If you had told me, during the last two elections, where I was disenchanted with the candidates of both parties, that during the '08 election I would spend five hours outside, most of them just standing around waiting, putting off eating dinner and spending time with my wife and kids just to see a candidate for the Democratic nominee speak?
I would have thought you were nuts. But that's exactly what I did tonight. The last-minute news of Obama speaking at a rally in Austin on Friday got me to cancel my regular D&D game, leave work a bit early (good to be the boss, although I had to come in early as a consequence to get some stuff done) and drive downtown in rush hour traffic. Whereupon I stood in a line for two hours before being let into a big open area to stand around for three hours before seeing Obama speak for about an hour.
Totally worth it, btw. His speeches are good on da Interwebs, but they're frikkin' amazing when you're surrounded by tens of thousands of like-minded supporters, and you're about twenty feet away from the man, so that you can see amidst the polished speech and practiced speech-makings the sincerity and spontaneity that set him apart.
I came home with a lack-of-food headache that is only now, two hours later, finally going away. And I lost about eight hours of time that I could have used to catch up on TV or reading, spend time with friends or family or even just kicked back and played some XBox. And spending a ton of time crammed in like sardines with people is generally a painful experience for me, especially when some of the crowd were kind of obnoxious frat-boy types, but...
Totally worth it. Wish I could have managed to get to the front to shake his hand, but it was too much of a zoo, and I was tired and hungry and needed to pee (TMI? Sorry.)
Btw, have I mentioned how much I love John Rogers's political writing? Here's another reason why.