A Tale Of Two Elections: Obama Now Chasing The Crowds

In the comedy club business this is known as “papering the room.

In 2008, Barack Obama’s acceptance speech was moved to a larger venue to accommodate the crowd. This year, convention organizers are trying to move the crowds to accommodate the venue.

Barack Obama filled stadiums on a regular basis during his 2008 presidential campaign but has steered clear of them for his final White House bid.

So the decision to deliver his nomination-acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention next Thursday in a football stadium with nearly 74,000 seats has raised a basic, if uncomfortable, question: Can he fill the venue?

The president’s team is working hard to do just that by distributing free tickets at campaign offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the convention is being held, and throughout the state.

Residents of neighboring states such as Virginia and South Carolina will travel to Charlotte as well to fill up spots at the Bank of America stadium, the home of the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers.


Perhaps the petulant response to Clint Eastwood’s “Empty Chair” speech at the RNC last night was prompted by a fear of seeing too many of them in Charlotte.

Unable to mount a vigorous defense of his record, the Obama campaign is desperately trying to bring back some of the incredible enthusiasm and magic of his historic 2008 run, when he had no record.

A large part of that magic was fueled by the passion of young voters who, unfortunately for President Obama, can be as fickle as they are passionate.

The Obama For America campaign slogan is now “Forward,” which is deliciously ironic given its laser-like focus on traveling back in time.


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