McCain, Obama, and Why I Love My Job
This month there was a lot of political activity at the university. We’ve had incredible visits from both John McCain and Barack Obama as the crisscross the country looking for the critical votes to become the next president of the United States (and replace our pal Dubya). I’ve been lucky enough to cover both visits on behalf of the university. Just me and my trusty video camera. I was in the press riser at the McCain rally at UNM, where McCain asked “Who is Barack Obama?” and some nimrod in the crowd allegedly shouted “a terrorist!” (I can’t say either way, I heard something that could have been that, but I didn’t have access to the same audio feed the “real” reporters do)
One of the first things I noticed between the two events is the difference in the audience’s energy. At the Barack Obama rally, attended only by Barack (or big “B” as I like to call him), myself, and 45,000 of our closest friends, there was a lot of energy flowing around the crowd. Between Obama, Governor Richardson, and George Lopez (yeah baby!) people were electified at the event. Not only electified, but there was a lot of positive energy as people spoke. Well, listen for yourself. Listen to all of the applause and positive cheering going on at the event.
Now contrast that to the McCain event. A ticket-only event attended by me, McCain, Mrs. McCain and 1,500 supporters. The McCain event was held in the UNM Student Union Ballroom, which could hold the crowd. The fans at this event were also fired up, but listen to the boos. Listen to the negativity during the event.
That’s the difference between the two campaigns. Well, that and the media coverage. McCain came with a respectible 40 or so reporters, as I figured. Obama’s campaign showed up with over 80 national reporters, another 20 or so local press peeps, the IFC political report was there. It was amazing. There were two media risers set up, both of which were packed, a large tent for more reporters, and additional tables set up behind us, just in case. It was awesome.
The Obama event was the largest political event in New Mexico history. I have to admit, removing the media objectivity for a moment, it was really cool! (Sore feet and all, from standing in boots for 4 hours). The McCain event was interesting as well, but it was flat compared to the Obama event. And as an aside, McCain was in Albuquerque the same day as the Obama event, but he only drew 850 people. Obama was letting in 850 people as well, per minute.