As you can see by the video I went to Harrisburg last night for Barack Obama's town hall. For some reason my new webcam didn't record audio so I'm replacing that footage with some from my regular camera. It's a shame because I had another 29 clips using the webcam. I'll get this sorted out before the next event. I bagged the Lancaster event this morning so I can download everything from last night and get it posted. I'll pick up the bus tour as it goes upstate tomorrow.
Sen. Obama began the day in University Park where an estimated 22,000 people crammed Old Main lawn at Penn State. Central Pennsylvania is still rather brisk in March, if memory serves me, so I'm sure they all bundled up and kept each other warm as only college kids can. One nice thing about this Obama tour is the fact he is also making stops along the way. It's a nightmare for the Secret Service so we'll see how long it lasts, but appearances at bowling alleys and hot dog stands are the retail politics we were expecting in a seven week campaign.
The Obama crowd at The Forum was distinctly different from that which greeted Hillary Rodham Clinton about three weeks ago. That group was largely comprised of state employees, lawmakers and staff. There was nary a Black face in the room. Sen. Obama's crowd was much more diverse, much more excited and a huge roar went up when he took the stage. Hillary also got quite the reception but this was markedly different.
The town hall event also lasted much longer as Barack took many unscripted questions from the audience. This is daring because one never knows what will be asked and it requires much quick thinking a clear grasp of issues. He passed this test handily. Questions ranged from education, affordable housing, suburban sprawl, to DUI laws. The last question was asked by a boy named Hollywood who said he was injured by a drunk driver at age 5. After introducing himself and asking the question Obama asked if his name really was Hollywood in a humorous way which showed his personality. This man could definitely be a game show host if his political career ever fizzles.
The town hall style event highlighted his nature and provided a good glimpse into the sort of man he is which was refreshing. Hillary's town hall "style" events take no questions and I think she's losing the opportunity to show herself and her humanity by limiting them to speeches. This extended the time of the event by a considerable length but the crowd loved being able to ask questions.
Meanwhile I'm still uploading the video and will post it as soon as it's ready. There are quite a few clips.