Day 20 – Goodbye Subtle and Ambiguous.

Yesterday my son-in-law and I went over to Greeley for a Joe Biden rally. My excitement and interest were assaulted by an 80 km per hour wind and the endless time we stood in line waiting to get through security. We arrived about 8:15 AM and finally got to security by 11:15. Then we waited another hour before the rally started.

This duo had to keep the crowd entertained while we waited, waited, waited…

My hips, knees and ankles reminded me that I’ve spent most of my life sitting. I pretended that I was in the Preparatory Choir of the Saskatoon Children’s Choir. This involves some moving and stretching in novel ways so you don’t fall of the risers.

There were a number of speakers before Biden – they were all good. The previous week I’d met the advance people who were organizing the rally, so I would imagine that they did some major quality control.

The Gentle Persons of the Press. Why do they need 10 cameras all taking the same shot?

The hall was packed and Joltin Joe got some coverage on the news. I imagine that we heard his “stump” speech – he repeats it at all the rallies he attends. I would also expect that this speech gets updated as events occur. He’s an excellent speaker – very good at connecting to the audience. He is even more engaged with a live audience than when he is on TV.

I have never seen a speaker who uses such a wide dynamic range (volume). He started almost at a whisper. Someone in the crowd yelled, “We can’t hear.” I too thought that the guy on the sound board wasn’t doing his job. Soon the crowd was really quiet – straining to hear him. After about 5 minutes, suddenly up went his volume. He continued this cycle throughout his talk. It was a very effective strategy.

As usual, he was smaller and skinnier than I’d expected – that’s what camera lens do.

That’s Joe in the distance – I wasn’t up close!

This is sorta what it looked like.

So, it was a good experience on the whole, although I was exhausted when it was over. It was also nice to spend time with Andy.

The previous night was the second Presidential debate. It certainly wasn’t the snore fest that was the first debate. Obama was in the room, but I was concerned that it was ranging into incivility. I’ve found many of the voters I’ve talked to are turned off by the conflict. They also complained about a the lack of a clear policy specifics. Obama expanded a bit on the policy front.

There is an obvious danger to getting too specific – each candidate is afraid that details can get them into trouble. I’d also like to see both candidates tell the voters how they are going to get anything done when the likely election result will be a Democratic Senate and a Republican House. The House has one of the lowest approval ratings of all political institutions.

Colorado is a state where citizens can put initiatives on the ballot. The most publicized one is the effort to treat marijuana the same way the state treats alcohol. I actually haven’t heard much about the initiative in the Loveland area.

What’s nice is that the state sends everyone a booklet that explains what the initiative tries to do and the pro and con arguments. It seemed to me fairly even handed. A voter can sit down and figure out where they stand.

I’m sure it would be almost impossible to do, but it would be nice to have the same kind of information about all of the candidates. Right now if you want to make an informed choice, you have to go on the internet and research it yourself.


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