Going to Barack Obama speech. What to expect?

I’m in Kansas City at the moment, and will be attending the speech tomorrow (Saturday) at Liberty Memorial. I saw John Kerry speak in front of Union Station in 2004, but I was so far back that a group of Republicans with air horns made it very difficult to hear. I’m going to arrive early to try to get in with the more enthusiastic crowd. I presume I’m going to have to go through security, and the web site says only:

For security reasons do not bring bags or umbrellas. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners allowed.

I’m taking the bus down there, so I don’t have the option of taking anything “back to my car”. I need a bottle of water and would like to take a small video camera. Am I going to be OK?

Yeah, you’ll be fine. Be early. No. Earlier than that. If the rally starts at 12, be there around 10:15. Next time, get to the campaign office the next time you hear about Barack coming to town and volunteer to get the good tickets.

I’m down here in Missouri from my home in Chicago for two reasons:

[ol]
[li]To make money[/li][li]To help Obama carry Missouri[/li][/ol]

I’ve been tied up on on #1 for the past week, but I’m ready to do as much as I can for “Get out the vote” for the rest of the time leading up to this election. I volunteered in 2000, 2004 and 2006.

Dude, if there was a rally in my turf and someone from out of state were in it, I’d make damned sure they got the good seats.

You need to harp on the poor, burned-out organizers in Misourri.

I’m guessing you won’t need to experience this. At least I hope so.

A hundred thousand folks? Good times!

Just got back from the rally. I got there at 11 AM for a 4 PM gate opening…and I was about the 150th person in line. The security was handled very professionally by a non-secret portion of the Secret Service (they had uniforms). Oddly, it was not where I thought it would be at the Liberty Memorial. Usually, they have a stage in front of the monument, and people gather down the mall. But in this case, it was all set up in a grassy area to one side. I can only assume this was better for protection…the Crown Center hotel would be difficult to completely secure. After passing through the checkpoint, I was given a fresh bottle of water (very thoughtful of the campaign) and managed to get only 4 rows of people back from the front. Talked with some great folks, including a retired reporter (registered Independent) who served on the Forrestel with John McCain - thinks he’s a great guy, but just the wrong choice for president at this time.

We were told that there were 100,000 people at the Gateway arch in St Louis, making it the largest crowd he has spoken to in the US. Be interesting to see if KC beat that record.

So, how memorable was it? Any other fun stories?

100,000 in St. Louis? Damn, they broke our record from Portland back in May. KC was about the same as Communist Portland. BTW, I am the pixel way in the back and to the right behind the tree in the pic of the Portland event on Ben Smith’s blog.

At my Barack Obama event, the line stretched about 15 blocks, IIRC. I happened to get in line right in front of Democratic primary candidate, Will Hobbs and his girlfriend. We had a pretty interesting conversation as we waited in line about the upcoming elections. I got into the park just before Obama began speaking. Alas, he just delivered his stump speech, which I had already heard a million times on TV. It was worth it just to meet Will and Cathy though.

A crapload of people.

I just felt this picture was appropriate to add to this thread:
http://www.npr.org/templates/common/image_enlargement.php?imageResId=95868716

Nothing really major. The people surrounding me at the event were a wide cross section - White, Black, Mexican, an Indian teacher who immigrated to this country 30 years ago and her 15 year old daughter. Lots of volunteers to help the aged and disabled move through the crowd. Nobody pushed or shoved. The event was managed very professionally and the crowd responded to being treated well by being respectful of others.

I was especially glad to be so close that any anti-Obama protesters were half a mile back. He doesn’t have the oratorical skill of a Bill Clinton, but he is a charismatic speaker.

I’m uploading the video I shot to Google Video (it doesn’t have the 10 minute limit of YouTube), and will post the link when it’s done. I’ve not been able to find a crowd shot that covers the entire rally. The only two places where one could have gotten a shot like that were the top of the World War I museum (covered with Secret Service snipers) or the Federal Reserve Bank (equally inaccessible). I’m sure that is why the rally was staged where it was, rather than on the North lawn of the Memorial or the down the main Mall.

The rally got me motivated to volunteer. Read about my experience in this thread.

I have the video uploaded to Google Video. Man, do I hate Quicktime! What a piece of trash encoder. Here it is. Sorry about the shaky camerawork. The bad sync is entire the fault of Quicktime.