Monday, September 17, 2007

Harkin Steak Fry, Part I

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 490

First item of note: UNBELIEVABLE TRAFFIC! And, no, sadly, I don't mean visits to my little amoeba of a blog. I mean the astounding spectacle of literally thousands of cars clogging the streets of - wait for it - Indianola, Iowa. In the whole time I've lived in this state, I believe this was the first time I have heard car horns blare in anger. Or at least annoyance.

The total number of tickets sold, as they say at the ballpark, seems to have been around 12,000, which is record attendance in the 30-year history of the Harkin steak fry. I couldn't help but compare that all-time high to the the unmitigated flop that was the GOP Straw Poll last month. In addition to this meaning, of course, that Democrats are fired up about their choices, and chances, this election, it also meant that I was egregiously late to the event. I completely missed the remarks from the Iowa Democratic congressional delegation, and even from Senator Harkin himself. :-(

But I did get there in time for the steaks. :-)

By the time I got near the podium, the introductions were over and Barack Obama was on stage. The one thing I heard him say that was new was his statement that he would not vote for any Senate bill to fund the war in Iraq that did not include a binding timetable for withdrawal of U.S. combat forces. Here's video of the first part of Obama's speech:

The highlight of the second part of the speech was a little call-and-response act between Obama and his cheering section. It played great on television, and leveraged the large number of supporters that the Obama campaign bussed into the event. I thought Obama's speech was really - you'll pardon the expression - a barn burner. Style by the busload:

Next installment: Bill Richardson's speech.

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