Riptide is live at Barack Obama's Rally at the Bank United Center. We made it through the oppressive heat, UM's horrible parking situation, the glares of former class mates, security, internet connection problems, and now astuckspacebar. So don't worry. If you didn't make it in we're here to make sure you don't miss any of the exciting campaign rhetoric.
Click the "more" link for our minute by minute updates.
1:13 - Thanks for joining Riptide on this wonderful little live blogging ride. What did we learn? 1. A small group of African Americans hate Obama, but probably not as much as they hate gays. 2. Obama is really not mentioning Palin at all, but is pretty hard on attacking McCain. 3. Obama loves the ladies. The ladies love Obama.
1:09 - And it is over! That's a wrap. Obama promises if he wins Florida he'll win the general election ...I think. So much noise. Some people are waiting around like there's some sort of encore. Sorry this is not a Jonas Brothers concert.
1:07 - We're about 40 minutes into his speech at this women's rally and he finally mentions Hillary "and the 18 million cracks she put in the glass ceiling". There's a pretty big cheer. Interestingly Gov. Palin wasn't mentioned once by Obama. He is steering clear of that hot mess.
1:03 - Here is something Obama wants you to remember: Joe Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act. John McCain voted against it.
1:01 - Live blogging McCain would be so much easier because he talks so slow, and no one cheers loud enough so you can't hear things. Barack on the other hand seriously has so much to say I cannot take five seconds to collect my thoughts.
12:57 - Paraphrasing: "Five men on the Supreme Court don't know any better than woman and their families and their doctors about matters of there own health." He says woman should be able to choose, and if they choose life the Government and their employers should make it easier for them.
12:55 - Big O' says John McCain wants to make this election about Britney and Paris and lipstick and pigs.
Yeah, but also bloggers want to make this election about Britney and Paris and lipstick and pigs. It is more fun to blog about. Sorry Barack. "You make a big election about small ideas because you have nothing new to offer." Yeah, basically.
12:53 - "We don't just need a plan for Wall Street, but a plan for main street".
12:51 - He is in full-on McCain attack mode. He's hitting him for his "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" remark. He's hitting him for saying he's going to take on the Ol' Boys Network, even though he is King of the Ol' Boys Network. He's hitting him on his suggestion that he would set up a commission to deal with Wall Street.
12:50 - McCain is willing to "change anything, or say anything, or change his position on anything just to win this election." Barack says this is sad. We agree. Sad, John McCain, sad.
12:49 - Barack says McCain "says he's a new driver, but follows the same road map." Ha, ha because he is basically Bush 2.0. Or Bush 3.0, I guess.
12:46 - Everything is fine now. Barack is back to his scheduled McCain bashing. Can you believe those guys think we're a nation of whiners? Can you guys believe McCain thinks woman need better training before they get equal pay? Can you guys believe how old and out of touch he is? I am paraphrasing.
12:43 - Ok, it was a group of about 10, all African American, who were holding signs that were some how connecting Obama to the KKK and protesting the fact that he is for abortion and gay marriage (well, he's more for "civil partnerships"). Obama says something like "ok, guys settle down" and tries to keep speaking. Guess what? They don't settle down. So they're asked to leave and the crowd does a "hey hey hey, good bye"
12:41 - Wow. A group of people start chanting "Barack Go Home" and hold up signs. It's "BLACKS AGAINST OBAMA". What? What?
12:37 - Barack Obama says Michelle is like that song "I'm every woman". Haha, she has "to put up with a knuckle head husband who's running for President".
12:36 - Obama's recounting the story of his mother and grandmother. His mom was a struggling single mother who at one point was on food stamps but got her PhD. His Grandmother hit the glass ceiling and deserved equal pay. Speaking of glass ceilings, Hillary Clinton hasn't been mentioned once.
12:32 - Obama thanks Rep. Schultz and Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri who spoke for about five minutes earlier about buying diapers, and how John McCain doesn't want ladies to buy diapers but wants Donald Trump to by toupees or something. He also big ups Donna Shalala (who supported Hillary, btw). Raul Martinez and some other local Democrats are here.
12:28 - Schultz just mentioned Palin for the first time. Big booooooo. Now she's saying "yes we can .. . Hosfjpajfdaospjfaspf j HOLY SHIT BARACK OBAMA IS COMING OUT!!!!! The noise seriously gave me a heart attack. Any way Schultz was all "yay reproductive rights, yay equal pay, yay Barack Obama".
12:25 - The official title of this shindig is "Women's Rally for the Change We Need with Barack Obama" so the speeches are big on Women's issues. You know things like protecting reproductive rights, free rape kits and other things that Gov. Palin seems to be against.
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12:20 - The emcee started saying "Ladies and Gentleman please welcome..." the crowd got really excited, and when they realized it wasn't Obama just yet there was a noticeable down turn in the decibel level. Turned out it was only Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
12:11 - Nothing exciting has happened yet. A few campaign ladies talked about 20 minutes ago. "Blah blah blah let's elect Barack Obama blah blah blah donate money blah blah blah take out your phones and text some number." Ok, actually the texting part is kid of interesting. NPR has a story about it here. Besides that everyone is just waiting, with the occasional crowd outburst of "yes we can" or some other socialist catchphrase. They have also played U2 10,000 times.
12:06 - The crowd is pretty pumped. There was a wave that went around the arena three entire times! I heard the best a John McCain rally ever did was two and a half laps.