Featured photo for Barack Obama Fort Collins Rally

Barack Obama Fort Collins Rally

Fort Collins has been described as “the purplest city in the purplest state” and a swing town that could really affect the national presidential election. I used to think that was a bit of hyperbole, but maybe there is some truth to it.

“If Fort Collins didn’t matter, I don’t think Barack Obama would be here today,” said a community organizer warming up the podium at the CSU Oval for Obama today. “If we win Fort Collins, we win Colorado; if we win Colorado, we win the election,” he said.

It was a big day for both Obama and Colorado, with his largest crowd ever (>100,000 people) being in Denver and, just hours afterwards, an estimated 45,000-50,000 more showing up in Fort Collins. Contrast that to poor John McCain getting fewer than 1,000 people at a rally yesterday morning in Albuquerque, NM, a city with a population similar to Denver’s.

Anyhow, in Fort Collins, it was a zoo! Here are some excerpts from an e-mail I sent to a friend after I got back home:

Obama was in Fort Collins today! He gave a 30-minute speech. It was pretty crazy—first, while biking over to CSU, I and others got stopped by police at Mulberry St., because Obama’s motorcade was coming. So I got delayed by 15 minutes but was able to wave at his bus. But then, the line to the oval snaked around campus for over a mile. At first the line was crawling, but then security stopped all screenings and I got in 5 minutes into Obama’s speech.

His speech was 30 minutes long. Apparently, it was also on TV because 5 minutes after the speech, a friend in Stockton gave me a call saying that he saw the speech on CNN. Did you see?

Obama even complimented Fort Collins:
“Thank you CSU! This is pretty out here. I should’ve gone to school here,” he said to the sea of people. [Denver Post]

How nice!

You can read more about the event in Fort Collins Now.

The Obama bus.
When I got to CSU, the line to The Oval was literally over a mile long.  It started moving rapidly, though, when security decided to end screenings 5 minutes to Obama's speech.
Still walking through campus.
Almost at The Oval now.
There were 45-50,000 people here.  Barack Obama gave a rousing 30-minute address.
Crowd dispersing after the Obama speech.  The golden leaves all around reminded me of how CSU is one of my favorite college campuses (second only to Stanford's of course!)
Back to my bike by the Christiansen track.  Exciting afternoon.
I was biking over to CSU but encountered a police blockade here at Mulberry St.  This is because the Obama motorcade was coming through.