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New York Daily Photo: Obama
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Friday, 28 September 2007


This is not an endorsement for Barack Obama, the United States Senator from Illinois and Democratic candidate for President of the United States in 2008. I am not particularly political nor that informed regarding the various candidates. But this was a huge event for Washington Square Park and the first time I recall a presidential candidate having a rally here. Obama’s campaign aides said that 24,000 people attended the event. Initially, crowds were confined to the outer perimeters of the park. At one point, however, frustrated attendees just broke through with security giving up. The crowd funneled through the openings, metal detectors and into the central plaza, where the speaking platform and press areas had been set up. I was able to get a line of sight to Obama and listened to his 41-minute address. The audience was quite mixed with many NYU students - at 46 years old, he definitely appeals to a younger demographic. He came onto the stage to a song by rapper Kanye West and mentioned hanging out in Washington Square Park when he was younger (he has also admitted to the use of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine as a teenager). Many attended because it was just something to do. Most seemed to find Obama quite charismatic. His background is very interesting. Born in Hawaii in 1963 - his father is from Kenya with a PhD from Harvard and his mother from Kansas. Obama himself has a BA from Columbia, a Harvard Law degree and a number of other impressive academic and political achievements. Campaign promises were made to a cheering crowd, such as universal health care by the end of his term and ending the war in Iraq. Obama characterized and championed himself as a Washington outsider - not the first time we have heard this claim ...


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