Barack Obama in Madison

Greetings All. Today, Madison surpassed its all-time record snowfall. We're probably past a total of 80 inches total for the year AND there's more to come on Thursday and Saturday. Because of the snowfall, my fancy plans to travel to Minneapolis with Tony and attend the Cinematic Titanic launch party had failed. Driving conditions were poor, so Madison we stayed.

Luckily, there was another high profile event happening in our very city. Democratic Nominee, Barack Obama had a rally downtown at the Kohl Center. An excellent Plan B to follow through. So that's what we did. ^_^

Getting In

Obama's speech was set for 8pm, with the doors opening at 6:15pm. I got there around 5:45pm and caught up to Tony without a problem. But the crowds were massive.

It's kinda tough to see, but the wonderful people that organized the event decided to funnel the massive crowd of thousands into a single entrance way. BRILLIANT! By the time we arrived and the time we decided to screw the line we were in, we moved about 40 feet? I think.. about a foot a minute.

Eventually they opened up other entrances, and we eventually positioned ourselves to a point where we could get inside.

We entered the premises around 7:15pm.. 7:30pm. And, since we took forever to get inside, nearly every single seat in the building was taken. After stooping around, we found some seats above the exit way that were covered up for unknown reasons. Unknown enough for us, and another group, to pull the tarp off the seats and uncover the perfect spot to sit.

We had a nice little perch, and eventually the arena became more and more full.

The Speech

The speech had several lead-ins, starting with the student organizer and the campus organizer. Eventually, Governor Doyle took the stage to pronounce his support for Barack Obama.

With the conclusion of his speech, Governor Doyle introduced "the next president of the United States", Barack Obama to uproarious applause and cheering. It was a thunderous pounding roar that was really captivating and emotional.

On stage, Obama gave his speech about how he will bring about change and fix our broken country. How the politics of the last 'decade' have screwed us and what we stand for. I'm not a huge follower of Obama, but I can imagine it's quite similar to his other speeches. He didn't really focus on health care or working class as much as the Bush Administration and the failed politics in Washington.

It was incredibly powerful. When you hear him on TV, you get a sense of how powerful his voice and his message are, but to hear them directly, with the same man in the same room amplifies the message and really hits you. It's the same effect as listening to music on headphones or speakers versus going to a real club and feeling the pounding bass in your heart and being soaked with sound.

If I had one word to describe the evening, it would be "powerful." Can't stop the signal. Can't stop the message. Hopefully, he will bring about change and fix everything.

Anyways, as the speech concluded, he closed on the same powerful note he kept reiterating. "We will bring about change, and YES we can make it happen," and as he ended Tony and I got the crap outta there to beat the crowds.

All toll, the Kohl Center was packed beyond capacity. Every single seat was filled. All the aisles clogged. The floor jam packed with as many people as possible. And there was even an overflow room outside of the arena packed with people, who were treated to a speech prior to his actual message.

The papers and press tomorrow will probably have the exact count of attendees, which should be an interesting statistic.

Speaking of press, there were plenty of satelite linked vans outside as we exited.

beep beep beep beep.. Can't stop the signal.

It's unfortunate, that Tony and I missed the Cinematic Titanic launch party, but I almost think this was a much better spent evening. Hopefully, Joel and the rest of the gang will have a Wisconsin tour in the future.

Also, if you look at third-from-the-last image above, you can see Waldo in the lower-left hand corner.  Credit goes to Tony who spotted the red and white striped fellow first.

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