Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Obama blog take 3

11:40 a.m. OK .. after the two-hour media sweep turned into three-plus hours, I'm finally back in the venue. There are so many reporters in here that they've set up an additional spot in an auditorium where reporters are supposed to go and watch the event on a TV feed. Meanwhile, the only folks being allowed into the courtyard with Obama are photographers and TV reporters, since we need to be on camera for our reporting. So, fortunately I'm inside. (here's a picture from my seat. Obama will be speaking a few rows ahead of the metal retaining fence.)

Not too many elected officials here yet. State Rep. Stephen Dyer (D) is the only one I've seen. There are quite a few clergy in the front few rows, and a lot of women in the audience as well, which was to be expected since his talk is aimed at women.

A lot of students still keep wandering up to see what's going on, but they can't get in. Quite a few folks came a long distance to be here.

No official word on Obama's arrival yet, but we're told that 12:30 p.m. is his target right now.

11:55 a.m. A local minister has given the crowd a prayer and a local school rep has taken us through the Pledge of Allegiance. Still no sign of the national press, which means Obama's probably not here yet either. Still, the security presence is significant in what is a crowded courtyard surrounded by four high walls. Stay tuned.
12:09 p.m. Well, a speaker got the crowd all whooped up and it turned into a false alarm. Obama's not here yet. Those of us in the media are waiting for the national media to come in, then we'll know it's for real. Otherwise, this crowd got a little too anxious. The wait continues. I have, however, become the envy of my peers as I was the only one to bring any food with me -- a banana. Must be the boy scout in me: Be prepared.
12:28 p.m. National Media has arrived! The crush has begun! Game on!


Curtis Robert Tyree said...

There was no T.V. feed in the Auditorium. It was horrendous in there.

I was the guy sitting next to you for a little bit by the way.

Eric Mansfield said...

Hi Curtis,
Seriously? they didn't pipe the video in? that's rediculous. That's what they said they were going to do.
Once we got going, it appeared there were even some empty seats in the media area, so I'm not sure why they got so nuts about it. So many of the photographers stood along the side the whole time that there was plenty of room for the reporters.
Sorry I kept bouncing up in front of you .. I was trying to get still photos for the web while also communicating with my photographer on certain shots .. plus blogging on two websites at once.
How did your coverage come out?