Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Traveling Circus

Denver City Park, October 24, 2012
OK - I absolutely promise that this is my last post on the presidential election.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to a speech by President Obama in Denver's City Park.  It was a huge production - truly the political equivalent of a traveling circus - with about 16,000 people attending. Yes, one of the perks of being in a closely contested state is that the candidates are constantly here. You almost feel like they will stop by your house if you promise to vote for them.

I usually try to avoid these crowded types of events, but I made an exception and went.  I tried to take in all of the hoopla around me.  This is such a huge effort - everyone had to go through security and there were more gates to go through than at most airports that I've been to.  The guards looked through my purse in a lot more detail than they do at the airport, even opening my sunglass case to see what was inside.  They handled the crowd well, and the lines moved quickly.  Very impressive.  After the event, I watched them roll up all of the security gates into the many waiting trucks and move on to the next location.  

While putting together the logistics of a "quick stop" for the President is mind-boggling (the stage, the acoustics, the crowd control barriers, etc., etc.), what affected me much more were the people who came.  Many came with wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes.  From babies to the very old.  A more diverse crowd than I see in my normal day-to-day in Denver and all very excited that they had the opportunity to see the President of the United States.  I was touched by the man who told me that he drove from Wichita, Kansas to see the President.  Even more touched by the elderly African-American lady who told me that she wanted to save her ticket to add to her collection of souvenirs from the 2008 election when she had all of her election paraphernalia laminated.  I'm sure when this woman was a girl she could not have imagined that she would see an African-American President of the United States in her lifetime.  Her pride in him was palpable.  There were also many children there, taken out of school to attend this event.  It made me happy to look at their faces and to realize that they would remember this day for the rest of their lives.  

Seeing all of the excitement of this visit was fun, and I got to shake hands with the Mayor of Denver, the Governor of Colorado, and the President of the United States. Cool.  By the way, his hand is not calloused by the many handshakes;  it's actually pretty soft.

Here are some photos from my day:

What can I say? It's definitely a fashion statement.
Colorado Governor Hickenlooper and my friend Jill

1 comment: