Sunday, June 01, 2008

Obama in Mitchell

After a typical Sunday morning at church and a late breakfast at the Howard golf course (no country-club images here, just folks either diving in to an eggs-pancake-bacon buffet or selecting from among the fried options on the one-page menu), we headed down to Mitchell to hear Barack Obama's side of the story after hearing Hillary and Bill Thursday and Saturday.
After the folksy and up-close style of the Clinton's, this event was like a rock show, highly produced and carefully staged. The event, held in front of the Corn Palace with "Everyday Heroes" emblazoned in corn on the front, had barricades, a security check under a tent, a huge sound system and stage, and bleachers at the side and back. Volunteers worked the crowd, selecting those who could go to the bleachers. We were chosen, but elected to stand and actually moved quite close, though behind, the candidate.
Obama's delivery and content were fine, a little soft on details and the folksy asides and examples that both Clintons use to such good effect. He's not the master of the million little details--facts and figures--that both Clintons use; either that, or it's simply his style to stick to broad portraits of what's to come. I was surprised at the little stutters that still punctuate the candidate's delivery, even after campaigning for 15 months.
But the crowd was with him, responding to the calls he made for change in policies on Iraq, the economy, and energy. There were young people in abundance, with a much more colorful array of people than you'll typically find at a South Dakota event. And his campaign appears to be well funded. The event involved some expenses, with multiple buses, free placards, and bright lights, even on an afternoon that was so sunny and warm one person even fainted during the speech.
Tomorrow, the Clintons, all three of them, will be in Sioux Falls, and it's looking like we might be in attendance.
The wife and I, who have both been hauling our cameras to the events, have put our pics here.
You might note there that we ran into George McGovern on a Mitchell street, making his way to the event, where he'd make introductory remarks. I got my picture taken with him. Now I've shaken hands with Hillary, Bill, Barack, and George, all in a few days. Now that's quite a hand. I wonder what I'd get for it on eBay.
Enjoy the photos, make your call, and get out there and vote. Maybe we'll see you at the Clinton fest.


deana said...

It's been this long-time Democrat's dream week! I've enjoyed meeting the candidates, listening to their ideas, and reveling in the significant role that we South Dakotans get to play in this primary. In a couple of days, the campaign and press busses will leave the state, and my attention will return to tending my garden, but until then, I'm taking in all I can! If you haven't had the chance to attend an event, come to the W.H.Lyon Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls this evening. It's sure to be a fun time! Who knows, maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to add Hillary's and Chelsea's signatures to my t-shirt. How cool would that be?

Anonymous said...

We saw Obama in Aberdeen. The rock show comparison is dead on: People were even waiting for hours in line to get in, and there were vendors hawking bootleg Obama merchandise outside the auditorium. The speech was pretty rousing, though pretty basic, too. My wife Whitney was disappointed in his answer to someone's query about his feelings on the "under God" part in the Pledge of Allegiance. He basically said the most uncontroversial thing, which was that the kids of today should say the Pledge he grew up saying. Nevermind that it's hardly the most pressing issue of the day.

P.S. Whitney will be jealous you ran into Senator McGovern!