(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
7:40 PM, Saturday, November 1st, 2008:
If "The Journey" does anything, I hope it inspires you to be more spontaneous...
At 4:45 yesterday I surfed upon a site showing Obama was gonna rally in Nevada the following morning. I figured - what the hell. Called some friends on my way to buy some halloween candy for the runts and an hour later it was set. I was staying up all night to drive a 600 mile, 8 hour round trip to hear him speak for 20 minutes. This is a very different election year to say the least.

Got there around 6:15, gates opened at 7 - but they let people in early because the line was just too long to wait. Ended up being around 15,000 crammed into a high school football field and we were actually able to get RIGHT up to the fence. Unfortunately it ended up being one "fencelink" off of Obama's eventual crowd handshake circle but I was still daaaaaaamn close to slappin' his hand at one point when he came around. A bit ahead of myself...

Pat ended up being the only guy who could make it with such short notice. I mentioned Pat a couple years ago as the animator friend I was gonna do "Let's Bomb Iran" with. I have to publically thank him for not having the time to do it because I got to hog the spotlight. LOL.

Our entire car ride was pretty much 4 hours of talking about how transformational Obama has been and how much is riding on this election. How many wrongs are righted the moment he becomes our representitive. That, and of course how ridiculous it is that we were staying up all night driving to Vegas... to see a politician. I joked it'd be the only time I'd ever left Vegas with hope. Ha.

Now I know I was really tired and zoned out, but is Harry Reid the worst public speaker ever? Majority Leader... didn't he have to win an election at some point in his life?
I mean, the crowd could barely get up the energy to clap. He spoke like he was giving an interview... in a library. "yes, we can".
Then of course, Obama came out. My reaction surprised me. It's a sense of surrealism that I wasn't prepared for. It felt like he had walked out of a history book. Now I know that's because of my own feelings about him but the sense was overwhelming. It was actually unsettling. The only comparable figures in history to him were destroyed and they weren't even close to the power he's days away from. I can't express enough how much it felt like I was at some "virtual museum" watching a figure from 50 years ago. I had felt the similarities from the beginning, but never really thought of Obama himself as being of that caliber. I no longer feel that. He is special. He is King. He is Kennedy. He holds people's hopes and dreams the same way. It's frighteningly hard not to see the pattern.

Of course as I mentioned at the debates, the secret service is outstanding but I can't fight the feeling. I honestly don't have the appropriate words to describe how sick it feels to seemingly watch something in slow motion you can't control. So I'm just gonna do what we all have to do, which is hope. You jump, you believe and you just hope this time it's different. If it isn't, we will be the jaded ones like those from the older civil rights movement and all of this will have to wait another 30 years. Today however, the future is now.

Now what a perfect angle to watch this from. After seeing dozens of speeches from straight ahead - this was an absolute dream for me. 'Cause not only could I get shots like this, but I could also pan back and take in the crowd from his vantage point...
Look closely and you can see the Vegas Stip in the distance....
...it was absolutely perfect. People around me were trying to get to sit behind him for the "tv" shots and I kept thinkin' - screw that. I couldn't ask for more versatility without being part of the media. And of course, I had to get the "I was there" shot:
The speech was his "closer" speech he introduced this week and I've heard several times. As I mentioned before I was so wrapped up in the eerieness of it all that there seemed little time for a "rah-rah" rally. There was one jovial moment that makes me feel like an 90s girl at a New Kids on the Block concert.

I swear to you, at this moment - he's looking at me and smiling because I'm wearing a Chicago White Sox hat. Swear, swear, swear. LMAO. He had just made the "Don't boo, just vote" joke and was looking back at us - and not one other person in that crowd was wearing a hat featuring his favorite baseball team... which I actually found one day as I hate baseball personally. But yeah - he smiled at me. Totally.

Then of course he came down to shake everyone's hand. I knew that I wasn't gonna be able to actually shake his hand, but I was surprised at just how close I got because everyone pushed. What was once 3 deep became literally a foot away.
And again, that sense of dread and unease permeated - not that something was gonna happen at that moment - but that it's inevitable. You don't even want to mention it, and I know most people wouldn't and hell probably think I'm this big asshole for bringing it up but the feeling really surprised me. So, much, is riding on this. Thank GOD he has the temperment 'cause I sure as hell don't. I'd have written 90 shitty songs by now.
I'm gonna save my final thoughts on the election until tomorrow - but suffice to say my belief in what he can accomplish has gone up considerable since the primaries. My pet issue is still the Iraq war and repairing our standing in the world (how perfect was it that he said that as I was doing my 'I was there shot' in the video!??!) but in the past few months it's gone up several notches. I believe he can completely transform our political landscape, completely transform our government and in the next entry I'll tell you how.
PS - Pat just sent me some pics he took (DAMNIT, after I painstakingly lifted all those stills - lol) here's a good one:
He just saw the hottie standing next to me. :-) No, no, no I take even JOKING about that back. Please no scandals, please no scandals, please no scandals...