Feb. 12th, 2008

phamos: (hotkarl)
Quick thoughts on the Obama rally:

•Wisconsin is cold. Making people in Wisconsin stand outside in the cold for a long time is mean.

•I don't think that making everyone form a huge line to go in through one entrance on the side of the building, and then suddenly going, "ah, fuck it" and throwing open all the doors at the front simultaneously is the best way to manage a crowd. I am stunned that no one got crushed.

•Sports arenas give me vertigo. I do not enjoy this.

•The "Fired Up/Ready to Go" thing didn't really catch on. Obama didn't have particularly good warm-up acts. The dweeby campus leader guy was especially annoying. The rhythm of the event leading up to the speech seemed really off -- I think it's because they were planning to go on at 8 but had to wait for the Maryland polls to close after the weather delay. So there was a lot of filler. I had to listen to "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield twice. DAMN YOU BARACK OBAMA!

•Governor Jim Doyle looks a lot like actor Peter Boyle. (R.I.P.) That woulda been a good way to fill some dead air -- make the governor tap-dance to "Puttin' on the Ritz."

•Is Madison's mayor really named "Mayor Dave" or did Obama just not remember his name? This is such a dippy town, we might well have a mayor who just goes by Dave, who drives a hemp-fueled car and plays hacky-sack between policy meetings. SIMPLIFY, MAAAAAAN.

•Obama really does just have more star power than anyone I've ever seen. Yes, Abby, he beats both Mos Def and PJ Harvey. You could see that his campaign took a BIG turn tonight. He didn't mention Clinton by name once, only made references to "Washington status quo." He aimed all his specific criticisms at McCain -- he's looking at the general election, and it was cool to see. His speech is just so POSITIVE, while making it very clear that he's not talking about blind optimism. This is a man who wants to work to make the world a better place. What a novel idea -- a politician who's not just in it for the glory and the power? I'm down with that. His anti-lobbyist talk fell a little flat with me, because even though he certainly doesn't have the deep, gross ties with lobbyists that people who've been in Washington for decades do, he does take donations from interest groups. Everyone does. But I got a good laugh out of Segev when Obama was talking about Exxon's profits last quarter and everyone in the crowd started booing, and I said, "Yeah, BOO oil! Everyone hates oil! BOOOO!" All I could think of in that moment was the Simpsons bit from the PTA Disbands episode: "Oh no, the taxes! The finger thing means the taxes!" But yeah, in general, the speech was what I expected it to be, and I'm hoping in 10 years I'll be able to tell my kids I saw President Obama speak on the night his campaign broke wide open.

•Final thought: There were 9/11 Truth people in the crowd directly in front of the podium. Not a lot of people got to be on the arena floor, so you'd think security would have weeded them out. But there they were, waving signs about WTC 7 and whatnot. I was so panicked that they would manage to shout something really loud and disruptive and totally fuck up the event, but they couldn't manage to make themselves heard and the cameras seemed to stay off of them. I guess it's easier to screw with a Bill Maher taping than a campaign event with 20,000 people.

Oh, and, here's some clips from the speech as posted by the good folks over at Talking Points Memo:

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March 2009

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