Notes From Last Night’s Obama Rally

I was there. Except I got there on the late-ish side, around 8 or so. I wasn’t sure if I should go and I didn’t really know what to expect. Yet somehow it was exactly what I expected, and I’m so glad I went.

Even though I was late, there were still plenty of people there: a good-sized, diverse crowd, many of them carrying clipboards. I’m terrible at guessing attendance at stuff like that. Jay Gormley, who was prepping for an 8:30 live spot and later a 10, told me there was a huge crowd earlier, “about 400 people.” Dunno. Seemed to me there might still have been 400 people there.

The only public official I saw (meaning the only one I recognized, as I bet many showed up) was Dwaine Caraway, who looked dapper as always. He walked past and I gave him a non-committal head nod. You know, the kind where you don’t know if the elected official is going to recognize you and you don’t want to be presumptuous that he (or she) will remember meeting you that one time they met you, oh, musta been months ago and surely they’ve met hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people since then? You know that kind of head nod? That’s the one I gave Caraway. He was nice enough to say, “Nice to see you,” and pat me on the shoulder. Maybe he did remember me. Maybe he reads FrontBurner. If so, Hi, Dwaine.

But Dwaine was not the star last night, it was Barack. No, he wasn’t there. (If he was, and I was just now getting around to saying so, I think that’s what’s called “burying the lede.”) A half dozen plasma TVs showed primary results, and I learned quickly that the drama was pretty much over before I got there. Obama had a huge night, ‘case you hadn’t heard. I was there when they finally announced Virginia, to a big round of good cheer among the Gilley’s crowd. More milling about until Obama’s speech, when everyone stood rapt. I’ve said before (and I’m not unique in saying) Obama is a “goosebump good” orator. You can’t help but get caught up in his rhythm and message. When you’re at a public place, among the like-minded electorate, the goosebump effect gets kicked up about three or four notches. Applause lines have you applauding. You’re carried away with emotion and more than a few beers, such that you’re tempted to let out a “Yay” or a “Whoop.” (The next morning, you are glad that you abstained.)

It feels good, all of this positive energy. It’s a feeling that can get lost when its trigger gets catchphrased out of its power, when the word “hope” gets repeated so many times it loses its meaning. But, if I’m not mistaken and if I didn’t have too many beers and if I didn’t show up too late to the party, I’m pretty sure that’s what I left with. Hope. Is that enough? All policies and politics aside, is that enough? Can goosebumps lead to groundswells? Can Barack Obama be the one (please) who lives up to the hype and doesn’t disappoint and leads with sincerity and dignity and all that good stuff? I hope so.


Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...









View All

View All


24 responses to “Notes From Last Night’s Obama Rally”

  1. Adam,

    Dwaine reads FB and DMag. I set up his IE bookmarks. In fact I have his copy of Dallas goes green.

    I couldn’t make it last night. If I was there I would have made sure you and Dwaine talked. You are welcome any time to meet up with Dwaine and chat about all things Dallas. Just call or e-mail me, bro.

  2. kt says:

    agreed…and yes, i think he can live up to the hype. vote obama on march 4, texas!

  3. lonnie says:

    don’t tase me bro!

  4. Lisa says:

    Ron Kirk was also there. And I believe he’ll be spearheading the Obama Rally on Sunday at Fair Park. Time is TBD.

  5. Steve says:

    Alles muss anders sein!

  6. Marcus says:

    Wick and I had a great time there last night.

  7. sesquipedelaphobe says:

    Adam, I would suggest writing many more of these fanfare favorites. I – like you – have been eyeing the polls and how our Hispanic brethren deem Hillary.


  8. Christine says:

    At the outset,there were an estimated 700 people there. The organizers know the game, and signed up folks to provide housing the national campaign staff, bring food for volunteers, run phone banks, canvass the streets, give up office space for March 4, etc., etc. Probably a few more African-Americans than whites there, and some Latinos and Asians. Young. Old. Good times.

  9. Nathan says:

    The only way I would ever give money to anything associated with Obama is this:

    Mine are sitting on the desk…Hilary and Barack are feeling plenty of abuse.

  10. I don’t think he needs your dough since he’s raising about $1 MM per day.

  11. Whitney says:

    Here’s a great account of some of what you missed when the National Campaign folks were speaking around 7:00 p.m. (credit Joe from Obama Dallas for the write-up)…

    “The turnout of about 700 people and the enthusiasm at Gilley’s tonight was incredible and the new Obama campaign staff in Dallas is amazing. We were inspired as about 30 campaign staffers fresh from victories across the country were introduced. They are incredibly well organized and gave us great direction. The Dallas office will open in the next few days and will be able to direct all our volunteer efforts. They told us that this was the biggest turnout for a kick-off they had ever seen. Two of our Latino State Legislators spoke and assured us that we can and will win the Latino vote in Texas. We watched the coverage of Barack’s three blow-out victories today and capped off the evening watching his inspiring speech from Wisconsin.

    The staff emphasized the need for every one of us to vote early, attend our Precinct Convention on March 4th, and volunteer to make calls and go door-to-door. We are all needed to work hard the next three weeks and they need all of us to take off work and volunteer on election day if possible.

    Details of our march and rally at Fair Park this Sunday will be forthcoming. It is critical that we have a turnout in the thousands to show everyone just how strong we are.”

    Note: The two State Legislators were Dallas Reps. Rafael Anchia and Roberto Alonzo

  12. Matt says:

    But what did he TALK about? Besides hope, I mean? Because that’s all anybody takes away from his magical speeches.

  13. JNo says:

    Heard it here first: Frontburner made Obama.

  14. ^ Boy is that argument tired; Barack’s policy plan is available on his website like everyone else’s. Stop being lazy and take a look.

    Rally speeches aren’t for reading papers to make policy wonks get teary-eyed. Rally speeches are to get troops fired up. Got it? Moving on.

    I forgot that Eddie Bernice Johnson supports Obama as well.

  15. Don says:

    Magical speeches aside, what draws me to Obama is that he is DIFFERENT. He’s not an old white guy in the requisite navy blue suit, American flag lapel pin waxing poetic regarding a giant wall in south Texas. He’s someone that I want to get behind. (Jack E. Jett joke here, please) As a 30 year old white guy I can’t relate to Hillary or McCain. He looks like my grandfather and she doesn’t appear genuine.


    ps – And just in case you are wondering, I voted for Bush in the last two elections. [gunshot]

  16. TAY says:

    I attended the meeting last night and it was electric! I spoke with national staff that have deferred their college education to travel the US to campaign for Obama! It was all reminiscent of a movement! I witnessed all age groups, all ethnic groups, all types of backgrounds present!

    And former Mayor Ron Kirk was present last night in addition to Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Caraway.

  17. Trey Garrison says:

    If you’re on the fence between Obama and Clinton, this may be all you need.

  18. James says:

    Oh my…that video was bad.

  19. Mantooth says:

    Obama, he’s so dreamy. I think we should want dreamy in the White House. We can elect Ben Affleck next, he’s dreamy too.

    The quality of support for Obama reminds me of the Carter campaign in ’76 — a mile wide and an inch deep. Might be enough to get him elected, especially against an uninspiring GOP nominee.

    And the fact that Eddie Bernice Johnson supports him is like damnation by faint praise.

  20. Huh says:

    I read his policy on every issue and it appears he will do everything except cure cancer, all while cutting taxes on 90% of Americans. Sounds awesome!

  21. brian says:

    while the Republican canditate will do all the same things, but only cut taxes for the richest 10% of Americans?

  22. Mike says:

    OK, this meme that Obama doesn’t have a policy platform is seriously wrong. He may not be the wonk that Clinton is but he’s got solid ideas on many, many issues, especially compared to McCain, who has almost no domestic platform.

  23. phil says:

    Obama is an empty windbag. His economic policies are absurd. The notion of “Obamacans” is nonsense. No one on the right will vote for this shady guy with his empty promises. He doesn’t unite anything except left wing type America hating nutjobs. His Houson campaign office had a Cuban Flag with Che Guerra on it, a man who called for “100 Vietnams” to rise up against America. That’s a wonderful guy to idolize isn’t it?
    -Obama’s pastor (who baptized his kids) refers to the U.S. of “whiter” America, and gave a lifetime achievment award to Farrakhan (whites are “jews” and “devils”)- you know, the anti-white hateful racist rhetoric. Why would Obama have an intimate relationship with such a racist? Hmmm..