I managed to make it to the John Kerry rally on Thursday. I was running late, so I didn’t get there until 11 AM, and by that time, the line was all over the parking lot and hardly moving. Apparently the Secret Service slowed things down with the security screening. I was in line for more than an hour until they finally opened up an area, and we all poured in without ever going through security. Turns out there were color coded tickets, and you needed a red ticket to get into the section that was around the stage.
Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters sang a few songs, and then Sean Astin said a few words. We waited a bit longer, and then Dick Gephardt got up and started the introductions for Kerry and Edwards (who were still on the way). The buses finally arrived, and the candidates and their wives took the stage as the crowd went crazy. Edwards gave his “Hope is on the Way” stump speech. Then Kerry gave his “Help is on the Way” speech. It ended with a lot of confetti being shot in the air, and then they boarded the train for the western rail tour.
The crowd was estimated to be 15,000 which was pretty impressive to me. Or so I thought until I heard they had 30,000 in Kansas City the following night! It is reassuring to see such large turnouts for these appearances, especially in states like Missouri. It bodes well for November.
I posted some photos, but I was so far away, they are mainly pictures of crowds and lines. I did blow up one to show that yes, Kerry was in the picture, even if he is heavily pixelated. Alex Medico has some excellent pictures of Kerry & Edwards on the train as it left the station.
After the rally, I headed over to the food court at Union Station for lunch. As I ate my Quizno’s sandwich, I noticed Terry Crouppen at a nearby table, apparently also having come from the rally. If you’re not from St. Louis, Terry is a lawyer you see on local TV a lot. If someone has done you wrong, he’s the guy to talk to. At least that’s what he says in their ads.