I dont want to, Dad.
Youre committed now, babe, a father says to his eight-year-old. Theyre making tracks through the parking lot toward what looks like an angry hive of human-sized bees.
But itll take forever.
The kids prescient. The doors open at 9 a.m. at Palm Beach Community College, and that's still some time away. Ninety minutes later, Barack Obama and his panel of experts are scheduled to talk about how to create jobs once the big O becomes president.
But youve got to leave the flair at the doors pins, water bottles, signs, its all gotta go if you want to hear the man. Cameras on, cell phones off people!
People think this is a rally; theyre going to be very disappointed, an Obama volunteer quavers.
By 11 a.m. the temperature inside the gym is hovering around 90 and the crowd is using glossy eight-by-tens of Obama to fan themselves. The volunteers doing crowd control are ready to go ballistic: nobody wants to stay in their seat. Everybody wants to be in the aisle, where fire marshals have already almost come to blows with one guy who has crossed his arms, spread his legs, and refused to budge.
There arent enough seats in the bleachers for everybody with a ticket, much less the fans camped outside with numbers inked on the back of their hands. Like number 73, Cynthia Bolden Jarrell, who came off a double shift working as a tech at the VA hospital so she could stand around looking hopeful. There are 72 people without tickets in front of her but shes not budging either.
All the bigwigs are here. Passels of pastors like Cheney, Johnson and Burrs from St. Johns, Mount Olive, and Peaceful Zion. President of the local NAACP Maude Ford Lee is here. County Commissioner Addie Greene, and Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork Masters are already inside, along with the even bigger fish occupying seats to the left of the stage Bill Nelson, Bob Graham, Alcee Hastings, Robert Wexler, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Jarrell is keeping company outside with a ticketless throng that includes two beleaguered McCain Palin volunteers, who explain that theyve already been surrounded by a circle of furious Obama Mamas who tore off the ladies Palin pins and stomped on them. One Palinite confides, theyve still managed to bring five or six lost sheep into the McCain fold. Their strategy? Theyre revealing Obamas middle name.
People dont even know his middle name is Hussein! And in fact, his real name isnt Barack Obama at all, its Barry Soetoro. He just made up the Barack name later. I have the legal papers at home on my desk to prove this. A few minutes later support shows up in the form of the McCainmobile.
Then there are the folks who follow Barack around like hes a Phish concert. These guys in the picture below drove down from Tallahassee and theyre planning to go on to Miami later today. Theyve had their car towed twice. And needless to say, theyd never vote for McCain Hows the guy gonna push the button he cant even lift his arms? We need a president who is not disabled.
Never before has any election seen so many entrepreneurs printing and selling T-shirts, schwag, and trinkets and dont kid yourself, proceeds arent going to the Obama campaign.
Scott Jefferson figures hes gonna clear about $600 from todays panel discussion, selling his homemade t-shirts to the ticketless masses who dont have a whole lot to do while theyre waiting around other than pick out their favorite bumper stickers.
And then there are the folks who just cant stand Katie Couric
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