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Obama in Baltimore - Afterthoughts

So, as you might already be able to tell from the pictures, The Black Salvage Editorial Staff was in attendance Monday when Barack Obama spoke at the 1st Mariner Arena here in Baltimore, MD. I would like to give my piece on the sights and sounds of Monday afternoon. I would like to leave you my impressions of my first major public political experience. . .

I arrived downtown at about 2:30 in the afternoon, and only 15 minutes before doors were supposed to open for the event. There were crowds posted outside the every entrance to the building and even more folks crossing the streets trying to get in. I was anxious to get inside as soon as possible- my friends at the University of Maryland College Park, where Obama spoke around midday, told me the lines were horrendous there. While there was a line wrapped around the building to get to the doors, there was a good number of people walking right up to the doors and going in. At this point, we had to do our hustle and bypass the lines. Was it rude. . . maybe, but we definitely got a perfect view of the event, as the pictures show.

Saying the thing started late is the purest of understatements. It was more than an hour and a half late, I believe. Their soundtrack of inspirational pop and rock and oldies cycled more 7 times and was increasingly annoying on each go-around. While waiting in our seats, we did seek out interviews. One of these was from Ned Harper of Baltimore. Like myself, this was his first political event. And like myself, he found out the event the day before. Harper is an independent who first heard about Obama at the Boston convention in 2004. I asked Harper what he thought of Obama. He said he felt he was the most honest and "real" candidate who understands people more when compared to the Republican candidates or Hillary Clinton. I asked if he had to vote for a Republican, who would he vote for. Another similarity- he said John McCain.

When Obama finally did arrive, there was surreal sensation that swept over me. I kept saying, "I'm really about to see him". It was worth it, everything I missed in being there was worth it. The applause for him as he approached was like that of a rock star. . . or like a war hero returning home in a movie. There was so much love in that room and once he started speaking, it mulitplied ten-fold.

Obama has to the most sincere and personable politician in recent memory. He responded to the crowd and even individuals who managed to scream out. He joked and the crowd laughed. It was like a conversation. It didn't feel like a politician preaching to me about why I should support them. It was merely like a conversation between two politically aware friends and that, I believe, is what moved the people in that room as much as his ideas.

And as for his ideas, they were many and great. Obama's segment on education hit home most with me. He also discussed his plans for a $4,000 scholarship for college students and the only requirement was community service. The highlight of his education segment has to be when he said "we have new prisons and old schools". The room erupted and I was one of the many that stood and applauded. Not to use a movie allusion again, but really, that's what it felt like. It was like that epic speech the war hero gives to his troops in the final scene before the charge and trust, we were all moved.

Afterward, we found a few folks for their thoughts on the speech and intend to have that video up within the next 24 hours. It's been Hell trying to post it, compliments of Morgan State University's terrible internet connection.

Well, that was my synopsis of it all, ProdigyMaestro out.

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  1. Courtney Cecelia HobsonFebruary 13, 2008 1:01 PM

    I really wanted to attend one of Barack's visits to MD. I could not attend in College Park because I have class and I could not receive a ride to Baltimore to see him. I have heard him speak so many times and have been moved just by sitting in my living room. O the joy to experience that in person. I am glad that the beautiful people here at Black Salvage and my friends at College Park were able to. Obama is such an inspirational person. I am even considering starting a Students for Barack Obama chapter here at BSU, an organization whose absence disturbs me.

    I recently had a chance to see Hillary Clinton on the Bowie campus. She came to my school Sunday night. The event was scheduled for 8:30 but she too was late. The main issue I take with Mrs. Clinton is the fact that BSU students were not made aware of this appearance until 1:30 pm Sunday afternoon. Not a week before, not a day before, but that afternoon. Once I got there in line, there were more people from the Bowie community there than students. That was the biggest group of white people I have ever seen on campus. Hillary's message was good. Nothing different than anything I heard on televised debates. She even recycles her quips. Obviously the people that we there were excited but I doubt the electricity in the air could match that of an Obama rally. The fact that Mrs. Clinton would use our facilities, which are not the best, and not come to see Bowie students saddens me. I was willing to be open to what she had to say and perhaps sway me. But now I know who I support now. Barack Obama for President of the United States of America 2008

  2. thank you for your insight Courtney..I was kinda skeptical of how BSU students would feel about Hilary coming to their school, instead of Barack

  3. Bless your heart for standing in that line. There was no rally in DC...I'm surprised. I guess we only get to have the "Black Family Reunion" (National Council of Negro Women) once a year here in the District. Lol! It would have been bananas!

  4. i'm surprised as well. and i would like to see hillary at some point, just for the sake of comparing her energy in a live setting to obama's

  5. One of the things I like about Obama is that he speaks in way that doesn't seem preachy and condescending. He seems to me a genuinely likeable person who earnestly wants to change this country for the better. Many thanks for putting up those videos so we can what he spoke about. I'm still beating myself up for missing it......

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