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Obama Rally

27 Oct

Jenna and I were already scheduled to visit friends in Indianapolis for a long weekend this past weekend.  We were supposed to be here Friday through Monday.  Then, Obama announced a previously unscheduled rally stop in Indianapolis on Thursday morning.  A call to our friends in Indy resulted in a Wednesday morning decision to head south Wednesday afternoon so that we could attend the rally!!  Hooray!  That changed our trip from the original 4 days to 6, and I have never packed that quickly for such a long trip with Jenna.  Remarkably, we didn’t forget anything though!!  I’ve also never driven that far by myself with Jenna, but it went great.  Thank goodness for portable DVD players!!  {wink}

Our friends couldn’t attend the rally due to work and school responsibilities, so Jenna and I ventured out on our own.  I wasn’t sure how this would go either, but decided to wing it.  No strollers or bags were allowed past security, so I wasn’t sure how long Jenna would last.  I had to wake her up early to get downtown, but she woke up happy and was super-excited about seeing Obama.  The temp was in the upper 30s, but it wasn’t raining (as they had called for) and we dressed warmly, so we were ready.

On the bus downtown, she started telling strangers that we were going to see Obama, and she won hearts and smiles everywhere we went.  She was especially flirtatious with anyone in uniform, so the police officers that were posted all over went all soft and smiley with her.  (I can only hope that she’s in the car with me if I ever get pulled over…..)  There were vendors selling Obama shirts, buttons and towels (OK – LOVE Obama, but do we really need a TOWEL with his face on it???), and they were shouting invitations to buy their wares.  Jenna politely told one vendor that, “When I get big, I can have a shirt” even though I had never made that stipulation.  He just smiled and laughed.

We got there pretty much as they started letting people through security, but there was already a long line snaking through the park.  Jenna cheerfully lined up and chatted with the people in line with us as well as the people petitioning the line to vote or volunteer.  We stood in line for at least a half hour and cleared security.  We scoped out a spot to sit at the top of a hill on the side of the fenced in space.  It was the only place to sit, and I’m SO thankful we got there.  There’s no way Jenna (or I) would have lasted as long if we would have had to stand packed in a standing crowd.  I would have had to hold her, and that just wouldn’t have happened for 3 hours.  Weirdly, they didn’t let people sit on the slope of the hill – just at the top.  This meant that we were easily able to see over the heads of the people standing below from our seated position at the top of the hill.  Awesome!

We watched as the grassy space filled up until you couldn’t see the grass anymore and were amazed at the number of people of all colors, shapes, sizes and ages who smushed together on that swampy yard.  We later learned the estimate was that over 35,000 people were in attendance.  We watched as helicopters hovered overhead and officers/agents surrounded the perimeter and scanned the crowd from rooftops.  We talked to people around us who were all friendly and cheerful.  No grumpy faces in sight.  I didn’t even see any protesters!  Jenna danced to the music they had playing, played with leaves and sticks and talked to anyone who would listen.  She chanted “Yes We Can” and “Obama!  Obama!” with the rest of the crowd and repeatedly asked where he was.

He ended up being about an hour late for his speech, which meant that Jenna and I sat for almost 3 hours, and had been walking or standing in line for about 45 minutes before that.  Unfortunately, about the time that Obama started speaking, Jenna decided that enough was enough.  We listened to half of the speech and then started walking.  I did NOT want to get stuck in the middle of that huge crowd trying to exit with a grumpy toddler.  We took our time walking out of the park, and listened to most of the rest of the speech from the perimeter.  I only missed hearing the very end.  All in all, we had a fantastic time, and I’m so glad that both Jenna and I got to be a part of history in the making.

Later that afternoon, when we were back at our friends’ home, Jenna was coughing and crying a bit during her nap.  I went up to comfort her and patted her back.  I could tell she wasn’t really awake, but she grogglily sighed one word as I soothed her: “Obama.”  🙂

Here are some pictures from the event (you can click on any of them to make them larger):

Waiting in line.  “Do I get to vote, Mommy?”

(Guy w/goofy Obama hats behind her on left & winding line behind her on right)

The huge line to get through security.  It twisted all around the park.

Before it filled up…..

And packed with people!

Another before shot… (behind us)

And completely packed.

Jenna with the crowd in the background

Obama speaking.  Notice the officers/agents on the rooftop?

And there he is.  The next President of the United States.

What the crowd looked like from the stage. (Photo via Suzie-Q)

Amazing.

Full shot of crowd from behind the stage.  (Photo via Indy Star)

This will be the first time Indiana has voted Democrat since 1964.

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7 Comments

Posted by on October 27, 2008 in Jenna, Politics

 

7 responses to “Obama Rally

  1. Maura

    October 27, 2008 at 1:44 am

    That looks so amazing. I’m so glad that you and Jenna were able to experience that. I’m terribly jealous. Such a fantastic opportunity.

     
  2. Kylie

    October 27, 2008 at 5:07 am

    What a cool opportunity. I love having photos of my kids at events that they probably won’t remember, but were historic in some way:).

     
  3. AmyInOhio

    October 27, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Unbelievable – it doesn’t matter how many times I see shots from rallies like that – it takes my breath away.

    Same for the cuteness factor of Jenna! I really want to get P and Jenna together.

     
  4. anymommy

    October 27, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Wow. An incredible day. Jenna was adorable too!

     
  5. AMomTwoBoys

    October 27, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    I’m so jealous. That’s awesome.

     
  6. jen

    October 28, 2008 at 11:09 am

    wow.
    that is extremely awesome.

    i have a give-away going on at my blog…if you want to stop by and enter!
    dolly cloth diapers. my little girls LOVE them. fun.

     
  7. Issa

    October 28, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    I think there’s a good chance that Colorado will vote Dem too. We’ll see. I hope so.

    I think it’s awesome that you took her to the rally. Even if she never remembers a thing, you’ll always be able to tell her about it.

    I almost pulled mine out of school and took them to one yesterday. Only think that stopped me was the baby. It’s just way too cold to take a newborn out and I am not at the, let me leave him stage yet.

     

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