Saturday, April 19, 2008

A quick handshake on the rope line!

Philadelphia, Pa. - The old newspaper guy inside of me still likes to dateline things. This morning I was to meet Jeremy because he was headed over to the main campaign headquarters where volunteers are coordinated! It was a chance to get some photos of him out of the office, which almost never happens.

On way over he casually dropped that after that we'd head to train station to see Obama off on his day-long, old-fashioned whistle-stop tour! As an admitted political junkie, I was all for it. See Saturday morning photos here.

We walked the 15 city blocks and Jeremy got us through a couple lines of security. We went down to the old Georgia Lines Luxury cars and got a tour though the train Obama would use today. It was too dark and crowded for photos, but did get one shot that's in the attached album of the back of the train Obama would be using to speak from during the various stops on the way to Harrisburg.

Upstairs a small group of people waited for the Senator. By the time his motorcade arrived security had let some members of the general public into the secure area. Still, I was on the front line and got a few shots you see here. He took his time working the line. I said, "Good luck, Senator," as he reached for my hand and he offered a "thank you."

I've met enough politicians and a few celebrity types I'm not star struck - but it was pretty cool. There were plenty of crazies at the rally last night and even in that small group this morning. But still, not ashamed to admit it was pretty cool.

On the walk over to the station Jeremy was already getting reports of huge crowds at the scheduled stops. Today began four days of canvassing for the campaign - going door to door for Obama. Jeremy's staff had nearly 12,000 people prepared to knock on doors today. Contact would be made with potential voters today through election day to turn out the vote.

"We have a plan in place to contact every single voter in Pennsylvania we want to contact before Tuesday," Bird said.

Back to Indiana this afternoon! The Obama-Hillary show won't be far behind.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Obama Rocks Independance Park

I’ve seen Elvis Presley perform. I have seen Paul McCartney a couple of times along with Aerosmith, John Mellencamp and many others.

But I’ve NEVER seen a political speech before that FELT like a rock concert - until Friday night. Barack Obama rocked Independence Park in Philadelphia. Tens of thousands of people turned out and waited, and waited and waited on the candidate who didn’t disappoint. See a full photo album from the rally here.

Obama gave largely his standard stump speech but opened with appropriate mention of the founding fathers who worked just a short distance from where he was speaking to craft the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

He hammered Hillary Clinton harder than I had seen in recent clips – to the approving roar of the masses.

But for me one of the most amazing things wasn’t the speech, the huge crowd, or the amazing setting for this political rally. What I saw afterwards was astounding!

Thousands of people headed south from the historic area, of this most-historic city, to the city’s center. And they simply took over Market Street which leads to Philly’s famous city hall.

Teenagers, older women and everyone in between halted traffic and had something of an Obama march. They chanted “O-BA-MA” or “Yes We Can.” It was joyous – regardless of your politics. And when was joy and politics last used in the same sentence?

I’ve heard pundits for many months now say Obama’s campaign is more of a “movement” and Friday night that became much easier to understand!