August 26, 2008
I was a little late getting to the Pepsi Center tonight, but got through security comparable to an airport and to trusty section 104 by about 8:15. Plenty of time to see Hillary Clinton's address, I thought.
But they weren't letting anybody into the seating area of the arena.
Nobody. Not people with passes and assigned seats, not people who just walked out of the seating area into the hallways to use the bathroom leaving their computers inside nobody. Fire marshals ordered the whole thing closed off, security workers told me and everyone.
People were furious. Shouting matches almost broke out. I felt bad for the people working the entrances.
Hillary has officially overflowed the Pepsi Center.
I talked my way through a gate and crossed an entire row of seats "pardon me, excuse me, sorry, was that your foot?" and got to my spot in time to hear Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer say that even if we drill in all of John McCain's backyards, we won't find enough oil to lower gas prices. Schweitzer was lively and funny, but he had an easy crowd people are incredibly fired up tonight.
I thought nothing would top last night and Teddy Kennedy.
This scene is ridiculous. Absolutely, incredibly, energized. Looking at the crowd blanketing the stands in white Hillary signs, the word "rabid" comes to mind.
Now they're playing a Hillary Clinton video montage, to Tom Petty's "American Girl."
Chelsea introduced her. Hillary is getting an incredible standing ovation.
"No way. No how. No McCain," Hillary says. "Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our President."
A man just yelled out "We love you!" as Hillary said" "America's greatness is bound up in the lives of the American people - your hard work, your devotion to duty, your love for your children."
This speech is doing what she and the Democratic Party needed it to do healing a lot of wounds and moving the entire party forward. There's not an ounce of selfishness or bitterness in Hillary's comments. "I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that Mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who felt invisible?" A huge ovation for this one, about revitalizing the economy and meeting "the global challenges of our time": "Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, we did it before with President Clinton:And President Obama and the Democrats will do it again." Each time I hear a "Hill-a-ry" chant, I keep thinking the crowd is chanting "M-V-P!" Must be the Pepsi Center vibe. Another slam dunk for Hillary: "It makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities. Because these days, they're awfully hard to tell apart." I didn't know today is the 88th anniversary of the 19th amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote interesting quirk. A strong Harriet Tubman reference: "If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going:.We are Americans. We're not big on quitting. But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president:that is our mission, Democrats." Hillary's last words are drowned out by the crowd: and that's it. Cue the Springsteen. The overflow crowd drains to the exits. One more night in the Pepsi Center, with Joe Biden on Wednesday, then it's on to Invesco for Obama and Thursday's big finish. Whew.