Going Obama in Denver

I live in a battleground state - which makes it sound like I'm in No Man's Land, and that when I look out the window I should see nothing but trenches, barbed wire, and smoke rising from machine gun nests. "Well, Lieutenant McAllister, the GOP is 40 clicks past that blasted out farmhouse- your mission is to take five of your best men and retake the district. God be with you". Instead, I look up and down my street, and I see suburbia- quiet houses, leaves falling, people out walking their dogs- you know, the usual thing conjured in most of our minds when we hear of the ubiquitous "Main Street". It doesn't feel like a battleground- it feels like America.
On Sunday, Obama gave a speech downtown, and we decided to go. It was a great day. I got up a little before 8, made coffee for myself and Lisa, and then headed downtown. Lisa and some friends were meeting me later, so I had a nice half hour stroll on a gorgeous Autumn morning. As I neared the park where the speech was going to be, more and more people appeared, walking along, smiling, drinking coffee, wearing pins and stickers and tee shirts proclaiming their support for Obama-Biden. There was this electric excitement in the air- it reminded me of what it felt like in high school when you went to a concert- an electric sense of expectation and good fortune. Several helicopters hovered over downtown, buzzing in the distance. About ten blocks from the park, I began running into volunteers telling people where to go, how to get in, and so
Some on them had info on state elections- amendments, state senators, etc. My anticipation was rising, and I just felt great- I felt magic, blessed- like the Blues Brothers, I was on a mission from God.
I was going to see the next President of the United States. Oh yes, I was.

There's an area in downtown Denver called the Golden Triangle, which includes the state Capital, the new Art Museum, the Main Library, and the Civic Park where the speech was going to take place. It's one of those great places full of parks, plaza's, and noteworthy architecture. I walked along past the giant Cow statues (yes, we have giant bovine statuary here in the Mile High City), through the plaza in front of the museum, and came upon the Great Line. It stretched out from the park, then turned, circled around the library, and headed back, like a great U of humanity. I began to realize that there were going to be a lot of people.
I walked past the crowd, to see where the line started and to take it all in. Near the gates stood a solitary figure, a McCain supporter with a big sign saying Obama was a socialist. I asked him if he believed that, and he told me that he was a veteran, that he was 60 years old, and that he had never been scared of any politician before- but that Obama frightened him. He pointed at my Obama shirt and said "that guy scares me. His domestic stuff is okay, but there's no way he can lead our troops over seas." He seemed nice enough- just of a vastly different opinion than mine. Next, I walked the line, around the library, along the edge of the park, and down Colfax- one of the main streets in that section of town.
I walked through the upper end of the park, through the throngs, and came across a group of protesters. Most of them wore togas, and one of them was dressed up like a big orange cat or bear or something. I asked of them what the togas were for, and was told it signified how "Obama thinks he's all like a Greek dude, standing in front of those columns!". I asked him if he meant the columns Obama stood in front of when he gave his acceptance speech during the DNC. "Yeah," he said, "he thinks he's like Jesus or something".

"Don't you think that's a stretch?" I asked. "Yeah, totally. He's not a messiah!". I began to suspect this guy and his pals were nuts.
I walked on, and literally ran into an old friend, which I took as a sign that I was where I was supposed to be. That's me and my old pal Dan in the photo with Obama waving- we're in the middle, about halfway up the crowd. It might be hard to make us out as there were over 100,000 people in the park that day. Lisa showed up, as did our friends the Andersons- and we basked in the glow of the event. The warm up acts were Governor Ritter, Senator Salazar, the Democratic nominee for Senator Udall- lots of really great people, and we listened to them happily- but everyone was waiting for the big event- Obama. And finally, he walked out. The crowd went nuts. It really is like a rock concert to see this guy speak. He walks on stage, and it's like when Bono walked out during the Unforgettable Fire tour, way back in the eighties. Somehow, Obama (and Bono) know how to connect to a crowd. It's that X factor that people either have, or don't. Clinton had it, too- that ability to communicate. I don't know why more people don't have- but they don't. I mean, look at President Dummy- every time old George speaks, I don't feel like I've been spoken to as much as I feel like I've been lied to yet again.

After the speech, we made our way towards home, stopping for a late breakfast and to talk about the speech. Lisa and I decided to vote early, which you can do here in Colorado- and yesterday, we did just that. The voting center was packed, but we only had to wait about half an hour. I brought my passport as my means of identification, because I didn't want to have any trouble voting, and a passport is the best means of I.D. Maybe I was being over cautious, but then again, maybe I wasn't. I worry because I think the GOP cheats, that they have for at least the past eight years and that they are going to cheat this time. I bet you dollars to doughnuts that the exit polls will show a much larger margin of victory for Obama than what the precincts counts will show- not due to the mythical "Bradley effect", but due to cheating on behalf of a washed up party that is more out of touch with the public than Richard III was in Act Five. I can see it now, some GOP operative somewhere on election night, or maybe many of them, writhing about in the agony of defeat, realising that this time they just couldn't cheat their way into the White House, screaming "Another ballot box, another ballot box, my kingdom for another ballot box."


Thanks for sharing this with us. Sounds like a great day. Everybody reading this: if you haven't done so already--VOTE!
Ramon said…
One Republican admitted to fixing elections in a book he wrote, How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative.

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