing really stupid along the lines of the cheerleaders at the McCain/Palin event. Nor did anyone follow the Darren White example of rudeness and advocate making random phones calls to undecided voters. See my September 7 and 9 posts on the McCain / Palin event.
Crowd reports are 40,000, plus or minus, including folks not inside the fence. I have done crowd reports, so I know such numbers are often pulled from the air. Even so, Joe Monahan's claim of the largest political event crowd in NM history has to be true. Maybe it was event the largest event crowd in NM history. Certainly it was the longest line in the history of UNM.
The crowd ranged from students to Baby Boomers. The capacity of University Stadium is 37,350. I don't know whether the Rolling Stones concert of a few years ago was before the expansion from 32,000. That concert had seating on the field, so the concert crowd and Obama's crowd would have been around the same size. IN any case, the attendance was just under five percent of the metro Albuquerque population, an amazing proportion.
The highlight for us was visiting with five students from China who were attending to see what is was all about. District Attorney Kari Brandenberg was working the line, so I made sure she spoke to the Chinese group. Then I had to explain what she did. A freind of our is teaching English in the hometown of two of the students. Very small world.
Obama spoke at 9:12 p.m., about 25 minutes after his convoy arrived. He is very, very, very, very good, almost persuasive, in fact, unless one tilts strongly the other way, And we were on the other side of the field from him, just barely able to see him. Obma appeared to be a quarter-inch high. The persuasiveness goes away when I start thinking about who he really is—a conventional liberal who clawed his way up the ladder in one of the most corrupt cities in the America and one who has never done something real, except be a community organizer, if that is real. The size of crowd—around 5% of the entire state's population—and the passion define a huge problem for the Rs, one that needs attention starting about 7:30 a.m. November 6.

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