Our Barack Obama Rally Experience (pictures & videos)

On Saturday, Jody, the kids and I drove 2 1/2 hours to Pueblo, CO, to experience our first political rally where both Michelle and Barack Obama were scheduled to speak. According to the LA Times, there were over 15,000 people in attendance.

We were seriously lucky and got amazingly close to the stage thanks to a phone call my sister Carrie made on Friday. Jody and I had been debating whether or not it’d be a good idea to take the kids for the 2 1/2 hour drive, then make them wait for the rally to begin and sit through the rally before having to drive 2 1/2 hours back home. It seemed like a lot to ask of them. I had several questions like if I could wear Julian in my Ergo (baby carrier), if we could bring a blanket to put on the ground, and if we could bring in a bag with diapers, snacks, toys, etc. to entertain the kids. Carrie called the Colorado Springs Obama office for me and said we’d be coming with two small kids and asked my questions (yes on Ergo, no on blanket, yes on backpack with snacks, diapers, etc.). She then told Carrie that since we’d have little kids with us we could use the disabled persons’ entrance.

So we decided we would give it a go, try not to have any expectations and just enjoy being a part of the event. We dressed the kids in their “Kids for Obama” t-shirts, I donned my “Obama Mama” pin and, because it was warm enough for short-sleeves, even displayed my Obama temporary tattoo on my arm and we headed out on a beautiful day to Pueblo.

When we finally got to Pueblo, about 30 minutes before the rally was set to start, we parked a block from the disabled persons’ entrance and made our way there. A police officer outside of the line told us that we’d have to go to the main entrance – FIVE blocks away. I explained that we were told to go to the disabled entrance because of the kids and he was skeptical. He said we could try to get in, but they might just turn us away and direct us to the main entrance anyway. Unsure what to do, we started to walk down the street to the main entrance when I said, “Ya know what? No. We are going to try to get in back there.” So we headed back, told him we’d take our chances and waited in line for about 10 minutes while I formulated my story, even verifying on the phone with my sister the name of the person she talked to. (Carrie and her friend had got to the rally before us and were out in the crowd, about 2 blocks away from the stage.) When we got to the front, the security guards didn’t bat an eye, they just had us go through the metal detector like everyone else and we were in! We walked around some Port-O-Johns and a building and discovered that we were in the media area and about 30 feet from the podium where Obama would be speaking!! SCORE! :)

I took both my SLR and P&S cameras and am so glad I did. I got a few videos, some snaps, as well as some good pictures of Barack and Michelle. The only thing I didn’t get that I wished I had, was a picture of Barack and Michelle with their daughters. They all came out on the stage for about 30 seconds at the end, but by that time I was holding a tired and very much ready to leave Ava (Jody had been walking around with a tired, cranky Julian for the entire rally) and was unable to get a shot off. Despite that, I was very happy with the pictures I got.

Julian looking sleepy in the Ergo – Excited Ava and Jody waiting in the security line – Before the rally began, Julian was ready for a nap
A tired Julian in the Ergo on my back as we walked to the rally 11/1/08 Ava and Jody waiting in the security line before the rally 11/1/08 Excitement mounts before the rally, but Julian is ready for some Zzzzzs 11/1/08
Cute baby for Obama – Our view of the media (which we were standing right beside) – SWAT team on the roof
Baby for Obama 11/1/08 We were in the media section 11/1/08 Members of the SWAT team 11/1/08
Michelle Obama spoke briefly before introducing Barack – Love that Obama was speaking on Union Ave. (since he’s all about unity)
Michelle Obama speaks at the rally 11/1/08 Michelle Obama introducing Barack 11/1/08 Barack Obama speaks on Union Ave. (nice) in Pueblo 11/1/08
Obama speaks to the crowd
Barack Obama addresses the crowd in Pueblo 11/1/08 A very small part of the crowd 11/1/08 Barack Obama in Pueblo 11/1/08
More of Obama
Obama speaks on Union Ave. in Pueblo 11/1/08 Barack Obama in Pueblo 11/1/08 Barack Obama in Pueblo 11/1/08
Obama – Ava and me with Obama speaking behind us
Barack Obama in Pueblo 11/1/08 Me, Ava and Barack Obama 11/1/08 Pueblo, CO Another of Ava, me and Barack 11/1/08
The kids run off some energy after the rally ends
The kids running off some energy after the rally 11/1/08

The energy at the rally was incredible and it was amazing to be a part of it. Obama encouraged everyone to volunteer – make phone calls, go canvassing, etc. – in the last few days before the election. I’m hoping to do that again Monday evening. If you’ve already voted and are looking for something to do on Tuesday other than make last minute calls encouraging people to vote, please consider taking water or food to the people waiting in line to vote. Seriously, that’s what is needed (Edited to add: I learned today that you need to SIGN UP to be able to do this – don’t just show up at the polling place expecting to get to distribute food to voters. Call your local democratic office first. However, you CAN bring food to the people working at the polling place (according to someone who will be working) without signing up first.).

While the kids weren’t very excited to be at the rally (it was a long day for all of us, especially them), I am glad we went and that they got to see Barack Obama in person. Someday, I think they will be glad they were there too. (Oh, and Julian finally got that nap in – all the way home.)

If I’ve still got your attention and you want to see a couple of videos from the rally, here’s Michelle welcoming Barack onto the stage (they are so cute together) and a short one of Barack talking about unity.

Oh, and as for my choice for Best Shot Monday, this week I really can’t choose just one. I like the “Obama baby” and the one of Michelle smiling and then I’m also very partial to the ones of me and Ava with Barack behind us because they are priceless. :) You can see more Best Shots over here.

I hope to post about my experience hearing Gloria Steinem talk (I saw her today at Borders) tomorrow. Stay tuned. :)

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28 thoughts on “Our Barack Obama Rally Experience (pictures & videos)

  1. Wow! So much fun to read about your family’s experience at the rally. And I love the pics!

    I like the pic of you and Ava with Barack behind you. Very cool!

  2. We had the priviledge of attending an Obama rally last February here in Austin. Not only did my teen son and I go, we got chosen to sit on STAGE!!

    The kicker? I forgot my CF card for my camera! I did manage to get some pics with my phone, but it wasn’t the same.

  3. Okay, Have to admit that I am stinking envious! Wish we were so brave as to take Winston have taken Winston down! And Brownie points to your sis for calling and get details for you.

  4. Rockin’!! Soooo wish we could have been there with you guys! I can’t believe how long A’s hair has gotten too. :) What did you have on your arm? Was it some kind of groovy O tatt??

    Glad you guys went and had a great time!!!!

  5. OH, that just Rocks! I bet Ava will remember it! We went to a Kids 4 Obama rally here, which was totally fun and the girls bring it up daily. They are all excited and into the whole election too…they point out every Obama sign they see.

    I’m just keeping fingers crossed – everyone go out and vote!

    (That is a great idea to bring food/water to people in line – we live across the street from a voting location, I am going to do that!)

  6. Pingback: Barack Obama On Best Political Blogs » Our Barack Obama Rally Experience (pictures & videos)

  7. wow, you were so close! i took my little one to a rally in pittsburgh last week, too. it involved about three hours of driving and waiting in line but was worth every minute. so exciting!

  8. What a great experience! It’s so wonderful that you got to be so close to the stage.

    Thanks for the tip about handouts to people waiting in line to vote – I might do that. I’m going to try to vote when it first opens tomorrow.

    So exciting.

  9. Yeah for Ergos!! I actually didn’t like the Ergo when I used it. I’m a Mei Tai mama. But that’s just my preference. I really wanted to love the Ergo.

    Anyway, looks like an incredible experience! I’m so glad the kids made it through. I don’t think Harrison would have done as well.

  10. I just had to pop over and leave a comment. I tried to last night but the kids where pulling on my for story time. When I read your Twitter this morning, it was motivation to come back.Plus I am a huge fan of your photography.
    When I saw that you attended a rally I was thrilled at your love for democracy. You are eloquent in the way you explain your views and I respect that immensely! I’m voting for McCain. We have different views on this election but we are like minded in so many other areas. ( natural Parenting, green issues etc) Continue to share your heart, your views. I can’t stand and it actually angers me a bit when people spend more time bad mouthing those that believe different then they do. They should be out talking about what they believe.( well maybe not) Such a waste of time to throw insults. Cheers!
    xo Donna

  11. That’s so awesome! I took my 2 year old to hear Obama speak when he was campaigning in Pennsylvania just before the primary and was so glad I went, even though many others thought I was nuts. It was like nothing I can describe. Good for you hauling the whole family so far for such an important event. You got some great shots!

  12. That’s so awesome! I took my 2 year old to hear Obama speak when he was campaigning in Pennsylvania just before the primary and was so glad I went, even though many others thought I was nuts. It was like nothing I can describe. Good for you hauling the whole family so far for such an important event. You got some great shots!

  13. Even up here in Canada we’re following this very closely (and we are definitely cheering for Obama). I was surprised to find that Barack has a Flickr account — at first I thought someone else just used his name, but now I’m convinced it’s his.

    I found my way here from BSM.

  14. Get out and vote! Thanks for the great plug for the O man.

    Be sure to check with your local election laws whether you can take goodies to people waiting in line. You have to be careful because this could be misconstrued as interfering with election processes. Especially if you come in a car covered with election propaganda.

    As well, our polling place is our church. Our school also is a polling place. They would not appreciate people eating or drinking in the halls.

    I know your heart is in the right place with this, but it can cause a lot of issues for people and the polling places.

  15. I remember in ’92 taking the bus up to the pike place market to hhear Bill Clinton speak. It was wonderful- he is just a great speaker- So i know you had a great time as Mr Obama is also a wonderful speech maker!

  16. Amy, that’s just plain exciting! how cool to get that close to the front :) it’s so important to teach our kids the importance of being involved in the democratic process via volunteering or even “just” by voting.

    Brian and I will be spectators of the process in this country for years to come since we are not citizens… that is a little frustrating but this election has been so interesting for us to follow.

  17. Am glad you didn’t choose only one BSM – I admire you so much for taking the kids to the Obama rally! How exciting, and what a great experience and example.

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