Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama in Raleigh

I came, I didn't see but there was definite conquering going on.

I had kind of thought that since the whole thing came together so recently and they only announced it Monday afternoon and it was scheduled for the middle of the day in the middle of the week that there wouldn't be big crowds. I mean, come on its Raleigh after all...

I underestemated Raleigh, and 25,000 of my neighbors. I left work admittedly late for the party but I was mindful of the James Taylor opening-act-poolza and I didn't want to stand around for an hour so I could listen to some local pols I was all ready going to vote for beg for my vote. I'm sure they all have beautifully crafted stump speeches but they were preaching to the choir. We didn't want to hear them we wanted to hear James Taylor. This time I decided I was going to skip the opening acts and go straight for the headliner.

Bad Idea. I walked right from my blessedly good parking spot and right into the front of the line. I thought, Okay. I'll just hook up with the end of the line. No problem, it's not even noon yet. So I started out on my journey. I saw a lot of people milling around heading roughly in the same direction I was but it was lunch hour and they could have just been downtown workers going to lunch. I also really didn't know where the rally was being held.

My plan was just going to keep walking until I bumped into it. I then was worried that it was all ready over and I missed it because I saw a woman with a board of buttons and it looked like she was putting back into her car. I was a little disappointed but I decided to carry on because maybe it was still going on.

I walked until I bumped into the line. The front of the line. I needed to be at the end of the line. How far away could it be?  I walked and when I got tired of walking I stopped and looked at the buttons, there were a lot of booths and everyone was selling something I wanted.

I was beginning to think this was a little bigger than the Biden thing. I thought for sure that I was going to get to the end of the line at the next corner and I didn't. The line just kept going and going. I would walk a few more blocks and think Oh, for sure that's must be the end... and it wasn't! The line went up and down streets and around corners and it seemed endless. I was like Dayum, this is a lot more than Biden. I had stood in a line but nothing like this. There was one thing they had in common:


Thousands of different kinds. I love buttons. I bought a couple at the State Convention and I bought the blinky one at Biden and I bought three here. Two for me and one for my friend at work who wanted to go but couldn't. My Obama Button collection:

Yeah. It's not much of a collection, but buttons aren't free and one has to practice good judgement. I've found if If I see more than one table with a given button I need to say no to the button. It's about quality over quantity. I am still mad at myself for saying no to a Michelle Obama button I saw at the convention and I haven't seem one since and I regret not getting it when I had the chance. It's like in all things, if you live by the button, you die by the button.

I started to worry about the time. I was prepared to be a little late but not so late anyone might notice. Finally, about forty minutes after I arrived I came to the end of the line.

The speech started and we magically began to move. Quickly. We got to the front of the line to find that we were not going to get into the speech. I stood around for a while and listened but I needed to go. I didn't take many pictures because there was very little to take pictures of. The lines didn't photograph well at all and I had the feeling the button/tee-shirt/ sweatshirt/baseball hat/ski hats/golf hats/watch/blanket/art/sticker/magnet sellers really didn't want me to take pictures of their wares. Whatever

The crowd that did not get in.

Go to the News and Observer site here to see the crowd that did get in

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