Sen. Barack Obama is the most inspiring public leader in America. He has a bold vision to help the middle class and restore America's prestige in the world. Join this grassroots effort to support Sen. Obama's historic and uplifting campaign for president. Keep hope alive! Obama '08!
This video has an excellent collage leading up to Sen. Obama's speech. Very inspirational.
Sen. Obama talks about America at the "crossroads".
Sen. Obama says we're less safe than we were before the Iraq war, and that it's time to bring this war to an end.
Sen. Obama has been in Washington long enough to know that Washington needs to change. Crowd chants "Obama! Obama! Obama!"
Obama gets a rock star introduction.
Parisa Fatehi introduces Sen. Obama.
Sen. Obama talks about bringing our troops home, addressing the roots of terrorism, investing in America's infrastructure, rebuilding New Orleans and that we have mutual responsibility to help our neighbors in need.
Sen. Obama challenges everyone to get involved in the campaign.
Sen. Obama talks about the importance of affordable, accessible health care.
It's official. We just threw the biggest rally in the country for the 2008 election
Every media outlet is now reporting that we had over 20,000 Texans attend our rally...two years out from Election Day 2008.
Thanks to all our volunteers for working so hard to pull of this historic
event on less than two weeks notice. The University Democrats and the African American Culture Committee represented UT-Austin well. We also had volunteers drive in from San Antonio, Houston, DFW and other parts of Texas as well. It was truly a team effort!
In order to create an accurate attendance count as humanly possible, we specifically took volunteers off of check-in and merchandising to focus solely on counting the number supporting entering the gates. We had 10 clickers, and our count registered 21,841. Obviously, no count is perfect, but our estimate doesn't even include the folks who sprinted through gates to get good seats (our clickers couldn't keep up), it doesn't include our 430 volunteers and all the VIP's, and it doesn't include the supporters showed up late after our volunteer clickers left their posts to watch Obama's speech.
Virtually every single media outlet, ranging from the Houston Chronicle to the Dallas Morning News to the New York Times, had accurately reported that over 20,000 Texans attended the historic Obama rally on Auditorium Shores. Unfortunately, our local paper had quoted a city official who had estimated that only 15,000 supporters attended the event. To its credit, the Statesman listened to our concerns, and they issued a correction in today's paper. The city official, Victor Ovalle, who corrected himself, saying the 15,000 number was "an initial estimate and that ultimately an estimated 20,000 people attended".
To further back up this estimate, we also contacted Mike Walker from Capital Sport & Entertainment, the concert organizers who put together this event and who also organize other big events like Austin City Limits Festival, and Mr. Walker concurred that at least 20,000+ Texans attended the rally.
Thank you to the Statesman for printing the correction, and thank you to reporter Gardner Selby for providing the most complete coverage leading up to and following this historic rally. Please take a moment to thank the Statesman for making things right.
It was overcast when between 15,000 and 20,000 people gathered Friday
for the only rally of Sen. Barack Obama's presidential announcement
tour boasting the stated goal to "kick ass" boldly on the bill. The
spectre of rainfall failed to thwart the spirit of the audaciously
hopeful third-year senator from Illinois, or that of his followers.
is just a little bit of rain, I hope you don't mind," the presidential
candidate said as a sea of navy blue "Obama '08" placards turned into
The crowd at Auditorium Shores, though
united by enthusiasm, consisted of people of various ages, races and
backgrounds. David Gillette, a senior at St. Michael's Catholic
Academy, ditched class for a spot at the front of a seemingly endless
line outside the venue's gates.
"I'll learn more from Obama than my classes," Gillette said, who arrived four hours before Obama took the stage.
Chu, president of co-sponsoring organization the University Democrats,
said organizing the rally with only three weeks notice from Obama's
national campaign was hectic.
"It's been crazy, but a good crazy," Chu said. "This is the largest event that the University Democrats has ever been a part of," Chu said.
Obama's magnetism extended all the way to Princeton Review's ninth-most
conservative school in the nation, where a group of Aggie Democrats
embarked on a trek from College Station across the geo-political
"Barack Obama is the next president of the United
States," said Sohail Hassan, a political science major at Texas A&M
University who saw the senator speak back in 2004. Meredith Clancy,
vice president of the group, said there hasn't been such an energizing
political figure since Robert Kennedy.
"He's one of the candidates that can really speak to our generation. I
think he's really invigorated a lot of people in our age group," Clancy
prepped the audience with D'Andra Thomas-Jackson, chair of fellow
co-sponsoring organization the African-American Culture Committee, who
commented on the crowd's mixed nature.
"You don't often see such diversity at a political event," she said. "Hopefully we're starting a trend."
took the stage amid fickle rain to the sound of thunderous cheers and
intermittent chanting. The senator's unusual name rolled off the
tongues of a pun-savvy audience promising to "Barack the Vote."
For those of you who have had the pleasure of getting to know University Democrat Ray Skidmore, you know that Ray is one of the hardest working young Democrats in Texas. He volunteers for every campaign, always smiles and never complains. He's a true Texas gentleman. For the 2/23 rally, Ray volunteered to stay at Audtiorium Shores for the graveyard shift to help secure the stage equipment before the big rally. Ray's willingness to sacrifice for the greater cause is an inspiration to us all.
Ray is from small-town Florence, Texas. He has been nicknamed the "liberal redneck", and he wears his Stetson every day. Now, Ray's Stetson is famous!
Click here for the Dallas Morning News photo gallery of the Texas rally.
Click here to read the Houston Chronicle's live-blogging of the Texas rally.