Thursday, October 28, 2004

Eighty Thousand!

by Tom Bozzo

Update: Nina has reaction and pictures.

Update 2: From, a great shot showing the scale of the event. It looked big from inside the crowd, too! Metropolitan Place is the first high-rise visible on the left. Post time stamp corrected from PDT to CDT.

(Image via

Whatever the true count, the crowd was undeniably enormous: West Wash was packed in the vicinty of my spot by the Metropolitan Place condo tower, and all the way back to the 'gates' as far as I could tell. As a matter of scale, note that Gore got 78,430 votes in the city (142,317 in the county) in 2000.

I bucked the advice on the tickets and drove, then parked in the Capitol North ramp (the ramps around the square were quite full overall) so I could fortify myself with an herbed chevre croissant on the walk over to the rally. An small group of College Republican types staged an inappreciable protest near the entrance; they were overshadowed by the superior theatre of "Billionaires for Bush." At least one of the Greens present was pitching the Green candidates for local offices while professing an intent to vote for Kerry. If only all of them were so sensible! There actually was no ticket check by the time I reached the front of a 3-block-long line to get in.

The candidate must have been running behind schedule a bit, as there was a long-seeming gap (which tried the patience of some small children in the vicinity) between Springsteen's sound check and his appearance, which was brief and ended with Springsteen introducing Kerry. Sour Prof. A. dissects the lyrics of Springsteen's "No Surrender" for defeatism on behalf of her Instapundit faithful. Whatever. The crowd was clearly happy to see Springsteen, and I thought he gave a fine, non-shrill, yet clearly heartfelt endorsement of Kerry between songs.

As for Kerry, he was very enthusiastically received by a crowd that clearly didn't have many Bush votes therein, despite not being prescreened for enthusiasm like another guy's audiences. I know Kerry's stump speech too well to be electrified, but he nevertheless made a strong case for his election to anyone with half a brain and one ear to hear it.
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