Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Big Event Today: Hillary In Tampa

It's one of those things you gotta do in your life if you're into history and politics.

You got to go see a Presidential rally at least once. Cross it off the bucket list, as it were.

So this Monday I get an email from Hillary's campaign saying "hey, RSVP for her rally in Tampa on Wednesday" and I'm all "wow I just happen to have that day off from work (gotta cover for Saturday) and this would be an awesome thing to do!"

So I went.

Eh, you know my leanings. If you've been reading this blog since 2007 you know I've leaned Democrat - even as I stand proudly as a Moderate ex-Republican - and this would be a chance to go stand around with 5,000 people or so.

I'm seeing, by the by, a bunch of pro-Trump people crowing about "poor turnout" at this event because Trump was here in Tampa a few days ago with "20,000" announced attendance and Hillary "oh boo hoo" was smaller at an announced 4,500. Let me make this clear: Turnout at the rallies does NOT equal turnout at the election places, and hilariously enough the early reports are that Hillary is WINNING turnout there.

So anyway, here's a slew of photos of me going to the rally.

I stopped off at the downtown library for Tampa-Hillsborough to make sure my tablet charged up, and because as a librarian I always make a visit to any library just to feel the ambiance.

This is where the line got to from the park, with the library in the distance, I'd say about four blocks away. The line would eventually snake all the way around this parking garage towards the Performing Arts center I believe.

While standing in line I bumped into a platoon - eight or nine women - who where in Tampa for a professional college administration association's conference. They were in from New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and they had gotten last-minute emails like I did. They were thrilled they were getting a chance down here to see Hillary.

 I asked one to get a photo of me. Selfies only do so much.

 Vendors out selling gear. The conference ladies were upset nobody was selling "Nasty Women" t-shirts.

A break in the line. It's called a traffic stop.

You can see where the rally is set up in the Curtis Hixon park. Nice water fountain.

I dunno if I'm in any trouble posting pics of the Secret Service sniper teams on the rooftops.

 As with any rally, the opposing candidate's fanbase will have their hecklers in force. I have to admit this one had put some effort into it. The others were uninspiring and in some ways more vulgar than this. One woman went around with a sign saying "My DOG Has a Vagina Does That Qualify Her For President?" I was sorely tempted to shout back "Your dog is more qualified than Trump" but I didn't want to start a ruckus on a good day.

Here's all the camera crews setting up for the day. To my knowledge nobody at the Hillary rally shouted insults or threats at them. Unlike what happens at a Trump rally...

This is where I ended up facing the stage. A good number of families circled this part, a lot of mothers showing up with daughters - and a few sons - in tow.

This is a historic thing. People talk about seeing Presidents or candidates when they were younger. My dad talked a few times about growing up in DC and being in one of the inaugural parades for Eisenhower.

Tampa's Congresswoman Kathy Castor, doing warm-ups for the crowd while Hillary's stuck in traffic (she was in Lake Worth earlier this day).

I'm swinging around to get pictures of the crowd, and pictures of downtown Tampa. You notice anything about those buildings? Trump did not build a single one of them (the one he failed I think got knocked down to make way for someone else's tower).

 I think that's Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Hugely popular in Tampa.

Hillary at the podium!!!

And yes, this is a problem nowadays at political rallies and historic events. I'm getting phone-blocked trying to use my tablet to do exactly the same thing. I know I was blocking people who were behind me (I tried apologizing...).

There we go, clearer view. Had to wait a few minutes.

 And here's the security phalanx to escort Hillary and the other VIPs back to the airport to wherever Hillary needed to go to next. I asked the cops "Smile please" but I think only a couple of them did. Ah well.

And that's just the photos. Here's the video clips!

Good Lord. I'M ON FILM. How did that happen? Anyways, for all those eight regular readers of this blog, now you have a face and a voice to go with these rants.

I know I'm in shadow: the sun was just starting to get behind me. If I ever get a video editor program that can clean things up, I might try to brighten this enough to make me more FABULOUS... ahem,

Here's me walking into the fenced-off part of the event. Ooh, water! Yes, this is an outdoor event in Tampa even in late October, this was a hot day. Thank God for the cool breeze coming off the nearby river. When I say Oops at the end it's because I almost lost the bottled water cradled in my other arm.

Showing you the early crowd - this was about an hour before the event actually started - and to show you downtown Tampa in the distance.

I have to apologize on this one: We were about five or six other speakers getting onto the stage and we were all getting pumped up that the next speaker was Hillary! They asked us to sing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" for her and everything! And then... Instead it was someone else coming onto the stage so I paused the recorder just as they were saying "Academy Award nominee..." so I'm going oh great another celeb but then they finished saying "Angela Bassett." And this is actually good because Ms. Bassett is from the area - grew up in St. Pete - so I switched the camera back on. This explains the interruption. Sorry.

I can get a better clip of Ms. Angela Bassett getting the crowd fired up. Give me a second, here we go:


Oh. That's Ms. Bassett firing up Trump's car. Anyway.

So after a few more guest speakers, including a great speech from US Citizen/Chef Jose Andres - one of the chefs who famously quit working for Trump because of Trump's anti-immigrant rants - here is Hillary walking out to the crowd!!!

I didn't include the whole speech or anything. You ought to get that from any of the news feeds out here. Lemme link one of them here.

Anyway. That's been my day. Long drive back on I-4, bleh. Got home and spent a lot of it getting these videos uploaded to share. After this, there's work to be done. Well, AT work, doing my job as a librarian. And also getting some volunteer hours in with the local GOTV efforts with Hillary's campaign people in Polk County.

It's more than just showing up at rallies, people. It's showing up TO VOTE. Everybody's got to do that, especially everybody voting for Hillary and for sanity.

Let's do it.

Just one last thing, though. Hillary, seriously, when you're campaigning for re-election in 2020, do everyone a favor in Florida and do these rallies INDOORS. It's called AIR CONDITIONING AND IT EXISTS FOR A REASON.


dinthebeast said...

I finally mailed my ballot in last night. Madame President. Sounds pretty good to say out loud, you know? Thanks for the pictures and videos, being disabled, I didn't attend any of her rallies in the Bay Area, so I have to rely on what's online to get a feel for them.

-Doug in Oakland

Paul Wartenberg said...

Sorry you're not able to attend rallies in person, Doug. But I hope you enjoyed the videos.