Madison.com: The massive crowd of supporters started arriving before dawn Thursday and waited in a line that stretched forever up and down UW-Madison’s hilly Observatory Drive, all waiting to see President Barack Obama’s afternoon rally and praying that skies, gray and threatening throughout the morning, wouldn’t drop rain.
…. UW police estimated the crowd at 30,000, and what looked like thousands more, all with tickets, were denied admission after officials declared the event at capacity early in the afternoon….
Reflector.com: First lady Michelle Obama electrified a crowd of 6,000 supporters on Wednesday with the message that every vote will count on Nov. 6.
Obama urged the audience in a 30-minute speech at Minges Coliseum to get family and friends to vote and to visit gottavote.com to register. Her visit was part of a campaign swing through Greenville and Durham.
“This election will be even closer than the last one. It could all come down to what happens in a few key battleground states like North Carolina,” Obama said.
President Obama hugs a supporter at the Gator’s Dockside restaurant while campaigning in Orlando, Florida, September 8
My Unconventional Covention Diary
As most of you know, my sister and I were a couple of the unfortunate souls with Community Credentials who had planned to be in the Bank of America stadium for PBO’s acceptance speech on Thursday. When it was moved back to the Convention Center due to forecasts of thunderstorms, we were heartbroken. Although our credentials would not let get us into the convention center, we decided to go to Charlotte anyway to soak up some of the atmosphere. I posted a few comments about our trip on previous posts, but a couple of TODers mentioned that they missed my story.
My comments were not posted in real-time, because, for me, it’s such a pain trying to post on the blog from my phone. Also some of my comments are out of sequence and I left out a few things. So I thought it might be fun to go back and put my comments in order of when the subject described was happening (see the links below) and add a few thoughts that I left out. So Here ya go! Sorry for the long post.
Dudette & Sister Road Dawg Finally Get to Charlotte – see here
What I left out: Although we arrived at the hotel at 3:30AM on Thursday morning. We were so amped, we stayed up until almost 5:30AM giggling with excitement, watching news reports and online videos of convention speeches from Tuesday and Wednesday. I love my sister very much.
Orlando Sentinel: Organize for America opened a new office in east Orlando to an overflow crowd tonight. The crowd came in part to hear U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is also chair of the Democratic National Committee. But most appeared to be current campaign volunteers or ready to enlist.
….. This is not the campaign committee’s entrance to Orlando, but merely a short move, a few blocks down Colonial, in a quest for more room. OFA first set up shop last spring in offices at the corner of Colonial and Mills.
Last night it still was no where near enough room. The crowd filled OFA’s new second floor suite of offices at 1516 E. Colonial Dr., as well as both the first and second floor lobbies.
Irish Times: Nothing quite prepares a person for the sight of the President of the United States wandering so close. Or the impish look in his eye as he gladhands his way through the wheelchair enclosure and coolly takes the phone from Jessica Walls to say “Hi” to her mother Glynis, minding her business in her Skerries kitchen, cooking spaghetti Bolognese. No point in pretending to be objective.
Just surrender and swoon. “I was 10 yards from him”, crooned Liz O’Donnell (a former member of the Irish parliament). And? “What a beautiful man. He’s gorgeous, he walks like a Kenyan – they have such elegant body movement….”
Psychologist Maureen Gaffney raised the tone just a tad by quoting Edmund Burke. “Obama is a natural aristocrat. He is emotionally pitch perfect. Burke called it the natural aristocracy – people of unbelievable vigour, zest and character…..”
Suddenly the interminable hours of standing and waiting were a distant memory … “Ah, it’s a bit like childbirth”, sang a middle-aged Clare woman, “you forget all the pain when you get this – God, I don’t know – this MIRACLE put in front of you”.
…This, as a man told his small daughter, is “what you’ll be telling your grandchildren about. . . that you saw Barack Obama with your own big brown eyes”.
And here he was … Gazing out from his bullet-proof glass screens to a 50,000-strong crowd crammed in the reserved area in College Green, the American president had them from the moment he announced he was Barack Obama – “of the Moneygall Obamas. And I’ve come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way”.
From somewhere in the crowd came the roar, “I’ve got it here!”
“Is that where it is?”, asked the president.
“Some wise Irish man or woman once said that broken Irish is better than clever English,” he went on, to loud applause. “So here goes: Tá áthas orm bheith in Éirinn – I am happy to be in Ireland! I’m happy to be with so many a cháirde”…
“God, the Irish language is going to power ahead after this,” said Maureen Gaffney. Liz O’Donnell marvelled at how he pronounced all the syllables in “orm”. He and Michelle were feeling very much at home, he said “even more at home after that pint that I had. . . Feel even warmer”.
…A man nearby muttered wearily about the “Paddywhackery”. But it was “charming”, argued his wife. “But he’s saying nothing,” insisted the husband. “Oh give us a break – he’s feckin’ beautiful,” retorted the wife. The husband, sadly, had no answer.
…As the crowds broke up, they walked lightly to the rhythm of upbeat American marches, and it wasn’t just the women. “That crowned a perfect week,” said Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle as he headed home. “I detest hero worship but I don’t mind worshipping such a hero,” said Cathal Grennan….
Too many blissful moments to choose from today, but go on then …. I’ll pick these three minutes … just listen to the crowd from 0:18 and watch the President and First Lady’s reaction:
And these five photos….
1 Because the President visiting Ireland meant so, so much to Dan Rooney – just look at his face at Dublin airport this morning, and the way he’s holding the President’s hands:
2 Because the sight of President Obama with a hurley in his hands just cracked me up …. especially when he threatened to use it against Congress:
3 Because the Obamas’ visit to Moneygall gave the village’s people a day they will never, ever forget:
4 Because this photo just showed how fun and utterly lovely the first couple are:
5 Because, for me, this photo is iconic. The sight of President Obama pointing towards the skies, in the general direction of the Irish flag, will hardly make Ireland’s economic disaster go away …. but his speech today made more than a few Irish folk believe that Ireland can come back again: Is Féidir Linn … Yes We Can.
Can I have a sixth? Please? Thanks!
Because they said President Obama couldn’t possibly attract as big a crowd in Dublin as Bill Clinton did 15 years ago.
He did ;-)
Thank you for your company on a beautiful day – I won’t be able to post as frequently tomorrow, but I’ll do my best ;-)
Hi people, I’ll be out for most of the day but will catch up with you all later – have a blissful Friday ;-)
President Obama waves to visitors as he walks towards the Marine One for a departure on the South Lawn
Col. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost: “You did good, Mr President.”
President: “Stop, stop, you’re making me blush.”
(Okay, I made that up!)
President Obama walks with Col. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, the commander of the 89th Airlift Wing, prior to boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base as he travels to Indianapolis and Fort Campbell, Ky
Rachael makes the same great point as Jonathan Freedland in the UK Guardian earlier this week: “…One former foreign minister who has seen the president up close believes that Bin Laden’s scalp will lead other world leaders to conclude that, to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, “Obama may speak softly – but he carries a big stick”…”
Thank you Dorothy ;-)
Michael Tomasky (The Daily Beast): Ground Zero’s Politics Are Over – Obama’s low-key appearance at the Twin Towers site today has finally neutralized the area blatantly politicized by the GOP.
Without saying a single word, but in the simple act of showing up … silently laying a wreath, and respectfully speaking with dress-uniformed officers flanking him, Barack Obama managed to neutralize what has arguably been the most potent piece of Republican iconography of the last decade: its total political ownership of 9/11, and of Ground Zero itself.
….Starting today, they can’t use it anymore. How it must grate their cheese that it was Barack Obama – crypto-Kenyan, effete urbanite, paller-around-with-terrorists – who turned these tables! What’s been playing out in the four days since the killing of Osama bin Laden – the Republican insistence that Bush deserves credit too, the claim that torture must be given its due, and all the rest – is equivalent to, and about as charming as, a bully’s incredulity that a smaller but nimbler foe has bested him.
….Today’s appearance by Obama simply provides the symbolic capstone. It’s no wonder that Bush snappishly sees today’s event, according to a New York Daily News story, as an Obama “victory lap.” Ground Zero was his. Now it’s not. (Imagine the ceremonial orgiastics we’d probably be enduring right now if Bush or John McCain had brought OBL to justice.)
I know we’ve all had enough of yesterday’s man, Donald Chump, but LoriahR sent me a link to a really powerful piece by Etan Thomas on the CNN site:
Donald Trump’s most recent challenge to President Barack Obama took me back to my collegiate years at Syracuse University. I had studied for two weeks straight for a calculus class, harder than I had ever studied in my life. After I completed my exam, I was confident that all my hard work had paid off.
But the next day, my professor greeted me with accusations of cheating, saying three-fourths of the class had flunked. How could I possibly have managed to get a B minus without cheating?….
….The president should not have to prove anything to anyone. Yet, he has handled every unmerited insult with nothing but grace and class. He has risen above every act of insolence, and proved them all wrong….
….It is a sad situation that a man who has earned a degree from Columbia University, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, has been elected as president of the United States and received a Nobel Peace Prize has to continuously prove himself as a man worthy of respect. He simply shouldn’t have to.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic): ….What many white people fail to realize is that though Barack Obama and his family are unique to them, they are deeply familiar to black people. …we do live next door to them … We went to church and played in summer leagues with people like them. I went to college with people like them. This is not to slight Barack Obama’s truly remarkable story, nor the indispensable labor of the people who raised him…..
To see that country manifested in the White House is the sort of boon that you can’t really attach to statistics. But for those of us who are waging the fight against a crippling cynicism, who are urging our children on, who visit schools and begin our addresses with, “I remember when I was just like you,” the First Family is perhaps the greatest weapon in our arsenal.
….when broad sections of this country foolishly follow a carnival barker in the ugly tradition of attacking black citizenship rights, when pundits shriek that Obama’s successes are simply the result of the misguided largess of white people, they undermine our most intimate war. They undermine the notion that someone familiar to that kid on the corner could legitimately reach the highest levels of the country, that someone like that kid’s Aunt could be the First Lady. They undermine this country’s social contract, and the “hard work pays” message of my parents. And to that we object.
For if they will not take as legitimate a magna cum laude from their highest institutions, if they will not accept a man who tells black kids to cut off the video games and study, who accedes to their absurd requests one week, and slays their demons the next, who will they accept? Who among us would they ever believe?
Andrew Romano and Daniel Klaidman (Newsweek): ….the most obvious effect of Abbottabad is that it vindicates the president’s approach to the war on terrorism, and removes from the Republican arsenal the argument that he is a weak, naive, bumbling humanitarian. It is difficult to imagine the 2012 contenders questioning Obama’s commander-in-chief chops, as Republicans have done to Democrats for decades, and were hoping to do again. Why? Because that particular line of inquiry now gives the president a priceless opportunity to remind voters that he accomplished in two years what George W. Bush was unable to accomplish in eight. As rebuttals go, it’s a good one.
Less obvious is the fact that Abbottabad might also vindicate Obama’s broader approach to presidential leadership, which has always emphasized calculating, technocratic, goal-oriented tenacity over “Mission Accomplished” theatrics.
The problem with the Obama-Carter comparisons, which have been regurgitated by 2012 hopefuls such as Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty in recent months, is that they overlook the real-world results of Obama’s supposedly knock-kneed management: universal health care, Wall Street reform, a depression-averting stimulus package, the end of the Iraq War, and now, bin Laden’s head.
As much as Pawlenty & Co. might disagree with Obama’s policies, it’s hard to deny that the president has a knack for getting (most of) what he wants …. “The way Obama made this decision was very similar to way he makes domestic decisions,” says historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. “Gathering the info, talking it out, then making the most rational call.”
New York Post: A few months ago, 14-year-old Payton Wall, who lost her father on 9/11, bared her grief in a 1,500-word letter to President Obama. “I never thought he’d respond,” Payton said yesterday, after she was embraced by the president at Ground Zero following the wreath-laying ceremony. “I was so shocked when the White House called! It was all a dream come true.”
In the letter, which the Rumson, NJ, teen said is “too personal” to share with the public, she told Obama about her father, Glen Wall, who was an executive at Cantor Fitzgerald when terrorists attacked the Twin Towers.
On Monday, the day after Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs, the president was given his daily handful of letters from Americans to read, and Payton’s stood out, White House officials said.
…The next day, the White House called her mother, Diane – who didn’t even know Payton had written the letter, officials said. Obama invited Payton, her mother and her sister, Avery, to yesterday’s ceremony. Payton spent days practicing a strong handshake, but in the end Obama gave her a presidential bear hug.
NY Daily News: Christopher Cannizzaro was still in diapers when his firefighter father was killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11. And Thursday the 10-year-old wanted President Obama to know his daddy died a hero.
“I was talking to him about my dad and my necklace,” said the Staten Island fifth-grader, showing a small medallion with a photo of his father, Firefighter Brian Cannizzaro, in uniform in front of an American flag. “Then he said, ‘I feel bad for your dad.’ He was being really open to me about everything,” said Christopher, who greeted Obama with a fist bump.
The boy gave Obama a prayer card with his dad’s picture and the President put it in his pocket. “He said, ‘Thank you, it was truly an honor to receive this from you,'” Christopher said. “It made me feel great; it meant the world to me that he was talking to me.”
The 6-foot-1 leader of the free world stared the pint-size kid in the eyes and solicited his opinion about a subject that has captured the attention of the world. “He asked how I felt about Osama Bin Laden being dead,” the boy said. “I said he could have done something a little less harsh to him, but it was nice to just know that after what happened to my dad, this guy was killed, too.”….
(This made me smile: “I said he could have done something a little less harsh to him, but it was nice to just know that after what happened to my dad, this guy was killed, too.” Sweet.)