A spontaneous show of support for Obama in Philadelphia

From Marc Ambinder, who was there:

PHILADELPHIA — It wasn’t so much that Barack Obama had real fight in him tonight, or that more people attended his rally in front of Independence Hall than any other event since he announced his candidacy. It was the spontaneous demonstration of support that happened when it ended.

5,000 people (at least) had nowhere to go but up Market Street. Obama’s charge of the night: “Declare independence!” was with them. They started with the familiar “O-Bam-A.” By 7th and Market, they had graduated to “Yes we can!” By 10th and Market, with hundreds streaming in between cars on the road, they were just cheering. At first, a few Philly cops, killjoys, tried to rough the crowd to the sidewalks. It didn’t work. The cops retreated to the sidewalks. By the time I ducked into my hotel, a full mile away from Independence Park, the Obama crowd was still marching. …

An Obama aide sized the crowd at about 40,000. It was probably was a little bit less, but a senior campaign official said it was the biggest the campaign had ever seen.

As usual, about 3,000 guests directly in front of Obama were sent through magnetometers and enclosed by metal barriers. Another 25,000 crowded Independence Park; some even listened from a good three thousand feet away, well behind Independence Hall.

I counted at least a hundred Philadelphia police officers. There were state troops. TSA personnel magging the crowd. A helicopter hovered over the square. The fire department set up a command post with extra medical supplies. It was some way to start Obama’s final Pennsylvania push.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. trollfighter
    Apr 20, 2008 @ 13:28:15


    (Hobbes, I mean…)


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