We'll miss a lot of things about covering Barack Obama's addresses -- all that hopey changey stuff, the enthusiasm, the fact that we're not cheering another old white dude -- it just gets us. But what we won't miss?
Yesterday, Obama said all of the things one might expect him to say. He said this: "We've made real progress, Florida, in the last four years." He said this: "You know what I believe and where I stand and that I will fight for you and your family every single day." He said this: "As long as there is a single American who wants a job but can't find one, our work isn't done."
But he didn't really make news. He regurgitated the same speech we've already heard dozens of times, at campaign stops, on the debates, in the late-hour slots. In a way, we can't really blame him for playing it safe right now in the last hours. But still. We can. All the recent polls show Obama losing to Romney 45-51, and that means perhaps Obama could have personalized his speech just a little bit more to Florida. That didn't happen.
What did: 23,000 people waited in an afternoon sun -- without shade and little water -- for five hours yesterday. People were jovial and appeared content to be among like-minded individuals, but that didn't erase the fact that it sucked royally. There was no escape from the the sun, and it burned off some of the enthusiasm.
Not to mention the fact that the location of the event -- McArthur High School on Hollywood Boulevard -- wasn't perhaps the wisest, cursing every car-bound soul to an extra two hours waiting in stalled traffic, nursing sunburns, and listening to the radio.
And the radio had some bad news: Obama just can't seem to overtake Romney in Florida -- and it's looking like that's not going to change. Principally because a bunch of agrarian Democrats in rural north Florida seem to always vote for Republican presidents. Some Democrats.
Romney's coalition -- old, white, male and affluent -- still retains a mighty hold on Florida, while the Obama demographic of non-white and less-affluent has for some reason faltered. (Voter suppression anyone?)
But hey! There was some good news! We got to see Pit Bull yesterday. He looked marvelous. Check it.