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Obama Speech Roundup (kind of)

So when I first heard that Barack Obama was coming to town I creamed my pants, not because I wanted to, put simply because Obama seems to have that effect on people. I don’t know what it is about the guy, but he makes more people swoon than Frank Sinatra. He’s a rock star and a politician rolled into one fat joint that the country still hasn’t come down from.

As evidence of this, more than 8,000 people showed up to see him last night at McArthur Court. One line stretched all the way from Mac Court to 18th St., where it continued down 18th street and wrapped around all the way to Hayward field. It took a solid hour and a half to get everyone in the building.

It took my roommate and me exactly three seconds to get in the building. We found some random door in between the two huge lines that was letting people in. I just felt bad for all the people who had been standing in line for six hours. My roommate and I show up late, and we are two of the first people in the building. That’s not fair. Stupid campus.

Anyway, once we were inside, we were shepherded to our seats on the second level. My butt hit the chair at around 6:30, so I had two and a half hours to kill. I told my roommate that I should have brought a flask, or they should have at least sold beer. He agreed and also pointed at some “losers” dancing down on the floor. Those losers: ASUO Vice President SunOwen and Senator Patrick Boye. However, my favorite ASUO sighting was when they picked Diego Hernandez to stand behind Obama as one of the tokin’ minorities.

It was at this point that I saw OC Associate Editor and all-around scumbag CJ Ciaramella down on press row. He signaled me to come down stairs where he provided me with a press pass.

When I asked CJ how he got this he said, he just showed up and kind of asked for one. Which made me wonder—why didn’t I think of that? The second thing out of CJ’s mouth was “I have been eye humping the TV newswomen for about an hour.” I quickly joined in. There were two special ladies of note. First, Obama’s press wrangler, about whom CJ said he would do unspeakable things to, and second, the field reporter from KEZI who, in the words of Ron Burgundy, had a beautiful heine.

After our eyes grew tired of humping, we took a survey of other media there. The most hilarious were the representatives from Jamz 94.9. Eugene’s party station brought a 45-year-old woman and what appeared to be her 16-year-old son. The Commentator also got a visit from Cumulus radio whose representative was absolutely trashed. She could barely stand up. She offered CJ and me pizza, but we had to go outside with her because they wouldn’t let her bring it inside. Probably 10 minutes after she went outside to pick up her pizza, an Obama volunteer came up to us and told CJ and I that if we went outside the fire marshal would not let us back in. I still picture the wasted Cumulus lady standing outside in the cold with her pizza.

At around 8:00, the pre-game entertainment rolled in. On the Rocks got up on the stage and sang.

Their set list:

“For the Longest Time” Billy Joel

“Cars” Gary Numan

“I’m too Sexy” Right Said Fred

“I Saw the Sign” Ace of Base

They were followed by Divisi, during which the following exchange occurred:

CJ: I like those motions.

Sees me writing down what he just said.

CJ: I’m saying they have good choreography

Still writing what he’s saying except now I am laughing

CJ: Fuck you, Jake.

Divisi’s set list:

“Addicted to Love” Robert Palmer

“Baby got Back” Sir Mix-A-Lot

“Closer” Nine Inch Nails

“Ice Cream Man” Van Halen

After the music, the speakers came out. First, Obama’s regional coordinator spoke, and then the Superintendent of Oregon education. The best part of both speeches is that the crowd went nuts every time they said “Obama” or “Eugene.” Kind of like it was the secret word on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Then Oregon congressman Earl “Bowtie” Blumenauer railed against the current administration. Not only did he say it was the saddest and worst administration in history (take that Herbert Hoover), but he also said Bush needs remedial help (and there was much rejoicing).

Then everyone got really excited because they thought Barack was next on-stage, but he didn’t show up for another 15 minutes. In the meantime, volunteers started passing out signs. Audience members scrambled over one another like Rwandan refugees at a Red Cross tent to get a hold of one of them. People wanting signs had two options: they could have an official campaign sign, or they could hold signs made by volunteers that looked like they might have been made by actual audience members. Some of the signs from previous stops must have been mixed in because one sign read “Salem for Obama.”

Finally, after all the signs had been passed out, and CJ and I had run out of snarky comments to make, Sen. Barack Obama arrived. There is no other way to put it. One second you had a bored crowd of 8,000 people trying to start the wave, and the next second you had an orgiastic onslaught of Obama supporters. The noise was deafening; I had chills; I don’t know what else to say. However, I will say that press row was absolutely dead. No one smiling or clapping or anything. I guess clapping ruins your objectivity or something.

The speech itself was pretty standard Obama. If you have watched any of his campaign speeches then you saw the speech he gave last night. However, there were some highlights.

Obama started talking about his first days in the Illinois legislature and how he stood on the very same steps as Abraham Lincoln. Then some dude in the crowd yelled “Lincoln’s the man.” To which the always smooth Sen. Obama responded “Lincoln is the man. You know what? Let’s give it up for Abraham Lincoln.” And there was much rejoicing.

Obama’s speech was also peppered with clever turns of phrases that I had never heard/noticed before. Things like “the American people want to be for something not against something,” or “People want a hand up not a handout.” And finally “We need a health care system and not a disease care system.” He also called for a “Manhattan Project for clean energy,” and mentioned children, roads and poetry. He wants to fix all three.

To me, it became obvious that people are in love with the idea of Barack Obama more than the man himself. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it worries me a little. By electing Obama to the presidency, the country is essentially taking a gamble. We are hoping that the man will grow into his rhetoric. Everything Obama says, everything he promises, is taken on faith. It really is a campaign built on hope. Not just Obama hoping for a better country, but we as a country hoping on Obama. Obama is setting himself up to carry the hopes and dreams of the American people—let’s just hope he can bear the load.

  1. Jake says:

    Ossie, tell your mother I appreciate her flatulence

  2. Ossie says:

    Hey Jake, this is the best coverage of a presidential candidate rally I’ve read. You’ll be happy to know that my mom said she read this and laughed so hard that she farted.

  3. Duder or El Dudarino if you're not into the whole brevity thing says:

    Those are Mr. Gulley’s children, so to speak.

    Different mothers huh? Racially, he’s pretty cool?

    They’re not literally his children. They’re the Little Gulley Urban Achievers – inner city children of promise but without the necessary means for a – necessary means for a higher education.

  4. Ossie says:

    Because he was in Hawaii fighting against environmental racism on the students’ dime. Duh.

  5. Slap Happy Sal says:

    Hip hip hooray for token minorities! Why didn’t they put Nate Gulley up there though to represent the African American vote?

  6. Timbo says:

    The world may never know

  7. Vincent says:

    On the other hand, Barack Obama might just be a pretty regular politician who talks a good game and has the backing of supporters who hold him in religious awe such that George W. Bush has been endlessly accused of exploiting for nigh a decade.

  8. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Nah, the great downfall of that hat is that it doesn’t have a band. I guess I’m going to have to make one.

  9. Timbo says:

    Surely the most important quality of a great American leader is that he inspires regular Americans to do great things? I feel like we’ve fallen so far into a political well that all we see is The One Great Elected Official at the top. We cannot continue to put this entire country into the hands of one man. I feel like Obama has the power to lift we the people out of the well, out of the apathetic rut in which we’ve been mired for as I can remember.

    To the dreamers go the dreams.

  10. Niedermeyer says:

    CJ, you photogenic polecat you.

    Please tell me you had your press pass stuck in the band of your fedora per OC dress code standards.

  11. Jake says:

    Cj: You’re right. I had forgotten about how they were trying to improv (I guess you could call it that) a hilarious intro as Obama walked out.

  12. Ossie says:

    For some reason, someone took this video of Sudsy at the Obama rally and decided to post it on YouTube, calling Sudsy an “Obama mama.” He also posted this picture.

  13. Boobie says:

    Happens to the best of us, Vincent. It’s also a fundamental part of what makes reading comments interesting. Every post should have at least one comment born of drunken belligerence in order for a blog to maintain credibility.

    By the way, I agree with the sentiment in the last paragraph of the article. It would be a hell of a thing if Obama turns out able justify the excitement he has managed to build up. That’s where my particular hope is.

  14. Billy Bob Snorton says:

    I like it, it was like a fine piece of modern art…or maybe a porno, what do I know? My name is Billy Bob Snorton for god’s sake!

  15. Vincent says:


    Moral of the story is: don’t post drunk, kids. And if you have to post drunk, don’t listen to Ministry while you’re doing it. It’s almost as bad a combination as Deb Frisch and, well, anything.

  16. Vincent says:

    Sorry. I don’t know what came over me :/

  17. Vincent says:

    Respect. Hahaha. Respect. Hahaha. Respect. Hahaha. Respect. Hahaha.





    Scum-sucking depravity. Debauched anal fuck-fest. Thrill Olympics. Savage scars, supplied and sanctified.

    So what?


  18. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Yeah, they accidentally handed me four press passes. Thinking back, I probably should have sold one to a frenzied Obamaniac for $50.

    And Jake, I disagree with your assessment of the most hilarious media representatives. That honor has to go to the d-bags from 101 KFLY.

    I would also like to thank the TSA man for the gentle frisking. You have soft hands, sir.

  19. Jobetta says:

    It’s OK. Sailing would be funnier because it would be nonsensical.

  20. Kevin says:

    haha, you took notes. loser.

  21. Jake says:

    It did. I can’t read my own notes.

  22. Jobetta says:

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