ELECTION '08: UCLA Obama Rally

x-posted at my blog

Wow. What an experience. I'm glad I went, though I should have left the little girl at home. She wanted to leave before it started! I took 107 photos, so I'll just post some of them here an tell you what's happening as we go along.

First off, considering that it's raining and it's Super Bowl Sunday and it's Los Angeles AND UCLA is on the westside, I was very, very shocked at the turnout. Especially among black people. I spoke to people who said they went to the early service today to attend this rally. We got there around 10:30am, but considering the seating issues, we could have just showed up at 1 and been on time.

Here's the famous vendor everyone in LA has a photo of. Funniest thing, the shirt he's wearing says "He's black and I'm proud". I counted about 19 little (8 and younger) white kids wearing that shirt today.

Here's crowd shot:

When we first came in, they told us to sit on the other side of the gym, which is very strange. Usually you're forced to fill up the behind the speakers sections first. Then we all got in there and the section behind the speakers was empty. Then they told us to go over there. Bleeech. What made it lamer was that they kept saying, "You'll be on TV!" like that's a selling point.

(To the fat black lady in the gray pants and black sweater chasing down the Asian chick handing out signs, thanks for making my daughter cry. When you stole the sign I had asked for, even though you had 3 already, I was asking for her. She kept asking me "Why that lady take my sign?" Thank you very much for being the one blight on the day were everyone was treating her so nicely.)

If I have on complaint it's the seating people. They were very rude and in typical LA fashion acted like they were bouncers at the hottest club on the planet. Bleeech. One lady had gone to the bathroom and was trying to get back to her stuff. The asshole there wouldn't let her through. Stupid.

Gloria Romero came to talk. Even though she's wearing her trademark red, it took me awhile to realize that was her.

Norma Torres, Mayor of Pomona came afterwards. She gave a good speech and was followed by the head of Women for Obama - Los Angeles and Buffy, the Obama field campaign manager. I don't know Buffy's last name, but everyone knows Buffy. She introduced a lady who is 93 years old.


They also played the will.i.am video I linked to last night. Some people had never seen it before, as it had just come out the night before. Everyone was cheering and I had to explain to an older couple near me that it wasn't an Obama campaign piece. The lady then said, "That's the highest rated YouTube video right now!" and the crowd went nuts. Then I had to explain what YouTube was.

Karen Bass followed and she gave a rousing speech in favor of Obama. In turn, Maria Elena Durazo introduced Caroline Kennedy:

Caroline Kennedy read her endorsement gave her speech and got off a funny. She said, "It's so nice to be able introduce someone other than my uncle Teddy." and then introduced Oprah Winfrey, who rocked the house.

I couldn't believe how big an applause she got. Then she gave her speech and it was mind-blowing and awesome. She said that those who told her that she was a traitor to her gender bugged her. She said, "I've been a woman all my life, but the point is that I'm a free woman and I can make any choice I want." Then she said, "Then there were those narrow-minded people who said I'm only endorsing Obama because he's black." And she went on about how that was insulting and she wasn't "endorsing Obama because he's black. [She's] endorsing him because he's brilliant." Cheers.

Then came Michelle Obama, with none other than Stevie Wonder.

WOW...considering that the Obama campaign has been using Stevie Wonder songs, I had wondered if he gave his blessing. Today there's no doubt. Wonder talked about how he had supported the Clinton's in their first two WH bids and Sen. Clinton in her Senate bid, but this time he decided to do it differently.

Then Michelle Obama spoke. Now, I completely understand why everyone says, "Go see her speak." The woman is brilliant. I've seen clips of her giving speeches and her and there and I have a total girl-crush on her. Man...her speech was funny, delightful, inspiring, energizing, brilliant, awesome...I'm not even going to run out of out adjectives. I would absolutely adore to see her as First Lady. She will be the first First Lady since Eleanor Roosevelt who could inspire a nation to do better, to be better.

Then Mrs. Obama said, that there was someone she wanted to have come on as a last minute thing. She said that this woman was someone who some of the people on stage knew and that we knew her too. In my mind, I thought, "I just know it's not Maria Shriver." Then she said, "I'm pleased to introduce the First Lady of Cali--" and the crowd went balls out nuts!

Yeah. Maria Shriver, wife of our idiot Governor endorsed Sen. Obama today and I was there. Oh my goodness. It was such an amazing moment.

Ha! Snagged a video off BooMan Tribune:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62_ajoKkuHA&rel=1&border=1]

Needless to say, I'm pretty happy to have gone.

In the parking garage, I spoke to a photographer who was also pretty stunned at the event. He said, "All us photographers were like, 'Blah, blah, photo of Oprah, Caroline, Michelle...And WHOA Maria Shriver?!?!?' That blew my mind. It was a smart move." I said, "Yeah, they just pushed a rally that should have been a blurb into the news cycle leading up to Super Tuesday." He smiled, "Bingo. People are gonna talk about this." It's always amusing to me to see the press get stunned.

UPDATE:

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