This election season has gone on for a long time, nearly 2 years (!), but it is winding down soon.
My friend Diana called up and wanted to know if I would be interested in attending a rally - Barack Obama and Bill Clinton were stopping in the area late on Wednesday. Late as in 11 pm, in the Kissimmee area, which is already about an hour drive away. I agreed, so we made plans to meet and drive down there early enough to park, line up, and meet two of her friends.
The rally was held at a county fairgrounds, and was jammed with people, even though we got there almost 3 hours early! We passed the time in line just chatting, but during quiet moments I thought of all the rallies that all the candidates held, and how thousands/millions of other citizens in every state had done this same thing. Getting there 3 hours early means you can line up to stand in the crowd - those people that get bleacher seats, behind the candidates on a TV camera... I can't imagine how early they had to arrive. Probably in the morning, or those seats are invitation only. Mind boggling! I also tried to recall any other time I've seen a U.S. Presidential Candidate or President live... and the only time I could remember was in the early 90's in Houston, where George Bush Sr. gave a talk during an economic summit. Since part of campus was closed, I wandered over and attended it.
Anyway, the rally was fun. Obama aired a commercial before the World Series, and they played it on big screens. There were a few other speakers: the actor Jimmy Smits, plus an attorney who was organizing poll-watchers and legal teams. Bill Clinton came on to various cheers, and spoke for a while, and then Obama came out on stage and talked.
I had heard parts of his speech before, from other news coverage, but it was exciting to hear it live! I tried to take some pics but we were too far back to get really good ones.
Afterwards, it took nearly 1 hour before we could even move from the parking lot, and then it was another hour back home. So it was a pretty late night for both of us, but both Diana and I were glad we went! Mai and Charles wanted to go as well, but they had to stay home and watch their daughter. :)
The next day at work, I searched through the Orlando Sentinel website and found their writeup of the event.