Yesterday was quite a day! I got to see the President at a rally in Kissimmee, Florida.
The weather was incredibly hot, but everyone was cheerful and friendly. It was like a big block party!
My friend Jason and I went to see the President yesterday, but the whole thing started a few days ago, when we went to get tickets. I don't drive, and Jason was kind enough to take me to get the tickets, and to attend the rally with me.
I've been to two rallies before, in 2008, and enjoyed them both a great deal. It was the same for yesterday's rally.
Orlando Rally, 2008
Kissimmee Rally, 2008Standing in line for tickets took almost as long as waiting to get into the rally. It was hot out, but everyone we met in line was cheerful and easygoing.
Fortunately, the campaign staff had arranged for free parking at the Kissimmee Courthouse, and had staffers everywhere (even on the street between the parking garage and the Civic Center) to help guide people to where they needed to be. Free bottles of cold water were handed out frequently, so everyone could stay hydrated. Say what you want about this President and his organization, but they know what they're doing - and they care about us. That much was obvious, all day long.
While we waited, a family came and set up camp across the street. They were Romney supporters, but that was pretty obvious by the fact that they sent their small children out to hold up signs in the hot sun, while Mom and Dad sat back in the shade with cool drinks and a lawn chair. Nice, huh?
A moving van drove by several times, with huge signs attached to the sides. One large sign read "Are you better off?" And on their second or third time past, we were ready for them. We shouted out in unison, over and over "YES WE ARE! YES WE ARE! YES WE ARE!"
When we were right up against the train tracks, an Amtrak train pulled in. Wow. You tend to forget just how loud and powerful a train can be until you're right there next to the tracks (at a safe distance, of course). The conductor leaned out and led a cheer for President Obama, and reminded us that if Romney got into the White House, he'd likely defund Amtrak. Before they, he led one more cheer. As the train pulled away, workers leaned from open doors and waved, and passengers waved at us from their windows. It was a great moment of solidarity.
We finally got inside, and were told to "go upstairs" into the upper balcony, way above. When I handed them the "B" tickets, we were instead directed to our seats behind the President.
The seats were tight, and hot - but it was an honor to sit up there. The staff reminded us that we would be on television, so please remember that. We had bright BRIGHT lights shining directly at us, which played havoc with my camera, so I didn't get as many pictures as I'd hoped. Plus, we could only get a decent photo when he turned to the side, or around to face us. But I took as many as I could get.
The President was, as always, brilliant, funny, wonky, and inspiring. I have been to three rallies for this man in the last four years, and I treasure each and every one of them. One of my favorite moments was when he talked about tax cuts and the GOP.
Our friends at the Republican Convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America, but they didn’t have much to say about how to make it right. (Applause.) They want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan. That’s because they’re offering the same worn-out plan that they’ve had for 30 years -- tax cuts, tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and then let’s have some more tax cuts. Tax cuts when times are good. Tax cuts when times are bad. Tax cuts to lose an extra few pounds -- (laughter) -- tax cuts to improve your love life. (Laughter.) Whatever the issue -- tax cuts.And this:
President Clinton, he made the case as well as anybody could. (Applause.) Somebody tweeted after he spoke -- they said, somebody needs to appoint him secretary of explaining stuff. (Laughter.) He broke it down. Secretary of explaining stuff -- I love that.
This photo is one of the best of the day - and I didn't take it. It's from another attendee that I met on Twitter. Thank you for this!! (Credit listed under the photo)
Sorry for the shaky video - we were jam-packed in there, and it was difficult to get a video with everyone bumping on all sides. Great people, though.
After the rally, Jason and I went to Steak and Shake (a local semi-fast food eatery, with great milkshakes). We saw at least two other groups there from the rally, including this man. He allowed me to photograph his shirt, and we got talking for a bit - so much so that his wife, who had been waiting at the register, finally came up and took the receipt from his hand. It was a funny moment.Photo Credit to Marianne Snyder, CEO of Avatarix, inc. and a volunteer for the Obama campaign.
FOUR MORE YEARS!! FOUR MORE YEARS!! FOUR MORE YEARS!!
Much louder in there than it sounds on the video. The floor beneath my feet was shaking.
Are you fired up? Ready to go? I am!!