Sep 1, 2008
Huge crowd turns out so see Obama in Detroit
DETROIT - I was part of the largest crowd I have ever seen in my entire life in Hart Plaza to see Democratic Presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama on Labor Day.
Their were numerous lines snaking up and down streets trying to shoehorn into Hart Plaza, and the lines were crossing past one another. There was no way to fit that many people into Hart Plaza, so my wife and I found ourselves with thousands of other people in he middle of Jefferson Avenue near Cobo Hall watching the speech on a huge monitor. Despite the heat and the crush of people, I saw no one unhappy, upset or disappointed.
They, like me, are inspired by leadership that will restore dignity to our country, and our country will be respected in the the world again as the good guys who respect law, freedom and liberty. He will help us regain the moral high ground that treats the weak and vulnerable with dignity, and we do not torture people.
On a day that honors organized labor and the positive effect its has had for millions of workers, union or not, he briefly spoke of the accomplishments of labor that included the eight-hour day, the 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, overtime and a safe workplace from a time when workers had no idea if they would return home from work at all or would return home from work with all of their limbs.
Obama cut the speech short out of respect for the fast approaching Hurricane Gustav as it moved closer to landfall in the Gulf Coast, so it took far longer to get there than his speech took. Instead, he asked for a moment of silent prayer and asked people to contribute to the relief effort. No one seemed disappointed at the shortened speech.
I have now seen both presidential candidates, and the contrast between the two could not be more stark. The excitement generated by the Obama rally was infectious.
The trip up was a unique experience. Always looking for a carpool or to share a ride, a friends emailed me that the AARP was sponsoring a bus trip with pickups in Okemos and Southfield. The trip was sponsored by the Divided We Fail campaign, a nonpartisan partnership between AARP, the Service Employees Union (SEIU) and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). It’s dedicated to finding bi-partisan solutions to ensure affordable, quality health care and long-term financial security for all Americans.
I met some great people, and had a blast, both on the bus and at the rally. It was fun to share the experience with people of like mind, and I got to see a lot of downtown Detroit snaking through the long lines. I also saw many different designs and varieties of Obama T-shirts and memorabilia.
Because the group is nonpartisan, they are also doing the same thing for Grampy McSame’s The purpose of the trip is to show the colors, so to speak, with the distinctive red t-shirts, The organizer asked if anyone want to take the same trip Friday. There were no takers.