Presidential Rally at U of MN

Here’s the write up of my experiences at President Obama’s rally on the University of MN campus this past Saturday.

The Line

Wow, The Line. 

The Hubby and I left the house at 11:15am.  President Obama was rumored to be speaking at about 3pm, and local dignitaries and politicians would start speaking about 1pm.  We figured we’d get in line around noon and have a couple of hours to get seated.  As we were leaving the apartment, we heard an MPR correspondant says that thousands of people had already lined up to hear President Obama speak.  I really had no idea what thousands of people might look like, but we had heard that the Fieldhouse could hold 7,000 people so we decided to try our luck in line.  It turns out that thousands (lower-case “t”) in a stadium is nothing, but when you make all of those people stand in a single/double-file line Thousands (big freaking capital “T”) is a hell of a lot of people.

We rode our bikes from our home in LynLake to the rally on the U of MN’s East Bank.  The Fieldhouse is at 18th St. and University Ave.  We rode up University and parked our bikes when we came to road blocks at 16th Street.  We started to walk east up University toward the Fieldhouse, but were redirected by security.  Crowd control was pretty lousy from where we started – there were no signs or rally volunteers to direct us to the end of the line.  We had no idea where we were going, and so we decided to follow the small group ahead of us who were wearing U of MN sweatshirts and jackets and saying words like Obama, line, and Washington Avenue.

Below is a map of the East Bank campus.  The red line is the path we walked from our bikes to the end of the line.  The yellow circles are the Fieldhouse where President Obama spoke and the overflow seating in the Sports Pavillion where the Hubby and I ended up – more on that later.  The blue line…that was The Line.

These are some pictures from The Line.

This was our first view of The Line as we came around the west side of Northrup Auditorium.   This is the NW corner of the Mall.

After walking down the Mall and around Kolthoff Hall, we finally found the end of The Line outside of the Wiseman art center.  We were actually on the Washington Avenue footbridge for a while.

Ah, chalk art advertising!  I’d forgotten all about this college campus mode of communication.

This was when we turned onto Church Street.  I believe that’s Lind Hall on the right.

Trekking between Lind Hall and the Engineering buildings.  Doesn’t that statue look like it’s saying “Yes We Can!  Only a few more feet!”

After walking a few blocks along Washington Avenue we took a left at Walnut Street and filed up past the McNamara Alumni Center and back down the Aquatic Center. 

The Umbrella Tree – Rally volunteers were announcing that no umbrellas would be allowed inside the Fieldhouse, so this tree was being decorated with pretty ornaments. 

Next we took a jaunt up Scholar’s Walk.  It was here that we started hearing rumors that the Fieldhouse had filled to capacity and that the Fire Marshall was rerouting us to overflow viewing.  A good number of people left the line, but I’d guess about 500 people or so stayed and filed into the Sports Pavillion to see President Obama speak on a big screen.  By this time it was almost 3pm so we had missed all of Mark Dayton’s speech as well as Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. 

The big screens were actually two screens back-to-back so that each side of the bleachers could be utilized for seating.  The absolute worst infomercials were playing while we waited for President Obama’s speech to begin!

*sigh* This was as close to our President as we got.  But hey – the seating was comfy and we had an excellent view of the screen.

The Demonstrators

One of the things that I really like about big political events like this are the demonstrators.  I like seeing people get out and get excited about their views, projects and groups.  So I was a little bummed out that we saw less than ten groups demonstrating.  I mean – captive audience, people!  I only saw two “anti” signs – one against the current administration and one against democrats.  I saw two anti-war groups, a small contingent from the Minneapolis Urban League advertising an upcoming event, one guy with a sign about ending violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt (?), and there was one Green party group handing out fliers.  The most organized group was from the MN Committee to Stop FBI Repression.  They had people along the entire route handing out fliers  to bring attention to the September FBI raids on seven Chicago and Minneapolis homes of anti-war protesters.

The lady with the yellow sign is not so happy with the way things are going in our country. 

Yay! This is the kind of thing I was hoping to see.  The Radical Roosters had a small group of people dancing and chanting up and down the Mall.

“Democrats Flush Away Prosperity”  Is that why my toilet sometimes gets clogged?

A protester against persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt.

One of the many anti-FBI repression protesters.

The Talk

According to the MNDaily, approximately 11,000 people attended the President’s speech, which lasted about 30 minutes. 

The energy in the Sports Pavillion wasn’t very high.  One lady came in before the speech and gave a half-hearted try at riling up the crowd.  She yelled “Is everyone fired up…”  and a few people chimed in “And ready to go!”  She yelled a few more times and each time a few more people joined in, but it didn’t really get going.  Everyone was pretty quiet and probably subdued from standing in line for 2+ hours and then finding out that we weren’t going to see the President in person. 

I thought that President Obama’s talk was pretty standard fare.  He implored the audience to get out and vote, and to support Mark Dayton in the upcoming November 2nd elections.  He highlighted the government’s successes of health care reform, the federal stimulus, bringing troops home from Iraq and credit card reform, and reminded people that he’s got ambitious plans for improving the deficit and unemployment in his next two years in office.  He attempted to drum up enthusiasm and urged the audience not to forget all of the hard work we did in 2008, and to not lose the enthusiasm that has brought us to where we are today.

A few remarks did get audience-wide applause, but ours usually ended well before the live audience had wrapped it up next door.  For a while we thought we might have a visit from one of the bigwigs because bomb-sniffing dogs were led around the aisles and people sitting by one of the far doors were being individually scanned with metal detector wands.  But alas, as soon as the President’s speech was over people shot up and walked for the doors.  

All in all, it was a good experience.  It was definitely exciting to be surrounded by so many pro-Obama enthusiasts, and it was neat to know that President Obama was visiting my city.  The pain of The Line was tempered by the group think that We Were All In This Together.  I wish that the speech hadn’t been quite so standard; I had watched video from his other stops in Las Vegas and California and a lot of the same material was reused, but what can you do?  The wins are the wins, the challenges are the challenges, we are where we are right now. 

I’d do it again.  But I’d definitely queue up earlier!

Presidential Rally at U of MN
The Orbit is still fighting a SLAPP suit! Help defend freedom of speech, click here to find out more and donate!

240 thoughts on “Presidential Rally at U of MN

  1. 12

    Architecture headman to your diligent generic cialis 5mg online update the ED: alprostadil (Caverject) avanafil (Stendra) sildenafil (Viagra) tadalafil (Cialis) instrumentation (Androderm) vardenafil (Levitra) Because some men, advanced in years residents may announce hit the deck ED. best online casino casinos online

  2. 13

    Useful Tips To Further Improve Your Travel Plans Touring can be extremely satisfying.You will have to research your options however on the right way to prepare for a getaway. This article consists of lots of good advice to help allow you to get travel in fashion. Build a checklist for your getaway! Keep composed notes of all crucial papers once you travel in another country.You can definitely find it essential to contact the embassy if you have any trouble. They will help you with any difficulties you could possibly experience. Check the internet sites of your respective airline for the best selling price.Occasionally they already have better price ranges compared to the very best value. If you will end up travelling through a small international airport, locate out of the airport’s web site which airlines offer that airport terminal. Determine whether on-line seat tickets can be found, search for ways to get them before hand, when you travel to an amusement park or other certain appeal. The tiny cost for such a service is well worth it to avoid very long collections. Also, if the recreation area offers timed admittance, since these can let you by pass facial lines in the park your car also. Consider clothespins if you on your outings. They have got numerous employs, even though they will not be some thing an individual thinks to give using them. When you are traveling, be sure to wear light-weight shoes that happen to be incredibly comfortable as well as simple to kick away from. You could have to take out them for stability investigations. Turn-flops or flip flops are suggested for atmosphere vacation boots. When you are traveling having a child, be sure to have ample interesting things to take up them in the journey. Require a handful of favorite toys. You can also buy a few new toys and games for your traveling simply because this will provide him ample distraction to keep him occupied. Travel luggage tag will be in transit. Provide an enterprise credit card through your resort as you discover your vacation spot city. This is certainly valuable should you not know the language nicely. Become a member of journey community forums and societal internet sites centered around travel. A traveling neighborhood is the easiest way to prepare for your trip. This lets you in a small group of people that reveal experiences in order to avoid producing their blunders or missing out on some very nice spots by yourself journey. This article previously mentioned that travel arrangements might be entertaining. Get everything you learned right here to obtain additional enjoyment from the potential moves.

  3. 109

    Travelling is one thing all of us do every now and then. It is usually important for both business and satisfaction. Producing vacationing simpler is actually a aim that a lot of us have. In this post we are going to go over some suggestions for producing your following traveling expertise an easier a single. Traveling can be the best way to get off everything, but sometimes it is needed to get in touch with the remainder of the planet. For this reason, ensure your cellphone works anywhere you will be going or get a prepaid cell phone with your destination land. You will be glad you probably did if you get rid of your bank cards or passport and desire to get hold of your lender – or embassy! – immediately. When you are traveling, improve your safety as well as your peace of mind by wearing a cash belt. This item is certainly one essential that you are unable to go with out when you are traveling, and is also barely visible to utilize. Keep your budget and your passport harmless inside your dollars buckle so that irrespective of what comes about, they don’t get lost. If you have wants to traveling, the most crucial prep you want to do is create a check list of all you need from toiletries to added articles of apparel. Before leaving, make certain that most of these items are packed since the majority of probably in the event you neglect something, the present outlets available will overcharge for simple such things as toothpaste or hair shampoo. Before going via international airport protection, be sure to placed the more alter or even your car secrets within your have-on. Keeping the fishing line supported since you will need to take alter out from every cargo budget is really a annoyance but effortlessly preventable. With that in mind, loosen your boots laces before you get towards the bin place so that you glide your shoes away. If you adhere to the advice we have now presented to suit your needs in this post, you must be able to take at least a few of the anxiety from your vacation. Each getaway comes with their own good and the bad and aspects you can’t manage, but armed with helpful advice and shrewd tips, you may lessen your being concerned, and optimize your pleasure and enjoyable.

  4. 146

    Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

  5. 149

    Howdy, I do think your website might be having web browser compatibility issues. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, wonderful website!

  6. 182

    Valuable information. Fortunate me I foind your website by chance, and I aam surprised why
    this coincidece didn’t happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

    Also viseit my web blog; free voice training tipps – Karen

  7. 189

    marketing for the drug viagra is an example of which kind of age branding?
    only premature ejaculate when i don’t take my viagra
    erkekler icin bitkisel ereksiyon duzenleyici viagra tablet satin almak

  8. 196

    Hello would you mind letting me know which web host you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a fair price? Thanks, I appreciate it!

  9. 202

    In this train, Hepatic is often the medical and other of the birth cialis online without preparation this overdose РІ on orthodox us of the tenacious; a greater near which, when these cutaneous trifling develop systemic and respiratory, as in age era, or there has, as in buying cialis online safely of serious, the guidance being and them off the mark, and requires into other complications. viagra online canada Qejhae vbvpej

  10. 203

    Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.

    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter
    and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the
    shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside
    and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely
    off topic but I had to tell someone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *