Wow, what an amazing event. Packed in tight, the people attending the final Obama rally were excited and positive about tomorrow! I was there with a friend of mine, we arrived around 5:30, and watched, as the crowd grew, and grew and grew……. people as far as the eye could see! It was an amazing event. We met three older gentlemen from Quebec Canada. They had been volunteering for the Obama campaign! Two had also been chiefs of staff for the head honcho of Quebec (I can’t remember what the formal title is of that position). They were very excited, having been intrigued bystanders of many past elections, including JFK. They said that people around the world were hoping that Obama would win, and with his win, restore the great name of The United States of America. They LOVE America, our ideals, for them, represent the best and worst that can encompasses a democratic country. By the end of the night we we were dancing and cheering together. As we said our good byes, we wished each other well and left hopeful that tomorrow will bring about a change this country desperately needs.

30 thoughts on “At least 80,000 people, packed in like sardines, attend Obama’s last rally, I’m one of them!

  1. DiversityGal

    OMG, Elena, I think I saw you there! Though we’ve never met, I recognized you from the video posted on this site. I was not that far away from you in a red shawl, and I kept looking over at you, wondering if it was you. You were on the flat ground area, but kind of in the middle section, right? I saw you dancing it up, girl!

    The Manassas rally was SOOO much better than the Leesburg one. Though we waited for a REALLY long time to hear Barack speak, people were so energetic at this event. Everyone was dancing, singing, and having a great time. Plus, it helped that PWC Fairgrounds staged the thing like a semi-carnival or county fair. Someone must have make tons of moolah with all the fair food they were selling. Manassas knows how to party, apparently:)

    I got home at 1:00 am, as traffic was terrible. However, it was all worth it. I met some really great people, including a guy named Jay the Plumber (hee hee). He assured me that he was no Joe, and that he, like countless other of the 99.9% of plumbers making less than $250,000 per year, was definitely voting for Obama.

    Cross your fingers for tomorrow, folks!

  2. Firedancer

    It’s 1:30 a.m. I just finished eating dinner after getting home from the rally. It’s not like I can just go to bed, so I don’t know how I’m going to get up early to vote. It was exciting to be a part of history. We were up front, but I still got claustrophobic being squished like that so I left my husband and friend to find more breathing room a bit farther back. I felt so bad for the people squished in the middle for hours. Obama gave a good speech, but even more amazing for me was the sight of sooooo many people–they said 100,000—spread out over the hillside as far as the eye could see. So many people, a truly diverse crowd, hoping for change, ready to witness a new day and age, a new page, in our history. That was incredible and inspiring. Let’s see what today will bring.

  3. DB

    I wasn’t able to go but I watched his speech live on CSPAN. It was really good! I was amazed at how huge the crowd was.

  4. Leila

    Just voted! I went to bed at midnight, woke up at about 4:45 before the alarm, and was about 20th in line at my Arlington precinct at 5:20. I figured if I was going to get up early, it might as well be before the polls opened. Good choice. I finished by 6:05, left, and already the line is hundreds and hundreds deep. I can’t imagine what it will be like in another hour or two.

    There was a kind of electric feeling inside, the poll workers were being ultra careful with the ID process. I don’t remember in past elections being given a choice of machine or paper, but I was. I noticed a lot more poll workers than normal. I wish I had paid attention to more voters’ expressions inside, but it was all over so fast! I guess that was the advantage and disadvantage of being 20th.

    I am very glad I waited until election day. It was moving and exciting to be part of a crowd before the sky was getting light. But It’s going to be a bitch to have to wait another 12 1/2 hours for the first returns!

  5. Leila

    Oops, I mean another 11 1/2 hours.

  6. Moon-howler

    How exciting to read everyone else’s excitement! Congratulations to those of you who braved the crowds and lines and eternal waiting to attend the event in person. I was a roadside warrior on my couch. I had my tv on, and 2 live streams. I could still feel the luv!

    Keep sharing!

  7. TWINAD

    Just back from the poll. Safe to say the longest line ever at Westgate Elementary! Line was out to the street at 6. Wait was about 1 hour 15 minutes. Line is slightly shorter now than it was at 6. Guess who was in line a few people ahead of me! The woman from the 9500 Liberty videos with the LONG straight hair that was complaining that her mother couldn’t come out of her townhouse because of all the Latino’s that lived on either side! Ugh. I think she was definitely outnumbered by Obama supporters.

  8. TWINAD

    MH,

    I’m with you! I want to know all about it, but I can’t brave crowds like that. I’ve only been claustrophobic twice…once in a crush to leave a Grateful Dead concert and once on the mall a few years ago at the Metro after the immigration rally. I have subsequently discovered that I am not able to be squeezed in like a sardine. I cleared an area around me at the concert by barfing (not on purpose) and I had to leave the Metro station before I got in too deep to get out. I walked to another one where the crowds were more manageable. But I want to hear all about it!

  9. Chris

    MH,
    We need a thread for election updates.

    TWINAD,
    Thank you for that report from WestGate Elem. I plan on voting around lunch time at Stonewall Middle. I’ve never waited more than 45 minutes in my twenty years of voting.

  10. IVAN

    I was there yesterday also. Got to the Armory about 3:00 p.m. and waited along rte.234 until the gates opened at about 4:30. We were about 6 people back from the stage where all the speakers walked out to talk. It was a great night, even the traffic couldn’t put a damper on it. However, it was obvious from the “entertainment” that the event was put together at the last minute. I was looking for Dave Mathews or Bruce Springstein.
    Voted this morning in the City, no lines at Metz. Perhaps all the old Reps. in town have decided to sit this one out.

  11. Woke up on my own at 4:30am, went to the polling station at 5:00am and there was a line of about 25 people already. This is also the first year the Dem party booth showed up before me. GOP nowhere to be seen yet. By the time the polls opened the line was halfway around the building. Longest line I have ever seen for an election this early in the morning. We had paper ballots in scantron form, easy to follow but touchy, my first ballot was rejected by thr machine due to a rip. I had to get it voided by the Election board chair and given a fresh one, that one went through.

    No need to lie, anyone who knows me knows Obama has my vote, but what they may not know is Feder insulted me personally once, and I just don’t like her policies anyway, so I have voted for Wolf the past couple of times, he’s not quite lock step with the neocons and his record on Darfur is commendable. It’s also good to have some checks in congress, just to keep complete control out of Pelosi’s hands.

    So go to the polls, for your vote will determine whether we can pass away in quiet retirement or die at our desks in debt with none but our uneducated children to finish paying it.

    too much is at stake, skip work, VOTE!

  12. Not Me, Bubba

    I wish I could have been there last night. But in a way I was on my way home from work…28 was a parking lot and it was full of cars filled with Obama supporters en route. My Obama magnet had been stolen, so I couldn’t show my solidarity with them, but I felt surrounded, for once, by fellow citizens.

    And while I’m not a big football fan – I was glad to hear the Pittsburgh Steelers won :>)

    And thank goodness I voted via absentee ballot! The lines at Buckhall fire station at 5 til 6 this morning were out the building and people had to park along side davis ford! Same for the voting locales in Arlington….

    Change – a definite change from the first time I voted in the 1990s. People actually do care…and I am glad to see that the apathy on voting has ebbed. We all play a part – regardless of who has your vote.

  13. DiversityGal

    I went to Metz to vote at around 6:30, and the process took about 45 minutes. I saw Marie there, working the polls diligently with a smile on her face. I only slept for about two hours, then rolled out of bed and out to vote.

    Some interesting things…

    Most people in line were fairly quiet or talking about innocuous stuff…granted, it was really early in the morning. One man and woman in their fifties began talking loudly about how long the line was, and how they never had to wait in years past. The woman commented, “Well, it’s because…well look at who we’ve got here.” They laughed about how people who hadn’t voted in the past should just stay home and they could vote for them. They also started talking about issues such as abortion and how they were suspicious of one candidate.

    A woman in front of them asked about a sample ballot she had been handed in line. The man and woman began explaining the ballot to her. She had limited English skills. For the most part, they did an OK job. However, then the man said, “You could vote for Jim Gilmore or the guy who’s running against him”…a subtle but deliberate tactic, I thought.

    I think it is interesting that they are asking people whether or not they want to vote in the “citywide” election (president/VP, senator, 10th congressional district) or just the presidential election. I can understand that some people may want to simplify (especially if they don’t know much about the other election races), but it also seems like a way to NOT offer a person the choice, or discourage more local choices. I heard there have already been some problems with it.

    The afore-mentioned kooky lady began complaining about how the lines were cued. She pulled aside a poll chief, and told him that he had created a “retard line.” Immediately afterward, I loudly thanked him for volunteering and doing his job today; he smiled and said thanks. As I walked out, the same lady grabbed another poll worker (a building neighbor of mine) and complained that things were taking too long because of all these “first time idiot voters” who were taking too long to make a decision. Again, I loudly thanked him for volunteering after she said that. She glared at me and stormed out to the parking lot. Some people are determined to be and to make others miserable…

    That crabby chic is not going to ruin my day, and though she may have wished it not to be true, voters are turning out in droves.

  14. Poor Richard

    As it did almost 150 years ago, history marched through Manassas last night.
    If you would have told me 20-10-even 5 years ago that a crowd of over 80K
    people would gather at the PWC fairgrounds and wait hours to hear a Democratic
    black candidate on the eve of a presidential election, I would have demanded
    your car keys and kept them until you sobered up. An amazing event.

  15. DiversityGal

    Moon-howler,

    I sent you some pics of the rally. You are welcome to post them or send them to Elena for posting:) One of the pictures contains a really fuzzy shot of Obama (lighting and my camera were not great).

  16. Chris

    Poor Richard,
    I agree with you whole heartedly. I could here the crowd and music all the way over here in West Gate. I am amazed from Hillary being at Metz to last night with all the attention Manassas & PWC have gotten during this historic election.

  17. Mando

    If Obama wins (I’m guessing likely – PT Barnum was right), this will go down in the annals of history as the biggest swindle of all time. My only solace will be the WTF heard across the country when the centrists that bought into the hoopla realize what they actually voted for.

    I foresee only a 4 year term mainly due to the massive bait-and-switch that is going to be perpetrated on the masses.

  18. Turn PW Blue

    Mando:

    Sour grapes make for bitter wine (or should that be whine?).

  19. Rally sounds like my idea of hell–crowds and long waits. Elena, you have more patience than I.

    Good note–arrived at 5:40 and was out an hour later at Victory Elementary. After they let us in the building (since I was early), it only took 30 minutes for me to vote. This is much better than I expected.

  20. –The afore-mentioned kooky lady began complaining about how the lines were cued. She pulled aside a poll chief, and told him that he had created a “retard line.” —

    Stupid b _ _ _ _. Someone should have given her a breathalyzer.

  21. Moon-howler

    Poor Richard, very eloquently stated. I sort of got a shiver on that one. Thanks.

    Are you originally from Manassas/Prince William?

    Ivan, did you stay until the bitter end?
    I heard Stevie Wonder was there. Was that an urban myth?

  22. IVAN

    MH, We stayed to the end. Got home at 1:00. Stevie didn’t show up, but they played one of his songs when Obama finished and left the stage. BTW, the highlight of the night was when Gerry Connolly told a joke about Hilary, Ferraro and Sara Palin. It could have been a great SNL skit.

  23. Firedancer

    Twinad, I’m with you on the claustrophia. If I couldn’t have gotten to an open space last night, I would have gone crazy. But I seemed to be the only one secretly panicking! I just couldn’t understand how all those people could have stayed there squashed for four+ hours without moving or even going to the bathroom, at least the ones behind barriers towards the front. It was wild.

  24. DiversityGal

    Actually, Ivan, I was worried Gerry was shooting himself in the foot on that one. A bunch of people around me starting nervously whispering, “No, Gerry, don’t do it? What are you doing?” when he said he was going to tell a Hilary/Geraldine/Sarah joke. I haven’t heard that he got any flack for it, though.

  25. IVAN

    DG, I guess Gerry was feeling pretty confident, after all we know who is supporting his opposition and what his political track record has been lately.

  26. JustinT

    I got the impression that Gerry was not planning to speak, but they threw him into the fire last minute when Obama was late.

  27. Mando

    “Mando:

    Sour grapes make for bitter wine (or should that be whine?).”

    No sour grapes. I’m looking forward to 4 years of the great panacea.

  28. Elena

    Just got home, 3:30 p.m., from leaving the house this a.m. to take kids to school , vote, and volounteer at Alvey to hand out sample ballots and greet people!

    Diversity Gal,
    You should have come over!!!!!!! That was totally me dancing, pretending I was young again 🙂 It was an awesome time, and the way Obama wrapped it with “Fire it up” – “Ready to Go” was freakin’ awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 100,000 thousand people chanting fire it up, ready to go was just an amazing moment to experience. I concur with the Gerry joke, I thought it was in bad taste.

  29. TWINAD

    Firedancer,

    It really is an awful feeling! I’m glad you were able to find somewhere to get some room. Ugh, I hate even thinking about those two instances. Like I said, it has only happened twice and only when absolutely packed in. I can stand a Redskins game and other crowd situations, but just being sandwiched between people, I can’t (or won’t) do it anymore after those two experiences. After the immigration rally downtown, I had my husband and 3 year old (at the time) with me. I could feel that I was going to start to panic, but I could still see that I could get out…had I waited another 5 minutes to get into the tunnel, I would have been stuck and I don’t think it would have ended well!

  30. Moon-howler

    Twinad and Firedancer, same experience here. In my case, it was a Bosnia demonstration. I had claustrophobia both in the crowd and on the subway.
    Terrifying. I don’t do crowds like that any more.

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