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May 19, 2008

Your Turn: Rock ‘n Roll

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Barackportland75K

I’m on the move today, but — heading into tomorrow’s perhaps conclusive day — I wanted to give a taste of the build around Obama.

Obviously, we’ve got excitement and scale, both off-the-charts.  Up top, I first thought: The Beatles.  Below, despite the old-time, country fair feel of the bunting, the rock star feel is there again.  And then, with no place for the eye to land if you’re only scanning the sea of faces, it’s easy to wind up at the edge and simply extrapolate the entire 75,000 in your mind’s eye.

No one has been more skeptical than I have about the celebrity factor in politics.  (And, in this case, idolatry might be the more accurate construct.)  As the pendulum turns and gains speed, however, away from the last eight year of punishment, what we see exemplified is Obama as the focal point, conduit and recipient of great relief and (at least the stirrings of) a tremendous emotional release.

BHO’s event on the waterfront (Oregonian – Flickr)

Barack Obama visits Oregon (Oregonian – Flickr)

(updated: 1:02 EST. h/t: Chris)

(image 1: Rob Finch. image 2: Michael Lloyd. Oregonian Flickr photo stream)

  • Gasho

    Hard for the ego to stay in check when you’ve got babes screaming for you and taking diagonal digital photos!
    He’s gonna be our next president. I wonder if he’ll mingle with the crowd once he’s elected..

  • http://www.cazalis.org Cazalis

    This is by far one of the best photographs I have seen and an honest representation of what is currently happening in America. One the one hand we have the opportunity of a minority coming into the big game finally and on the other we have America and its continuous adulation for the idol. What these two items will bring as an opportunity not only to America and to the world is what concerns me the most, today.

  • Books Alive

    Re the “babes,” I went to an early fundraiser held in the evening, in a large space. Getting there early, I had lots of opportunity to see how sexily many of the women were dressed. Now with him apologizing for the “sweetie” comment, perhaps he’s learning the drill that he’ll need to lessen the effect of the adulation.

  • Kris T

    Indeed!
    Is McWar garnering attention of even a fraction of this magnitude?
    Somehow, I expect not.

  • http://www.typepad.com/t/comments Megalomania

    This is a wow if you do a google, just print oregon
    [edit] Racial discrimination
    Both the Oregon Territory and the State of Oregon have had laws and policies discriminating against people of non-white racial backgrounds. An 1844 territorial statute outlawed slavery but also mandated free slaves to leave the territory.[17] A law adopted by the state in 1862 required all ethnic minorities to pay a $5 annual tax.[17] Interracial marriage was prohibited by law between (approximately) 1861 and 1951.[17]
    Yikes 1951 is not that far away. This is a suprise or oregon will not be suprised if Obama is not what they think he is.
    There is more…if this vote is for Obama there is a lot of change already…

  • HeyZeus

    The truth never gathers crowds of that size. More of the same, I fear. One must remember who his adviser is.

  • Robin Moore

    In February I saw Obama in the Key Arena in Seattle, the same place I saw the Beatles back in 1968 or so. The place was full to the rafters on both occasions and the reaction was was the same for both-happy, happy screaming.

  • Joe Librull

    All those white hands reaching out to him. Where are the black people? I’ve been to Portland Oregon many times. I know for a fact there are many black people there.
    The colors in that top photo look enhanced. Look at the green and orange shirt in the very back

  • KansasKowboy

    I think of Woodstock when I see the photos from Oregon. So many people gathering and no one hurt. No one starting riots, or trying to start trouble. I think people just want to be able to get a look at the man who can help us take back our country. Could Bush be in the open in front of so many of his own countrymen? We know he couldn’t. I am sure that when Obama is President he will be more available and open to politically mixed crowds than Bush is able or willing to do. Bush goes to the baseball park and gets booed.

  • http://dotcommodity.dailykos.com/ Susan K

    Apparently he was headlined by The Decemberists – a lot of the kiddies are there for the music:
    http://www.correntewire.com/about_obamas_largest_crowd_evah_in_portland_the_other_day

  • SEAS

    Megalomania is right about Oregon’s racist history. I grew up in a small town on the coast of Oregon where as recently as the 1950s, blacks were not allowed to remain overnight. All the more astonishing, then, that a virtual cross section of Oregon showed up to see Obama on Sunday: When you look at the photos more closely you’ll see blacks and whites in about the demographic mix in Oregon all there. You can be confident that people did not show up to hear The Decembrists, since no one even knew they were going to be at the event.

  • http://makethemaccountable.com Carolyn Kay

    There was a free concert before and after Obama’s appearance, by a very popular band.
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/robert-knight/2008/05/20/free-concert-popular-band-preceded-obama-s-big-rally
    Carolyn Kay
    MakeThemAccountable.com

  • swarmofkillermonkeys

    I usually miss the racial dimension that so many others seem obsessed with (both ways)… but here for once all I could think was…
    “Portland, wow. You are really, really white. Get some sun already…”
    Those that attempt to imply these people weren’t here to see Sen. Obama… Kinda sad, really. It wasn’t the rock music, and yes, those ARE in fact hard working white people (ghastly, unhealthily pale white people). Oregon is simply not a very rich state.

  • Joe Order

    The Decemberists’ warm up gig the previous night had capacity for about 2-3000 max, so it’s fair to say Obama had a fairly big draw of his own.

  • MSquared

    Some of you are really showing your propensity for lameness by attempting to detract from the magnitude of this event in Oregon.

  • easystrider

    Is it true that after the rally on the riverbank he fed the multitudes with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish?

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