Sunday, February 03, 2008

A CHANGE FOR A SATURDAY NIGHT

Last night, Judy, Jerry and I decided we needed a change for a Saturday night, so we went to a rally for Obama, which was held downtown St. Louis at the Edward Jones Dome, where the Rams play.  



Now, the land of politics is filled with lies and the lying liers who tell them. I'm sure this hadn't been condoned by Sen. Obama, but we were lied to as soon as we got to the Dome. We arrived a half hour before the doors opened and the line was huge. We saw a young man with a clipboard (Judy said this is a sign of authority) and wearing some sort of official looking volunteer button and asked him if there was only one entrance. He told us that the entrance nearest us was for people who wanted to be on the floor, but they would have to go through metal detectors and security. The other doors let people into the balconies.

We opted for the balconies because we figured we could see and sit down.

And ended up on the floor. Behind the people who went through the other door. And stood for 3 hours. NO ONE was allowed into the balconies.

Mr. "I Have A Clipboard and a Badge" had lied to us.

We heard HE was going to arrive at 8 or 8:30. At various times, the crowd got the impression something was about to CHANGE.

There was a performance by the Harris Stowe Teachers College Marching Band and Drum Line.





A young woman came out and sang a very soulful National Anthem.



A guy threw beads to the crowd. (Hey, it was Mardi Gras weekend.)




And we had a surge!!!

All of a sudden, the crowd surged forward and closer to the stage!

By three feet!

We were so excited!

And crushed!!

Behind us, there was a young woman with a child in a stroller. An unhappy child. Who cried a lot. Jerry asked if there wasn't some airplane missing a wailing child. The woman with the stroller kept pushing the stroller into the back of Judy's leg and due to the crowd, Judy couldn't move. She eventually gave up and she and Jerry went to the back to get out of the crowd.

And then the stroller was digging into my leg. The woman somehow managed to angle the stroller to one side and was then pushing into my back with the diaper bag. I found that I could relax my legs a little by leaning back on that bag and stuff she had shoved into me. She finally asked me if I couldn't move a little bit as I was crowding her. I pointed out that my friend had to move because of the stroller and that I hadn't moved one bit so if she thought she was being crowded, she might want to shift a bit. And then I lost my "resting place".

A little later, we heard "excuse us, coming through, excuse me, I need to get through."

We looked down and saw a couple of women making their way through the crowd. I was standing with a pocket of middle-agers and we looked at her as one and said, "why?"

Young Woman: I can't see.

Middle-agers: And?

Young Woman: We want to get up front so we can see.

Middle-agers: We've been here two hours.

Young Woman: So you won't let me through?

Middle-agers: No.

Young woman: But I'm worse off than when I started.

Middle-Agers: And?

And she and her friends turned around and started back through the crowd.

Middle-agers get surly after standing on concrete for 2 hours.

AND then...... we felt More Change!

Local dignataries were introduced!! Our junior United States Senator and former State Auditor Claire McCaskill informed us there were 20,000 of us. Really? 20,000? Well, she was our State Auditor, so she ought to know. I couldn't judge the crowd from where I was towards the front, but Judy and Jerry said that most of the floor was full, so maybe there were close to 20,000. And it was a very diverse crowd; multi-generational (but more on the younger side), multi-racial and pretty much split, multi-gender.





Also in attendance on the stage were former U.S. Senator Jean Carnahan and her son, Russ, a United States Congressman. When Jean's late husband, Mel, was governor he died in a plane crash shortly before he defeated John Ashcroft for United States Senator. Jean went on to take Mel's seat in the Senate. Claire now occupies that Senate seat. We were counting the Missouri Democrats endorsing Obama and couldn't figure out who is left to endorse Hillary.



I asked if Nixon (Missouri Attorney General) is a democrat.

Jerry: Nixon is a democrat.

And that sentence made us giggle. OK, Jerry didn't giggle, being a guy. He kind of snorted.

I had a great view of what we had thought was the stage with the "Change" banner where we thought Obama would be standing. But shortly before Another Change in the evening, a local TV reporter and camera crew set up shop, blocking my view.



But the staging ended up being a little to the left of that, where I was totally blocked by a 6 foot guy.



But by standing on tippy toe, and also with the aid of a very nice tall young man next to me, I did get some decent pics of Obama after he finally arrived.





Security at the doors prevented people from bringing in their own signs, but "volunteers" handed out "official" signs to the crowd, "Stand Up for Change" and "A Change We Can Believe In".  

BUT ----  I did see a few home made signs that people had folded up and carried in under their coats; "Vets for Obama", "Vietnam Veterans for a Change."   Gotta love those crafty Vets!!

I'll admit, I don't know yet if I am for Obama or not.  I'm still working on that.  In his message, he said he wasn't going to tell us what we wanted to hear, but what he thought we needed to hear.  Which, if you are wanting change, IS something you want to hear.

He made some campaign promises that he promised he would accomplish, and they all seemed expensive, especially since he made the usual campaign promise regarding tax cuts.   I was intrigued by his promise of money for college students BUT --- those getting the money would be expected to serve their communities.  Good idea.   He addressed some rumors, that he's Muslim (while he has no problem with the Muslim faith) "...he has praised Jesus at the same Christian church for 20 years."  He also mentioned that there have been e-mail rumors that he won't pledge allegiance to the flag, yet he is often seen on C-Span doing that very thing in the Senate.

He received rousing applause when he mentioned how happy he was that George W. Bush would no longer be on the ballot.  He got even more applause, and laughter, when he said that the ballot would also not include the name of his cousin, Dick Cheney. 

Today, Hillary and The Remaining Missouri Democrats (Nixon?) will be at the Machinists Hall in North County, and Romney is going to be at...um...Dave and Busters in West County.  Can't get 20,000 people at Dave and Busters!

And today, my legs are killing me!!!  Attending these political rallies is NOT for wimps.  

But it's time now for me to get ready to attend a Supebowl Party.  Since I'm still in my robe, this means that I'm ready for a Change.

Sorry.  Couldn't resist.

5 comments:

Kathy said...

HAR! Sounds like an... interesting night.

Enjoy your Superbowl, Sly!

Anonymous said...

Great post and pics, sly! But since you're undecided you really should go to the Hillary rally! ;) Of course she was here the other day and I didn't go, but I have an excuse!

And let's hear it for the Middle Agers - that was great!

El

insomniac said...

so you middle-agers got medieval on those young punks?

Susan said...

Michelle Obama was here in Cheraw recently, but I didn't get to go. Silly work...

insomniac said...

and it looks like you went with James Caan...