Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Obama rally in Chester, PA

I always wanted to do this in 2004, but since I was living in New York at the time, it's not like a presidential candidate would come to a dark blue state. Now that I live in New Jersey, I finally decided to take advantage of my neighboring swing-state of Pennsylvania, and attend a rally.

When I was home for the weekend, my friend informed me of an Obama rally this week in Chester, PA which is just south of Philly. About an hour and a half from me, and totally worth it to see the future President. The rally was in the morning, so I knew that I had to get there early. I left home at 4 AM, only stopping at 7-11 to get an Obama 7-election cup for hot chocolate.

We could not have had worse weather. It was about 39 degrees and pouring rain. I was hoping to get some good pictures, but at the same time, I was worried about ruining my camera in the rain, so it did not come out much. I was bundled up and dressed in layers, luckily I wore a hoodie so it did keep my head a little bit warm. I didn't care how cold I got because I knew that I had another sweatshirt in the car, and that I could always turn the heat on. I got to Chester wtih no traffic problems, but parking was another story. By the time I finally parked the car, the line to get in was about 5 blocks long. I am not sure how much longer it got after me. Everyone was trying to sell us stuff while we were waiting in line. One guy selling buttons was so enthusiastic about it that he kept telling us "forget Joe the Plumber (ok Joe the unlicensed plumber, and tax cheat, your 15 minutes are about to expire) what about Dan the Button Man." I purposely left my purse locked in the car because I knew security would be tight so I didn't bother. So because of that, I did not have any money with me. But that creative comment would have sold me a button otherwise (let's set aside the fact that I have 3 buttons already).

The security was not that bad oddly enough. To be honest, the security at Yankee Stadium is tighter than the security that the Secret Service provides. Once I got in, I was about 25 rows deep, which is pretty good for most people, but I am a former "groupie" that was very used to pushing my way up front. And I could not see a thing from where I am because of everyone's umbrellas. So so much for getting pictures from there. I wanted at least one picture of the future president. So I got up and moved. I wound up over by the press railing, which was not that much closer, but I was at least able to attempt to get a picture from where I was standing. Plus I knew the sound quality would be better from by where the press was.

Barack Obama came on at about 10. His first comment was on the weather, and telling us how we must have really wanted change if we were willing to wait outside in this weather to see him. I had heard most of his speech before, since I am always watching MSNBC and watch things on youtube all the time. My favorite part was when he told parents to get involved in their children's lives and to turn off the tv. My mother is in education, and she is always commenting on how detrimental screen time is to a child's life, and it's nice to see a presidential candidate think the same way.

After the speech, I had hoped to get a picture or shake hands, but instead I was approached by an NBC news Philly reporter, and was interviewed by them. I am not sure if I made it on because I only get NBC news New York. As much as I hate Fox News, if I was interviewed by the local Fox affiliate, I would have gotten to perhaps see myself on TV (since I get both NY and Philly's Fox stations). They asked me about my thoughs on Obama carrying PA. I told the reporter that the poll numbers look good, but polls do not win elections. We still have to get out and vote, and make sure our vote is counted properly (something I am very worried about this election system, as the last two presidential elections were not clean).

All and all it was a very good experience. Well worth braving the rain for it. I got about 100 feet from the future President :-)

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