Just got back from the Obama Watch Party at the PAC. I decided it would be more fun to watch his acceptance speech in a crowd. We parked on 5th Avenue, and as I got out of the car, I wondered how many people would show up. The venue was the Discovery Theatre, so I figured they were expecting hundreds, but there’s always that fear at these things that you’ll show up and have a meager turnout. The car parked right ahead of me had an Obama ’08 bumper sticker, which gave me hope.
As always, the Obama organization was smooth and well-planned. The lobby was busy with attendees signing in and getting info packets. House candidate Ethan Berkowitz arrived shortly after I did.
Assembly member Elvi Gray-Jackson was at the sign in table.
My fear of being one out of 8 or 9 other Obama supporters was completely unfounded. I was pleased to see at least 400 people, maybe closer to 500 by the time the event started.
We were all given packets with volunteer information, and 12 phone numbers of registered voters. We were asked to see how many calls we could make before the speech started to see if people were planning on voting for Obama, and to invite them to watch the acceptance speech on CNN. I was a good soldier and made all 12 calls. When I turned in my sheet, I was rewarded with a cool little Obama pin with the big dipper in the background. Nice!
Ethan Berkowitz got up and gave an impromptu address the crowd before the speech started. He said he wants everyone to vote “Obama – Obegich – Oberkowitz”. Crowd laughed.
The speech was just astounding. It was the perfect mix of personal narrative, policy specifics, and whacks on the knuckles of the knuckleheads. The crowd at the PAC went wild, cheering, clapping, tossing beachballs, and even giving a standing ovation or two.
It was really amazing to be sharing that moment in history with such an enthusiastic group. The Republicans have got to be wringing their hands. I don’t know how on Earth they will ever top this. I’m sure it’s not an act they want to follow.
Between Convention Week, the Primary, and this incredible speech tonight, I’m overwhelmed and tired, and happy to be a progressive. Next week the Republican convention will yank me back to reality, but for now I’m just going to enjoy feeling optimistic.