Saturday, November 17, 2007
The Barrack Obama rally was interesting on several fronts.
1- It wasn't a sellout. More people could have been there, but rain was threatening, and we did have light showers. If that venue holds 5000 standing, then I'd put the crowd at 3500 max.
2- It was, I felt, poorly orchestrated - watching a batch of supporters wave signs on stage for about half an hour just isn't very powerful. At least they played music through the PA. Apparently there was a band earlier. Doors open at 3, event at 4:30, it said online. Barrack spoke for about 30 minutes starting at 5. Was that to build anticipation? Didn't work. Did someone warm up the audience? Nope.
I thought there'd be self-serving babble/intros from cronies in the political ranks, but with a simple, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the next President of the United States, Barrack Obama," he came onstage, shaking hands with the peanut gallery which stood there behind him.
I remain undecided. But I know who I don't want and that narrows the field. I had hoped to find some charisma or bond. He's pro, and I guess he's said these same words 1000 time so far, but I wasn't inspired. I left undecided. Happily, there's more to the job of president than just speaking to crowds. I place him among the contenders for my vote.
His speech was about why he was running. It gave no specifics about HOW to accomplish the goals he named.
He did have a good line about his cousin Dick Cheney, "there's a black sheep in every family." I don't think the crowd got it.
3- The speech didn't bring us to a rousing crescendo. Wouldn't you think someone could have crafted that? It was also delivered in a high pitch - if he had dropped his voice and spoken rather than orated, it might have connected better.
4- Security was a surprise. As in surprisingly weak. You paid your fee online and printed a ticket voucher and were supposed to have photo id but they didn't seem to check either. Everybody got a light frisk but it could have been easy to bring in contraband.
5- Austin is polite. Even when they threw t-shirts to the crowd, I saw no grabbing away from one another. That was nice to see.
6- NO SIGNS was the rule. Then they handed out a number of official signs which also worked as rain hats.
7- I dashed away to get out before the traffic nightmare. I wasn't alone. I overheard no politics being discussed.
8- Ron Paul supporters were across the street shouting their lines at the people as they filed in.
Overall, interesting - glad I saw the spectacle, such as it was. The speech text could be improved, I feel, by adding the YOU perspective much more often, i.e.: "You deserve..." But what the heck - I'm a voter, not a pol.