There was a moment yesterday on the stage at OSU - right after she finished introducing the president and before getting a loving hug from him - in whice Michelle Obama made this quick gesture to her husband. It looks something like: See how many people came? See how much they still love you?
It was quite a night yesterday in Columbus.
We arrived around 4:30. The president was not going to take the stage for another 3.5 hours. The closer we got, the more worried we became. The traffic was too easy, too smooth. We parked very close and walked slowly, clearly suffering from enthusiasm gap symptoms.
But then we actually arrived at the "Oval", and what we saw there almost made us all cry - not for the last time in the night. HUGE lines on every entrance, and people just keep coming. Three hours later, they were still coming. OSU Democrats kids did a spectacular organizing work. Dozens of volunteers were ready with answers to every question - they were nice, passionate and came in all colors.
It was a long, and at times annoying wait, that only got more annoying as we stood very close to the media section and could hear what the good, unbiased and definitely not corrupted MSM guys had to say. Well, first they were SHOCKED by the size of the audience, so they told themselves and their viewers/readers, that 35,000 people actually came for Michelle. And then they decided that it doesn't matter anyway - Democrats are gone. They don't even try to hide it anymore. So what if the president speaks to enormous crowds all over the country. The power of that image just mess with their narrative. They will show small parts of the president speaking to thousand and thousands of people, but will not miss one second of anything Palin-ish.
Just as a side note, read this story:
This week, a former President of the United State, Bill Clinton, stood alongside his former rival, former California Governor Jerry Brown, and with the Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, before a crowd over over 5,000 gathered at UCLA. If there was ever a local news story here in Los Angeles, that was it. At my home, we monitored the local KABC and KCBS television "news" that evening at 11PM in hopes of seeing some of the event. Well, guess what was the breaking news story headlining the evening news here in Los Angeles? It was Sarah Palin speaking to a few hundred people at a GOP rally down in San Diego, presented with breathless narration of how well she was received. And as for President Clinton, Governor Brown, Mayor Newsom and their rally at UCLA? Well, you already know the answer. There was nothing.
Think about that: An event with an eight-year President, a former eight-year Governor of the largest state in the nation, and the Mayor of San Francisco standing on one stage at UCLA does not rise to "news" priority level as that of a 1/2 term Governor of Alaska visiting down in San Diego. Well, that pretty much sums it all up.
Anyway, back to the rally and to that Michelle little hands gesture. I Might be the only one interpreting it this way - but that's how i saw it. I think the president did not expect this size of crowd. I think he was surprised and moved. But yea, they still love him. It wasn't the 2008 "OMG-THE-MASSIAH-IS-COMING" kind of love. It was more sober, even aching, and therefore more moving in my eyes. These people have seen a lot over the last couple of years. They already know that Barack Obama can't walk on water, but they also know exactly what he was/is up against. They know that his heart is on the right place, and that he is in it for them. They believe him, and yea, they really love him. Maybe it was symbolic that he kinda lost his voice towards the end of the speech. The more difficult it was for him to speak, the more they loved him.
We left Columbus very happy, and a little sad, knowing that at this point we're probably in the minority of those who feel exactly the way we felt three years ago: Barack Obama is once-in-50-years kind of a president, and it breaks our hearts that so many people can't see it.
So, couple of very amateur-ish short videos that we took yesterday, followed by tons of very professional photos by AP. Enjoy: