I was at the Houston Obama rally tonight, and you can find more pictures and some thoughts about it over Turning Texas Blue.
A few things that I didn't post over at TTB_
- We got there about an hour and a half before the doors opened, and got pretty good position in line. This was one of those times when being in academia gave us the flexibility to get there a little earlier than the people coming from their 9-to-5s.
- Due to our good position in line, we were able to get great seats. 5 rows from the floor, with a unobstructed straight-line view to the podium. Those were clearly the best seats I will ever have in the Toyota Center.
- Even though we were only maybe 200 feet away, it's still hard to get a good picture with a regular digital camera. That old photographers maxim - get CLOSER - really is key. Ian had a video camera from the lab and a great camera with a big zoom lens, so I'm willing to bet he got some great shots. I'll link to them once they're up on the web.
I've been to two major political rallies - tonight's, and John Kerry in St Louis in 2004. The common theme for both of them was that there are several hours of boredom with little to do. You get there early to get a good seat and then wait in line for an hour. Then, you get inside, get your seats and wait for another hour or two.
Both rallies did have a band playing for part of the filler time, and there were some quick reminders on how to vote (thanks to the crazy Texas two-step system). Even so, there was lots of dead time. Surely there were some local politicians that would have spoken on behalf of Barack, or local celebrities that would have gladly done the same. I suppose the campaigns already jump some impressive logistical hurdles to pull an event like this off, but I'd like to see them try to do a little more.
- Damn, that man gives a fine speech. Even though it was basically his usual stump speech, it was direct, honest, and inspirational. I only wish I had seen one of his truly exceptional speeches, like the one he gave in New Hampshire. Regardless, I came away happy with how I spent my Tuesday evening.
- Before leaving I changed my facebook status to say I was going to the Obama rally. When I came back, I had a ton of messages with variations of "I'm jealous". Among young educated professionals, like my friends, Obama is already an icon.