Coming from the press area

Hello dear readers!

Hayley here, typing away from the press area. Internet is spotty out here, but I will do my best to keep updating. Older material behind the cut.

Jay Nixon up now, and he’s the one introducing Obama. The crowd is very excited now–Nixon is clearly popular with this crowd. Nixon said he introduced Biden this morning. Big day.

Judy Baker at the podium now.

******

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, who is up for election this year, is speaking on the quad named for her father. She is also appealing directly to young voters to get out the vote. She’s having the crowd repeat after her: “govotemissouri.com”

“Take off of classes. Tell them Secretary of State said to go vote.” Pretty appealing to students, eh?

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Stephen Webber, 23rd district rep. and veteran, just lead the pledge of allegiance.

*****

John Henry and the Engine are warming up the crowd with a short set here, after playing an instrumental version of the National Anthem.

Ellis started off the evening’s speeches with an enthusiastic call for young people to head to the polls. Rev. John Yonker of the First Christian Church of Columbia offered a prayer for the evening as well.

The crowd seems to be in good spirits. Some people are tossing a beach ball through the crowd, and some have their cell phones and digital cameras out, swaying to the beat. It’s a brisk 60 degrees out here.

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Getting in, even with two press passes and pre-registration, was quite the rigamarole. There was only one list of credentialed press, and while the press in this town is composed of intelligent and thoughtful people, they are apparently incapable of forming a line.

Chris Kelly is here sporting a, well,kelly-green sweatshirt with his campaign logo on it. I haven’t seen any other candidates, but I’m sure they’re somewhere in the packed crowd. I did see one of Mary Still’s campaign staffers.

No one has been able to get a really good crowd count, and the wild guesses I’ve heard have ranged from 10,000-80,000 people. The police officers I talked to gave me the exact estimate of “a lot.”

No sign of the man of the hour yet, but I do have to compliment his campaign on their tunage.  Lots of 70s funk and, of course, Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”

Oh, Caitlin Ellis of the MU Democrats is starting to speak.  Time to get busy!

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