The other day Mrs. TANBI and I got to attend an Obama campaign event. They did the thing on the CFA lawn on campus and faculty and alumni could get tickets. It seemed like it was going to be difficult to get in, but in the end I think there was plenty of space.
The tickets said noon, but the email from the school said 11:30 and we didn't want to be too far back. We left for campus on foot at 10:50. At that moment the President was live on CNN in Poland Ohio. We should have taken the hint.
When we got to campus we lined up for security by the back door to Skibo and then went through a line all the way across the face of the UC and across to Purnell. They had magnetometers and hand search for everyone before you could get in. Really this part didn't take too long at all and we were probably standing in place waiting on the event by 12:10.
I'd originally thought the event was at noon. I was wrong. We got there in plenty of time, but then we waited through the heat of the day until around 2:15 for the speech. For the first part of the wait we amused ourselves spotting the spotters.
Truth be told I think those folks were there for us to see (ok, maybe not that last guy). I kept wondering where the agents I couldn't see were.
After a while they filled some. There was an opening prayer, and then a song from a CMU student. We heard a short speech from the Obama/Biden campaign coordinator for the region. After that we got to see Franco Harris.
He probably could have talked a lot longer than he did. Around this point Mrs. TANBI started to see tweets saying the President was in the area - actually that he had stopped for cookies.
Eventually we started to see young men with severe haircuts and ear pieces in the crowd and then in a moment Senator Casey was doing an intro and then there he was.
It turned out the speech was mostly the say as I'd heard on the TV that morning when he was in Ohio. I guess on West Wing they would have called it "modified stump." There was a lot of common material punctuated with the occasional "like they're doing right here at Carnegie Mellon." He did start out with some talk about baseball, what with the Pirates and the White Sox both leading their divisions.
It was a decent speech after a very long wait on a very, very hot, sunny day. The organizers did a good job. They had bottle after bottle of water and people with sprayers watering down the crowd. Even with all that we did see many people overcome by the heat (or maybe the anticipation).
I'm glad we went. I even got a somewhat ephemeral souvenir.