Last night I went to the HQ for the volunteers' meeting, then had dinner with some OAC bloggers. We got special V-VIP tickets for today so we'll all (about 30 bloggers) sit together right up front and liveblog and take pictures and shoot videos to post afterwards. I'll do that here by updating this post.
This morning I walked the dog around the Village Green and watched the people test the sound system etc. There are bloggers already sitting and eating in the restaurants around the Green. The weather decided to change today - it is much colder than yesterday and an occasional raindrop can be felt. I still expect a huge crowd.
Excitement is in the air. The local businesses are quite excited about the prospect of the HQ in the neighborhood - two years of good business as campaign staff, volunteers and visitors need to eat, have their clothes cleaned, ship some mass-mailings or take a break and go see a movie, buy a book, have some coffee or go to the gym.
BlueNC bloggers are meeting at the pizza place at 2:30. The doors open at 4:00. The anthem will be sung at 4:30, followed by a band. JRE is suppposed to address the crowd at about 5:15. Stay tuned.
Good, the Sun is out again. I don't think I'll be liveblogging, but will try to take and download some pictures right afterwards.
Just got home after the event. It was huge - police estimates about 5000 people! By 3pm there were already two lines of people waiting to get in, each line at least a 100 yeards long. We got in early - the power of being a blogger in this campaign. Lots of bloggers from OAC and BlueNC. We managed somehow to get in all together all the way in front around 4pm. It was quite warm - I had to take my coat off for a while.
I took some pictures but now I cannot fine the cable for downloading photos anywhere in the house! I'll keep trying and will upload the pics sooner or later.
Still no sign of the cable - it is driving me crazy!!!!
But I found another excellent blog summary of the event here.
At about 4:45 the anthem was sung by a very little girl (I understand she sings it at UNC games as well) who belted it out with an amazing power!!!!
Then, Del McCoury band played - it was great to finally see them live. They are fun and funny and relaxed and it is nice to see a band openly supporting a candidate (especially this early on) and not fearing how that would affect the sales of their CDs.
Edwards showed up at about 5:30 or so and the crowd roared! Elizabeth was dressed in red and looked great. Cate, Emma Claire and Jack were there - wow, how much the little kids have grown since the last time I saw them.
There is a video clip here and Amy will put up her video later tonight or tomorrow on her liveblogging thread, so you can see/hear the whole speech.
While I liked his 03/04 speeches (both the Millworker one and Two Americas one), this one is so much better, much more mature, realistic and honest. There is nothing there I would not sign myself. Heck, if I was running, that is what I would like to say.
Watched the TV coverage. Local ABC affiliate did a much better job than the local NBC affiliate, e.g., picked better quotes, etc. The BlueNC sign was seen, full-screen, on ABC, though. Both stations went out of their way to find, out of thousands of fervent Edwards supporters, a few people standing outside who are not as commited and who could be duped (and later smartly edited) into saying something wavering, or mentioning Clinton and Obama, or something silly about just having had an election and it's too early for another one. The NBC guy even stated that most of the people there were not supporters but just "curious"! Moron! Yuck!
Paul, Sally and Kirk were also there. I was looking for them, but in that crowd... I had the V-VIP ticket for Kirk and looked for him in vein. Anyway, knowing that Kirk was an old wolf of a reporter I knew he could get himself wherever he wanted, not that the campaign volunteers were stopping anyone from getting wherever they wanted if they only knew they could! I just put on the air of importance and crossed all lines and went through all gates an hour before the whole thing started.
John Edwards is announcing his presidential candidacy tomorrow in New Orleans, followed by a tour of town-hall meetings in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina and North Carolina. I'll be at the last one and may have some pictures etc. I'll probably resuscitate this blog to avoid cluttering the new one with all the political horse-race stuff.
Liveblogging from the event in NOLA are a couple of bloggers at OAC. Scoble will also be there.
I hope that Ford's death does not suck out too much air out of news-shows on TV tomorrow.