October
21st 2008
Exclusive report: Joe rocked the rally at Moo Moo U.

Posted under: American history, local news, students

Historiann commenter ej attended the Democratic rally today at Moo Moo U., and sent in a special report:

So today I drove in to Potterville with my husband and 1-year-old daughter to hear Joe Biden speak at Moo Moo U.  Although doors opened at 10:30 (for an estimated 1 p.m. speech) we did not arrive on campus until about 12:15. In part because there was no way my squirmy little daughter could wait any longer than that, but mostly because I was unable to fathom more than a few hundred folks attending this event. In spite of the recent New York Times’ claim that Potterville is up for grabs, Republicans dominate Weld county! And I’ve always thought that even the student body leans firmly to the right. And honestly, it was just Joe Biden, not Barack Obama.  Much to my surprise, the line snaked all the way from Butler-Hancock Arena to the very end of the practice field! And people had been streaming into the building for over 90 minutes by that point.  The wait was long, but it did provide us with the opportunity to see the man himself arrive in his bus caravan shortly before 1:00. 

Once we passed through security, we found a packed arena, standing room only! After a brief intro by some local congressional rep whose name I did not hear, the Dem challenger for the 4thCD, Betsy Markey introduced Joe Biden. The crowd was extremely enthusiastic, in part because some of them had been waiting since 8am-including several of my students. Who knew? Biden seemed pretty energized, perhaps in part to make up for the controversy he’s caused over the last few days with his “attack” remarks, but he didn’t bring that up.  There weren’t any surprises in this speech, which seemed fairly familiar to me because of my obsessive CNN watching over the last few weeks, but was energizing nonetheless. He hit the standard themes of economy and failed Republican policies, and condemned McCain for his robocalls and gutter tactics (my words, not his), and really hit home the need to get out the vote (which probably means even more calls chez Historiann until everyone in the household votes!).  Ed. note:  how the hell will they know when I vote?  All of this nagging is making me less inclined to vote early, quite frankly.

The crowd was a mix of students and regular folk, who were all extremely excited. I think I and my companions were more moved by the sight of so many enthusiastic Democrats in Potterville than we were by Biden, and that’s not intended to be a critique of Biden! According to early estimates, nearly 4,000 people were there-boy was I off! But it really seems as if the Democrats have a shot here in Weld county.  As a friend remarked, “when you see so many boys in baggy jeans showing up for a Democratic rally, you know the tide is turning our way!” So all in all, a worthwhile trip that made me want to proceed immediately to a local polling center and cast my vote-which I couldn’t do because the baby fell asleep as soon as she got into the car! But it was nice to finally see some love from the Dems after having to put up with those incessant commercials. There’s got to be some benefit from living in a swing state!

Ed. note:  re:  those boys in baggy jeans.  Yes, indeed:  I remember not-so-fondly, ej, that when we marched in the Homecoming Parade with the Weld Dems in 2004, we were heckled by the fratboys on 10th Ave.  Thanks for the in-person reportage–maybe the tide is turning after all.

10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Exclusive report: Joe rocked the rally at Moo Moo U.”

  1. Rose on 22 Oct 2008 at 5:50 am #

    Whoo-hoo! Wish I’d been in Potterville to attend.

    I think the “baggy pants” comment is especially apt in P-ville and at MMU…weren’t (male) members of the College Republicans used as bouncers during Bush’s campaign visit four years ago? At the very least, I remember they were used as scouts to pick out the student rabble-rousers who might try to get in. A student of mine at the time got singled out and evicted from the rally because he was a known Communist…er, Democrat! Sorry, all this talk about socialism lately, y’know…

  2. Profane on 22 Oct 2008 at 9:14 am #

    Joe’s rally in Kirby Park, about 400 yards from my house, was, to be charitable, sparsely attended. The ‘bitter’ comment is still creating problems for Obama/Biden here in PA, although they now have a clear lead.

  3. Indyanna on 22 Oct 2008 at 10:34 am #

    Great report, ej! Back here in another corner of PA–an erstwhile swing state, alas, that the NY Times today has re-labelled “deep blue”–I was going to say we haven’t seen a Democrat for weeks. It’s hard to say what the atmosphere is like here at the bitter end of the Commonwealth. At least there is a Dem. headquarters in this town, operated largely by students it seems. In 2004 there was a forlorn and empty Kerry HQ up on the main street, but their phone just rang and rang and rang. Rep. Murtha, our local ear-o-gator, (as in “earmark”) reportedly used the “r” word to describe the regional electorate, which has some hackles raised. McCain is reportedly camping out in the state for the next two weeks, because a) they actually think they can win it, and b) in any case, they HAVE to win it.

    So I guess things have looked worse. I was in Philly over the weekend, and things seem to be settled from the Delaware River to the western end of the Main Line.

  4. Susan on 22 Oct 2008 at 11:12 am #

    If I were getting the calls (which I’m not, since no one thinks California is a problem) I’d certainly vote early just to stop them.

    After all, voting is in the public record…

  5. Historiann on 22 Oct 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    Nothing apparently stops the stalkerish Obama campaign callers! And the more dedicated a Dem you are, the more you’re punished for it (along the lines of no good deed going unpunished, I suppose.)

    I think I’ll start telling them that if they call one more time I’m voting for Cynthia McKinney. This is the problem with technology post-1980: one used to be able to take the phone off the hook!

  6. Historiann on 22 Oct 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    Oh, and one more thing Susan’s comment reminded me of: one of the earlier polling phone calls I received had a script read at the end of it which is that voting records are public information and the upshot was that the campaign or polling organization would know if I told a lie about having voted if I didn’t! As I recall, it was said in a way that implied that my vote too (as in candiate preference) would be public knowledge, which might intimidate people who are new voters or who aren’t very informed about the process. That struck me as truly creepy and tire-ironish.

    I’m really super glad some campaigns are so eager to see everyone exercise their civic duty–but BACK OFF because I haven’t missed an election since the 1980s. After all, voting records are public information, and you can look it up.

  7. e.j. on 22 Oct 2008 at 6:42 pm #

    Looks like the visits from high profile Dems to Colorado are going to continue (along with the phone calls!). Hillary is going to be in the state on Friday.

    I wonder if her turnout beats that of Biden?

  8. Historiann on 22 Oct 2008 at 7:13 pm #

    Uhh…lemme guess: yes?

    Obama will be here Sunday, perhaps on his way back from Hawai’i, and McCain will be here on Friday, I think.

    Swingalicious! Swingtastic! Swingeriffic!

  9. ej on 22 Oct 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    Let’s make this a bit more interesting with some predictions. I bet HRC gets at least 8,000, Obama comes in around 9,000 (depending on where he goes), and McCain hits the 1,000 mark (and that last prediction is a bit generous).

    One of the highlights at the Biden rally yesterday was a button that said “Jobs, baby, jobs.” She may not be in the race, but Hillary is still coming up with the best lines!

  10. Eyewitness to History: ej on the ground at the Obama rally at Colorado State : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present on 26 Oct 2008 at 8:25 pm #

    [...] especially the Democrats, who haven’t had much cause to come here of late. The turnout at the rally for Biden at Moo Moo U. in Potterville stunned me! But that was nothing compared to the events today. Early estimates had the Obama crowd [...]

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