|source: Susan Walsh, AP|
Charlotte's got a lot.
The first time I flew into Charlotte Douglas International Airport and saw that verbage on all their signs, I snapped a photo and sent it to an NCF friend whose daughter Charlotte, then 1yo, evidently had her own ad campaign going.
Today, Charlotte's primary draw was the current president and the presumptive presidential nominee, the pair of whom were once rivals in a similarly protracted primary runoff. Then one campaigned for the other, and now the reverse is true.
Picked up some swag:
A signature pin, a Madam President, and (sorry about the glare) a Rosie the Riveter.
I mistakenly thought arriving before the doors opened would be sufficient advance to get a reasonable seat. (3pm rally... 1pm doors open... 90min drive...totally doable.) As it happens, there were thousands of people ahead of me in line; I consider myself fortunate to have made it into the final overflow room. (CNN reports that the Charlotte Fire Marshall told [Clinton aides] there were 7,000 people in the main hall and 2,500 people in the overflow room, making this Clinton's biggest event of the campaign.) Ninety minutes of queuing up the street around the corner, down and back thru the (closed for the day) outdoor train station concourse brought me as far as the security checkpoint to the live-streaming-in-another-building overflow room. But the line was peaceful, and the only protesters I saw were a lone cardboard-sign-bearing Bernie supporter and a trio of pro-lifers with an offensively graphic 8' banner.
The biggest message was that we're in this together, for the good of America and its people. All people. And as the woman sitting next to me remarked, it was like United Colors of Benetton in Hillary's rally -- all ages and every hue of flesh. The cheering of "Hill-a-ry!" and "I'm with Her!" may have drowned out some of the words, but the meaning was clear: “Hillary Clinton has to be the next president of the United States,” Obama said. “I’m here today because I believe in Hillary Clinton.”
Once Hillary and Obama left the mainstage, those of us in the overflow room made ready to go, but most were stopped at the doors by volunteers and staffers who let us know that if we were willing to wait, there "might be two special guests coming to this room".
I owe a debt of gratitude to the super tall man next to me who was willing to hoist my phone aloft. He got some great shots!
This was as good as I could see -- a rather clear phone photo of a tablet shot from a few rows up.
Wall Street Journal article
Charlotte Observer article (this one has the best pictures of the event, including of the queue)
(Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama come out at 1:25:45)
(side note: one unexpected, one-time cheer that drew positive response but was really not the point of today was "Obama for Supreme Court!") (EDIT for clarity: I've been with her/Ready for Hillary/Hillary for America since 2008. 2007? I think primary season is getting longer and longer. But the one previous Hillary rally I went to was in Harrisburg PA prior to the 2008 PA primaries, and I knew things like where to park so I could walk to the event. And it was at the Forum, where I'd had my tap shows, and which seats 1700 max.)