Monday, November 3, 2008

Biden campaign

On Sunday Joe Biden held a rally in front of FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium. I met up at Joe Brightbill's house and we walked to the stadium. There was a long line that took about twenty minutes to get through. At various points in the line there where members of the Obama campaign recruiting volunteers. There was only one person that approached us to sign something pledging to do something green, I don't remember and I didn't sign.
The entrance had metal detectors and secret service checking each person and their belongings. The area was covered in police cars, and some uniformed men where standing watch at the top of the stadium. The event was held in front of the stadium, not inside the stadium.

There was easily a few thousand when we arrived and probably about another thousand entered after we did.
The music at the event was a rotation of more-or-less bad songs with the exception of about two oldies. Brooks and Dunn's "Only in America" was also heavily in rotation, which was hands down the worst song they had on their list. Waiting for the event to start was similar to purchasing a car. You are made to wait and wait in what seems like an obnoxious amount of forever.
While waiting I discovered I was standing next to Mary Rozofsky, friend's mother. She is an exceptionally nice lady and it is always nice to meet up with her.

After long amounts of waiting people stood up and start cheering. Then nothing for a long time. Finally some people came up and started talking. One lady was some one from congress I think. The next was an Obama volunteer that packed up and left California to fight for Florida. She spoke about the importance of volunteering these last two days to make sure Florida goes blue this cycle.
Once they where done it was more waiting. Joe's dad, David, gave up his spot in a comfortable seat to come stand with us.
During the wait they had people they selected to sit behind the podium and cheer. Someone down below had them practice different chants. This would later be put in action to create some video camera magic for the news.
David and I had a long talk about computer and technology such as the EEE PC, I-Phone, G-Phone, Linux, Mac, etc. David also has his own audio-cast and blog at He had his camera and handheld audio recorder. Each time people stood up and cheered for what turned out to be no reason, he would start his recorder and then turn it off once we realized there was no action yet.
Finally Senator Bill Nelson, Jill Biden and Joe Biden took the stage. Bill started off and gave some forgettable speach and then introduced Jill. Jill gave a quick synopsis of Joe's past and current life as a senator and then brought him to the podium. Joe's speech was exactly what you would expect from any person running as the Vice President under the Democrat ticket.
Sitting just outside of the blocked in area where just under thirty McCain supporters. Their presence would have otherwise all been in good political sport, except someone brought a siren with them that the blasted during the whole speech. I thought they where being very childish in their disrespect. Thousands of people came to see history in the making and some sore losers found it their duty to do what they could to ruin it. The more inevitable the Obama win looks, the more desperate the other side becomes. On the positive side, at least we don't kill each other in events like this, such as what happens in too many other countries.
Joe did have one good line. The first time the siren went off I think most of us assumed it was an ambulance. The second time the blasted it Joe said something to the effect of, "At first I thought that siren was an ambulance, but now I see it is just some people on the edge whining." That evoked some good laughter.
The most interesting part of the whole event was the crowd seated right behind Biden. There was a person running down below camera level telling this group when and what to chant. These people where on mic so it came out loud through the speakers. I can imagine that from the point of view of the camera's the crowd was cheering Joe on. In reality, most people listened silently and the vast majority of cheering came from those behind Joe. I guess it looks good on camera.

I was pretty glad when Joe was done speaking. My legs hurt and most everything about the event was, well, non-eventful. Joe and I walked back to his house, eating at a place I think was simply called "burrito" (my treat) on the way. He treated me to a rib sandwich later on so it was all good.

Events like this usually make better stories than they do make for good experiences. Standing for hours to have a politician make a very canned politician's speech isn't really all that exciting. I wonder how running around a state and giving canned speeches to groups of people already in agreement with you inspires anyone that is undecided, or leaning the other direction to vote for you.