Obama Rally Draws More Than 12,000.

It was cold this morning when I hit the lock button on my car and I shoved my hands deep into the pockets of my greatcoat. I’d forgotten my gloves on the table when I left the house and now I was kicking myself. I’d gone to grab my friend Jeff and I was running late and I left them right there on the table, despite the fact that it was 30 when I got in the car. Dumbass.

We parked the car on University Ave on the western bound of the American University campus. We weren’t expecting the giant line. I wasn’t, anyway. I figured, this was just another stump speech, just another appearance. I was wrong. The line was already four blocks long when we got in line just before 10am. As we stood there, the line grew, both in length and in breadth as it stretched to five and six people wide as the line backed up University Avenue to Quebec St NW.

But how the hell did I, someone who votes predominantly Republican end up in the line to see one of the more liberal candidates?


This is the Line we waited in. Gmap Pedometer says it’s .7 mi.

I was in that line because I want to believe there’s more to politics than fear, loathing and gridlock. I want to believe that we can surpass all the dead and unburied arguments that are bubbling up to the top every time someone named Bush or Clinton or Rove or Carville open their mouths and speak in public. We need to put aside the people that drive us crazy, or we’ll spend our lives fighting the past instead of living the future.

When my friend Jeff asked me on Saturday to go to the Obama event at Bender Arena this morning, I figured it might be a good idea to see what the guy has to say. I find his forward-looking politics to be very intriguing in a town full of old fights and buried bodies, and I agreed. I can’t bear the thought of four (or heaven help us, eight) more years of a Clinton or a Bush in the White House. It just makes me ill to think that our nation would have to endure that much more of the partisan rancor that’s become the predominant method of political discourse in this country. I want the brutal cycle of rage and anger and brutality in American Politics to take a break for once.

I’m not sure if Sen. Obama is the answer to that, but when he said on Saturday night that this was a campaign more about the future than the past, I have to agree with that statement. Time to put away the old quarrels, time to set aside old fights and get some momentum forward. So I figured it was time to see what the man had to say.

Except we got shut out. After waiting almost two hours in the cold and wind, we wound up 500 people from the front door. So now I’ll watch it on YouTube later, or just read the text, I suppose. But there’s something Magic about seeing it live. There’s something valuable in that that you can’t get from watching CNN, even in High Def. I was hoping for that. But I’ll have to wait.

Tiff and I were talking about this recently, and she mentioned that Obama was her “Tiger Beat” candidate, and I think that’s true for more than just us right now. We’re both right of center, but there’s something about the guy that even if he spent our money in all the wrong ways, we could at least respect him for the choices he’d make.

And it goes a long way that we’d be looking for that sort of thing instead of voting with people who share opinions on major issues.

3 Comments so far

  1. Ben R (unregistered) on January 28th, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

    I’m going to have to agree with you, too. I vote similarly to you, and I’m having a real difficult time finding any candidate that appeals. I don’t know if it’s because of this 28 month "lead" to this November that has sourly pissed me off to politics this time around or the snow-job of partisan bullshit flying around, but I’m not duly impressed by ANY of them on either side of the fence.

    Obama’s about as close a sane choice for me at this moment, but even then… I don’t know. I personally don’t want to think about politics until August. There outta be a law….

  2. darpino (unregistered) on January 28th, 2008 @ 4:27 pm

    That’s too bad you didn’t get in. I couldn’t make it today and was really looking forward to your report.

    Over 12 thousand, that’s quite a turn-out!

  3. Sarah (unregistered) on January 28th, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

    I was stunned by the crowd, too. I was an Obama "early adapter" and have seen him several times, but never seen a crowd like this.
    FYI: apparently he and Kennedy came out afterwards and talked to the ppl who got shut out, but I guess you would have had to have waited.

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