It was a warm October afternoon and thousands of people descended on downtown Gainesville to catch who is certain to be the next First Lady. I headed toward the entrance only to be told that I had to get in one of two lines. I followed one line to its end and finally found it...FIVE BLOCKS LATER. The queue was moving pretty fast, however, and I found myself inside within about 20 minutes. The place was already packed when I made it in. I finally staked out a spot in front of Mr. Sidhu's market. I did wander up as far as Starbucks -- even though volunteers kept telling me that there was room that far up, people were packed in like sardines, so I fell back to my safe spot by Sidhu's.
What followed were a litany of speakers, including our Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan, Cynthia Moore Chestnut, Rep. Corrine Brown, and Sen. Bill Nelson. Then, The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" blared through the speakers before Michelle Obama's entrance.
Michelle was, in a word, phenomenal. She got everyone fired up to vote early and told tales of how she and Barack strugged with student loan debt burden and other economic woes that our family also faces. It will surely be great to have someone who understands such things in the White House instead of someone who can't remember how many houses they own.
Perhaps most impressive was a standout statistic: with about 11,000 in attendance at this event, it was the largest crowd Michelle Obama had ever spoken to without her husband.
Special thanks to my co-worker Alena Lawson for the above photo. YES WE WILL!