Saturday, February 2, 2008

Tides of history...battleground Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

When it was announced on Thursday this week that Obama would rally at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis today, James and I secured E-tickets; Friday morning there were none left. The tickets said that Target Center's doors would open at 1:30pm.

This morning, we received emails from the Obama campaign stating that tickets did not guarantee entry -- first-come, first-served. We headed down and arrived at Target Center at 1pm.

We could see that the skyways leading to the TC from all directions were clogged with people, and we set out to find the end of the line on the street. You can Google TC to look at a map surrounding the place. The line wound around the main entrance on 1st Avenue North, around the corner on Sixth Street to 2nd Avenue North, and then to 7th Street, and then north past the site of the new Twins stadium, past the garbage burner, to Highway 55/Olson Highway/Sixth Avenue North. That's where we found the end of the line at 1:10pm. The line continued to wrap around 6th Avenue, back to 5th Street, and back toward downtown.

At 1:35pm, the line moved forward about 30 feet. By 1:45pm, another 20 feet. Few, including us, were dressed for the weather for such a period of time, and it became clear that we would need to leave early so James could make a 4pm appointment elsewhere. At 2pm, we left our place in line and joined hundreds who were abandoning the effort while hundreds more were still walking towards us -- having no idea how far away they were from the end of the line!

The crowd was a total mix of ages and races. Everyone quietly very happy. One person saying, "Even if I don't get in, I won't be mad because this is spectacular!"

The television news and CNN covered the rally of 20,000 which got underway about 4pm.

Romney also was in town today. Hillary will be here tomorrow. Ron Paul is coming through on Monday.

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