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Well, we went to the rally and had a grand time. Except that when we got YDDW's stunning photos back from the 1-hour lab, they were, almost without exception, not there. Long stretches of the negative were blank. In one spot, two photos with a blank spot between them. Baffling. Unprecedented. And very depressing. You'd-a loved them.

I don't know what happened, but for the record, I DO NOT blame Kos.

Some notes on the rally after the bump . . .

On the platform, cheered by somewhere above 2,000 enthusiastic people, were Governor Bredesen, Congress members Jim Cooper (who had a pretty bright sunburn by the end of the festivities) and  Lincoln Davis, plus retiring Tennessee House Majority Leader Kim McMillan and Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell. There was music with Yolanda Adams and BeBe Winans, and a young man whose name wasn't on the advance emails, and whose name I wish I'd caught.

One of the first to speak was a Church of Christ pastor, who allowed as how this was not his usual Sunday crowd, and then launched into an invocation prayer that asked forgiveness for those who perpetrate the fraud that there is only one party for good Christians. Big words.

Obama was exceptional -- thoughtful, in command of his ideas, and well-spoken. He and Ford share a startling talent for speaking coherently as they decide what they will say, even when they change course in mid-sentence. Obama clearly embodied the "audacity of hope" of which he writes, and he employed that notion to introduce Ford.

As much of a strain as this campaign must be in the last few days -- the NY Times reports he's sleeping 3 hours a night -- Ford spoke as well and inspiringly as ever.

One inspiring moment: one of the early speakers, TNDP chair Bob Tuke, asked for a show of hands of early voters. A large  majority of the crowd cheered and thrust hands high. The number far exceeded those who raised hands to say they'd be voting Tuesday. I know the GOP finishes strong, but I just don't think the news on Monday and Tuesday is going to be that inspiring to the stay-the-course crowd.

Later in the evening, I went to the 5th anniversary celebration of the Nuer Sudanese Presbyterian Church, located in a former welding shop in Gallatin. Middle Tennessee has a large population of Sudanese, mostly refugees from the Lost Boys era of a decade ago, not from the current Darfur nightmare. I showed up in my Victory 2006 shirt, with the Ford stickers still on. My Sudanese friends are poor, and struggling, and they are brave. Those who can vote will be out for Ford, and those who can't yet vote are only working toward the day they will. These folks, I promise you, are NOT being surveyed.

Back to work -- we call, we canvass, we knock ourselves out to make sure every last voter votes.

Rain predicted for election day morning. Good weather for upsets!

Originally posted to OldYellerDog on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 10:38 PM PST.

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