Baron Dave Romm (barondave) wrote,
Baron Dave Romm
barondave

Obama-Franken Rally w/Bill Clinton

On Line with Franken supporters
On Line with Franken Supporters
Mpls Convention Center, 10/30/08

I bused down to the Convention Center early. The even was scheduled to start at 7:30 with the doors open at 7:00. I got downtown around 6, and decided to pick up a sandwich and arrive early. Both these decisions paid off handsomely. The Convention Center itself was open, including several snack bars, but I'm just as happy I didn't scarf down an expensive hot dog. Meanwhile, though I got there around 6:10, a line had already started forming on the ground level, with more people two floors below near Hall A. I made friends with my neighbors, and even had a long conversation with someone I met on the Megabus last year. Around 7, the line slipped forward and down, and we wound up in a big convention hall room set up with tv cameras, two screens and a stage with backdrops for two different camera angles.

backdrop at Obama/Franken rally
Backdrop at Obama/Franken rally
The party faithful stood there for a couple of hours, waving placards and looking happy
Mpls Convention Center, 10/30/08

We stood. A long time. The programming wasn't particularly well organized, as there were a couple of breaks in the rah-rah which left the crowd disappointed for stretches. I'm constantly reminded of why I'm not a member of any political party.

And I'm constantly reminded why I've voted with the Democrats with few exceptions for a quarter of a century. We stayed, and it was worth it. The event itself was well-done. Volunteers were everywhere, signing people up for GOTV shifts and passing out placards.

ASL at the Obama/Franken rally
ASL at the Obama/Franken rally
Mpls Convention Center, 10/30/08

After the Republican National Convention, this rally was a breath of fresh air. I was in the arena for several GOP speakers, including Tom Ridge, Fred Thompson (narrating a film) and John McCain. They were okay. But only okay. The Xcel crowd of 14,000 (or whatever) was never as fired up as our crowd of 3-5,000 (or whatever). All the speakers were excellent, and built to the Big Dog. Community organizers, the first Hmong state rep (Mai?), Mpls mayor RT Ryback, Speaker of the MN House Keliher (who I met in Washington), Rep. Keith Ellison (who I talked with after the event), Sen. Klobuchar (who was better than I've ever seen her), Al Gore (on film, from a different event for Franken), Franken himself (who is a much more convincing politician in person than on tv) and, of course, Bill Clinton.

Al Franken introducing Bill Clinton
Al Franken introducing Bill Clinton
Mpls Convention Center, 10/30/08

Two hours of excellent speechifying, and Clinton was easily the best of them. He was intelligent and passionate and laid out the case for electing Obama and Franken with precision and conviction. He was speaking to the faithful, and sometimes it's harder to light a fire under people who already are convinced than it is to convince people who are on the fence.

We have five days -- now four as I write this -- to change the world. I've talked to a wide range of political personalities in the last few months, and the Democrats have the best message and the best candidates.
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