Obama made his widely anticipated visit to Greensboro yesterday to deliver a speech in the Collosieum--the appropriate venue for rock stars who come to town.
Tickets went on sale two days before the event and were gone in three hours. People stood in line for hours to get in, to buy t-shirts, to try to find an extra ticket floating around, to hold signs, or just to get a glimpse of the man.
Full story of local coverage.
more on the flip
This was an important event for us, not just because North Carolina has suddenly become important in this election. It was important because Barack came. See for yourself. The photo gallery speaks volumes.
As a University faculty member, I saw the excitement on my students' faces that he was coming. Whether or not they had a ticket, they couldn't wait to watch it live (local coverage) or stream it online. [They were probably doing this instead of listening to lectures.]
Fortunately, I teach late afternoon and evening classes, and since Barack's speech was at 1:00, I heard their reactions firsthand. Their voices bubble; they glow; they smile; they know the issues. And they know what's at stake. This is their future.
As for demographics: the white/black breakdown is around 70/30. I have not yet heard anyone who supports Hillary. I have yet to hear anyone who is a vocal supporter of McCain. There are some, no doubt, but even the Student Republicans are having trouble finding them.
A few weeks ago, there was an on-campus organizational event in the Student Center. You know, the ones where students stop by to sign up, visit, hang out, and generally recruit. The Student Democrats were there in full force. Another booth set up had one lone, forlorn Republican student sitting idly.
So, North Carolina matters. The state--whose primary was considered too late to have an impact--matters. And everyone knows it.
Hillary is supposed to come today, but details still aren't available. And now we hear Bill is coming, too, on friday. Again, plans are fluid--no details to report.
But Barack came. And we heard him.