Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Yeah, I Kind Of DO Miss You Now!

As if standing in line for almost two hours to get free tickets to hear Bill Clinton speak wasn't long enough, today we spent two and a half hours outside waiting to get in. Jackets, hats and gloves were necessary, though we were early enough to be under the overhang when it started pouring. since I had homework to do, I dragged two chairs from my office outside and sat in relative comfort while others stared enviously. To compensate, I gifted them all with lemon drops so they couldn't be too angry. It was quite a convivial crowd, but I've never seen anyone so excited to meet a politician than the young woman standing next to us in line. At 21 she was a military veteran, and she stood clutching a book authored by Bill Clinton that her dad had gotten signed some time ago. "I've wanted to meet Bill clinton since I was eight." She was so nervous, in fact, that she thought she might throw I judiciously let her in front of me in line.
While we clambered onto the bleachers (yes, BLEACHERS in a seldom-used gym that seated fewer than 2,000 people), she rushed the stage and was lost in the throng. Student volunteers tried to pump up the crowd by chanting slogans...fortunately, nobody started the wave. The crowd was middle-aged to older, I would say, with a smattering of college-aged students: a good crowd, really, but watching the elderly folks trying to negotiate the bleachers was nerve-wracking.
Following all the preliminaries (I STILL wanted to shout "play ball" after the National Anthem), Clinton took the stage and just wouldn't let go. As an "elder statesman," he was knowledgeable enough to make sense of the Medicare claims and falsehoods being bandied about; he had enough experience as the man with the last balanced budget to speak clearly about what is actually going on; and, of course,he cited statistic upon statistic to prove that the Democratic platform best answered the needs of college kids, women and seniors. Very believable, but to be fair, he was "preaching to the choir."
At times folksy, at times funny, and at times very serious, he led the crowd through an interesting maze of national politics as it exists today: it was not a pretty picture.
I was more than a little surprised that he didn't pause during bouts of applause but continued with his speech. He didn't respond to single shouts from the crowd that he must have heard, and he used the pauses he DID engage in to dramatic effect.
REO Speedwagon for the end music was an interesting choice, but I don't think he was there to set the tone of energized youth as President Obama did when he appeared on campus four years ago...he was very much in charge of an urgent message, and he delivered it.
I may never get to see a president again, but if offered the opportunity, waiting in line is a small price to pay.


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