Wednesday, February 6, 2008

longing to see obama

some of the hundreds shut out from Obama's speech in Hartford. imagine the frustration: first, seeing a single microphone placed behind the barriers, people lingered, thinking he would appear there after his speech. Then, watching the monitor on the wall, seeing Obama speak inside, but unable to hear him, or the excitement inside. We watched a single maintenance man move about haplessly, trying to raise the volume. He got a ladder and climbed up. He found a remote that was useless. Finally a person asked him to place his cell phone next to the microphone. So instead of hearing Obama standing there in person, we heard his garbled voice transmitted from inside the arena.

And worst of all, the nonchalance of the police, who could not have cared less about the desperation and frustration of those shut out. Even as people were leaving early, they would not let us in, despite the fact that those leaving were leaving newly empty seats. Finally some of us swum upstream as people poured out. I saw the mother and child visible in one of the photos moving down to the floor where Obama still worked the crowd. The mother hustled the girl about, trying to get close. "I'm a changed woman!" I heard one woman saying to her friends. "I'm not washing my hand!" said another who had touched his hand.

Unfortunately for Obama, this fervent devotion can come across as off-putting to those not existing within the halo of light of the adored one.

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