Scenes from Hillary's rally this evening.
[Thanks to Iphie for more first-hand reporting. -- lambert]
If the race is over someone forgot to tell the people who stood in a line that wrapped itself around an entire Manhattan city block for 2+ hours this evening.
I was one of them. I arrived shortly before 7:00 (the tickets said 7:00), but thinking that like so many other election night events it wouldn't start anywhere near that time I was under the false impression that I would be there early. Nope. When I got there, the line already stretched around two sides of the block.
After about two hours in a very slow moving line (the Secret Service provided one of the most thorough, yet considerate, searches of my handbag that I have ever seen) we were told that the main hall was full to capacity but that we could watch it from an overflow room.
In the overflow room they had CNN projecting on a large screen (the lesser of all evils, I guess?). It was shortly after we found seats that I noticed there were some Obama supporters in the room. As we were watching some of the results come in they started cheering when Blitzer told us that Obama had enough delegates and had won the nomination. Whatever. But I should have realized that they were up to no good when they stopped cheering for Obama and one of them put on a Hillary button.
A woman in the crowd stood up and told us that if we stuck around after the speech was over, someone had told her there was the possibility that Hillary would come by when she finished up in the main hall.
So we watch the speech with occasional outbreaks of massive cheering from the crowd. Even if we weren't watching the speech in person, it was great to watch it with hundreds of other people who are equally invested in a Hillary presidency.
Most people stayed after the speech was over and a little while later staff came in and started setting up a rope line and someone tested the microphone -- I was exhausted, but I was definitely staying. At some point everyone crowded up to the rope even though Hillary had yet to be sighted. I did notice, however, that a couple of the girls who had cheered for Obama had managed to push their way right up to the front. I was standing about 4 or 5 people back. Finally both Hillary and Chelsea show up. I managed to get a few pictures -- a couple of good ones of Chelsea, but the ones of Hillary are pretty blurry.
After the initial cheers subsided a bit, the two of them started shaking hands and posing for photos. That's when the Obamabots who were standing directly in front of Hillary started chanting "Obama! Obama!" Hillary looked momentarily taken aback, but then kept going. The rest of us started chanting "Hillary! Hillary!" to try to down them out but I think most of us were taken aback as well. It's also kind of difficult to sustain shouting at the top of your lungs when there's a person standing three feet in front of you -- especially when that person is Hillary Clinton and you're shouting her name. So that died down, which is about when the group of them shouted "Concede, you liar! Concede!"
Wow. Just wow.
What would make a person stand in line for over two hours, then sit in an auditorium doing a whole lot of nothing waiting to hear a speech, then watch that speech surrounded by hundreds of cheering supporters of a candidate you are openly hostile towards, then sit around for another 45 minutes just so you can have an opportunity to hurl insults directly to a person's face? What would make someone throw away almost four hours of their lives for such a purpose? Party unity?
Not surprisingly, this seemed to be the reason that Hillary and Chelsea's visit with us was oh, so very brief. The microphone that was tested was never used, and neither of them walked the entirety of the rope line.
What is it about this man that turns his supporters into rabid little monsters?
P.U.M.A. indeed. I don't want to be in the same country with these people, much less the same party.
I was hoping to actually say a couple of words to the Senator but that obviously didn't happen. Here's a couple of the fuzzy pictures, though.