According to WRAL.com, there were about 28,000 people there! Let's make NC a blue state!!! (Below is a view looking behind where I was standing.)
This is basically what I saw when looking forward. Obama was kind of far away, but still close enough to see his expressions.
We got in line at 9:30 and waited for about an hour and 45 minutes to get "in." The rally was at Halifax Mall, a grassy area near the state government buildings. When we got up to the news vans we knew we had to be close.
Waiting in line--which, by the way, was a freezing cold venture--we were approached by many an Obama volunteer to ask if we had voted yet and if so, if we could help in the effort to get out the vote. There were also many vendors selling buttons and shirts, but I'd left my wallet in the car so I couldn't buy any. Oh well. We saw this sign when we were almost to the front:
We saw these guys walking in and could tell they meant business.
Here are some of them at their posts:
Security was tight for an outdoor rally, but not quite as tight as an airport. We didn't have to take off our coats or shoes, but we did have to go through a metal detector.
Here are some of my other shots:
About half an hour after we made it to the grassy area, right around the published 11:15 am start time, a preacher said a prayer, and then a local politician (pardon me for not remembering his name) spoke a bit. Then the music came back on, until about 15 minutes later when a field organizer came up to give a speech. He was very impassioned. We all expected Obama to come on next, but there was about 30 minutes more of music, which by that point was a little frustrating. Obama didn't come on until about 12:15, but when he did, there was quite an eruption in the audience. I must admit it felt a little like ogling a celebrity. Ooh, there he is! His speech had a couple new tidbits I hadn't heard before, such as:
Obama denounced the attacks on him by his Republican opponent, John McCain, saying McCain's desperation to win next week's election was reaching new heights.There was also a moment when someone in the crowd fainted (not unimaginable after standing for 3+ hours) and since we could not take any drinks into the Mall, Obama reached into his lectern for his personal bottle of water and tossed it over. Of course it was the decent thing to do, but it was still impressive that he stopped in the middle of his speech to acknowledge the situation and help.
"By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten."
Here's an interesting bit of info I hadn't heard yet, that is greatly pleasing, at least to me:
More than 1.5 million people have voted statewide since early voting began Oct. 16. Almost 60 percent have been Democrats, compared with about 25 percent who have been people enrolled as Republicans.