I've never been to political rally before, but Obama is just so damn charming that I had to attend his Washington Square Park event this past Thursday. I was not alone. I walked by people lined up for blocks way longer than when I waited for my Wii. To give you an idea of how packed it was (and how overwhelmed the planners were) here's the line to get through security. This was the view after about 30 minutes of waiting.And here's how far I got one hour later.Let that statue on the left indicate the progress I made after 60 intimate minutes with my fellow sweaty and tired line-waiters. Good thing I had Speaker for the Dead to read.
They eventually gave up on the security detail once Obama was about to take the stage. At this point, the crowd's attitude could be described as marginally rowdy. Once the gates came down, the mood quickly switched to rock-concert-euphoric as people young and old dashed through the checkpoint.And if that wasn't enough, here's the scene once Obama's intro music started (note: that is not me screaming).
This also happens to be the intro song Kucinich uses. He doesn't quite rock it as well.
Once Obama got on stage, you got the feeling he could have said anything and still gotten an ovation.
The rest of the rally went as expected. Obama is remarkably charismatic -- alarmingly so. And the response he got from the crowd (of at least 20,000 by my guesstimate) suggests that I wasn't the only one succumbing to his high CHA. Granted, I've never been any kind of a rally before, but there was an emotional response from this crowd that trumped the best rock concerts I've been to. Even Metallica.
I'm still not convinced, but if you're going to vote with your gut next November (assuming we still have elections, heh) this is the candidate who will not only say all the right things -- he'll say them so damn well.