My time in D.C. is complete now. I went to an Obama/Biden rally today in Fredericksburg, Virginia. A friend told me about it on Friday, and the rally was on Saturday, so it was a pretty random thing that I even heard about it. Our friend Trey drove me and three other girls in my program to the rally, it was about an hour south of D.C. Virginia is a big "battleground" state, so both candidates have been spending time and energy there.
The first presidential debate happened last night in Mississippi, so everyone was all fired up. As we drove into the area where the rally was going to be held, we were "greeted" by people standing along the highway holding McCain/Palin signs. They were definitely in the minority though.
We really underestimated the time we should've arrived... We got there at like 4:30 (Obama/Biden were scheduled to speak at 6:30) and people had been there since around 8 am... The line was literally about 2 miles long winding around the university campus it was being held at. We hung out in line for about an hour, which wasn't too bad, until it started to POUR down rain. It was like being in a shower... We were so soaked, we stopped even caring that it was raining...
After a while, the long line sort of dissipated into nothing since people realized that they had reached capacity and were no longer letting people into the outdoor stadium. So, we found ourselves going on to plan B - working our way through the huge crowd of people on the outside of the stadium, trying to find a place where we could see a view of the stage.
We got pretty close and if we stood on our tiptoes and squinted, we could see the main stage pretty well. There were cops standing on the roofs around the rally for security. It makes you think about the sick people that would want to assasinate Obama...
I felt really lucky just to be there! Presidential candidates never come to Alaska, and actually seeing these people in person made the election even more "real" to me.
I also felt lucky that BOTH Obama and Biden were there. At this point in the election, most candidates split up from their VP to cover more ground, but it was really neat to hear both of them speak and talk about each other. They seem like a really good team.
One of the things that stuck with me about what Obama said when he spoke was what he said about the previous night's debate: "Last night you heard John (McCain) talk a lot about me...but he never mentioned any of you. He never once said the word 'middle class' or 'working class'." He also talked about how McCain is very disconnected from the economic crisis, and he also talked a lot about the Iraq war and Afganistan. He was a very inspirational person to hear speak. I found myself the whole time not even believing that I was actually there!
One of my goals while I was here this semester was to see Obama speak, so I feel my time here is complete :) Although I had to take an hour long metro ride, hour long bus ride, go hours standing outside in the rain without a bathroom anywhere in sight, it was all worth it!!!