Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama in Cleveland

Fellow rally-goers waiting at the rapid station
We went to the Obama rally yesterday afternoon. We took the rapid on Van Aken and waited for about 45 minutes for a train to come. Some people at the station had been waiting for over an hour. I guess RTA didn't quite anticipate the crowds. Pretty much everyone on the train was going to the rally, and we couldn't get on the first train that came by because it was already full. Apparently, the people who actually got inside the barricaded part of the mall waited in line starting early this morning, and the line wound all the way to Public Square. I think we were standing about half a mile from the stage. We were standing with other latecomers near the green giant reaching toward the sky statue. We finally got to the mall at around 3:30. News reports estimated the crowd at about 80,000.

First, there were several speakers. While we waited, the Browns game let out (the Browns lost to the Ravens 37-27) and many more people filed onto the mall. There was also a wedding party that was going into the Marriott Hotel and they paused to take some photos with the crowd. Then we all waited quite a while until nearly 5pm and Bruce Springsteen came on. He played a few songs, and then introduced the Obamas. Their entire family was there. Barack Obama thanked a few people and did a stump speech, which I'd say was similar to his infomercial message on Wednesday and covered many of the major issues. There was a funny moment when he mentioned Dick Cheney's recent endorsement of McCain, and it started to rain a little. Of course, the crowd was very responsive to the message.

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