[Re-published from 2008Central.net. This liveblog on Donklephant will be updated periodically. For the latest please visit the active liveblog at 2008Central.net]
Today (02/12/08), Barack Obama is having a rally in Madison, Wisconsin. Doors opened at 6:15 CST and Obama is scheduled to speak at 8:15 CST (just in time to opine on the results of the primaries in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.).
5:55: Walking up to the Kohl center, where the event will take place.
6:15: All settled in. Unlike other events that I’ve been to, getting through security here was relatively painless (outside of the surly doorman). About 1/6 of the venue is filled, but judging from the long line outside, I don’t think they’ll have much trouble filling this place up.
6:17: The crowd cheers after they see the CNN projection that Obama will win Virginia. I cheer because their cheers temporarily drown out the ska band that’s playing.
6:28: The band is now singing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.” Somewhere, Stevie Wonder weeps.
6:40: This place really filled up fast. It’s more than halfway filled already. What are these people going to do for an hour?
6:59: The good news: the band has stopped playing. The bad news: Wolf Blitzer on a jumbotron. The crowd cheers every time someone mentions Obama’s name (it doesn’t matter what the context is).
7:24: The venue’s now full. They’ve been playing some ‘get to know Barack’ videos for the past 15 minutes – one biographical, one about his judgment on the Iraq war and one featuring Michelle Obama talking about Barack’s “good old Midwestern values” and herself.
7:31: The crowd does the wave for a few minutes.
7:35: A new video. This one starts with a brief discussion of the civil rights movement and the role that young people played in bring about change in that arena. Then, turns to Obama’s call for youth to get involved in this campaign and a “behind the scenes” look at some of his young volunteers. Now, the video turns to the Iraq war. The message: it’s cool to volunteer for Obama, so go do it.
7:47: CNN just flashed the latest delegate tally (Obama: 1170, Clinton 1168) and the crowd goes wild.
7:48: I overhear some jackass in the press corps says to a friend of his, “Hillary must be saying to herself, ‘I stayed with him all those years for this'”
7:49: The program starts. A student from Wisconsin talks about why Obama connects to youth. He also tells the crowd not to believe “the rumors” and that students (including out of state students) can register to vote the day of the primary and he encouraged all of them to do so. He neglects of course to remind people that if they’ve already voted in their home state, they aren’t allowed to vote in Wisconsin too.
8:12: “Aint no stopping us now” is blaring on the speakers. And based upon Obama’s massive margin of victory in Virgina displayed on the screen, the crowd probably believes this.
8:19: David Axelrod, right here, right next to me…
8:20: Video montage on jumbotron of some famous singers and actors doing their rendition of Obama’s “yes we can” speech.
[Continued At 2008Central.net]