|First I have to say it is impossible for me to judge how many attended the Kerry Rally at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh as there was no way to get a view of the entire crowd. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported "thousands." Someone told me they heard that nine to ten thousand attended. Going by the crush at the gates and the long multiple lines threading in, I'd say it was FREAKIN' HUGE.
The entrance that I came in through necessitated going through one of the buildings there (Bakers Hall) which started the day off on a strange note for me as I hadn't been in that building since I dropped out from CMU some 25 years ago. Also strange was going to the rally alone as everyone I knew either had to work (gates opened at 3:00 PM) or was volunteering at the event -- once inside the gates, I did run into at least a dozen people I knew -- and there were many friendly people to talk to while standing in line.
This is the fourth Kerry rally that I've attended and I have to say it was definitely the most lively (not that any of the others lacked enthusiasm). The fevered pitch that the rally at Market Square reached when Kerry announced that John Edwards would be his running mate seemed to be maintained this time throughout Kerry's entire speech. The organizers provided tons of double-sized rally signs to the crowd (Mostly "Fighting for Us" as well as many "Women for Kerry") and the crowd waved them at every opportunity. It was an amazing sight to behold.
I was fortunate to receive a gold ticket for the event which put me in the "local celeb bullpen" (which was later opened up to everyone). I took many pictures including: Ted Danson, Joe Hoeffel, Dan Onorato, etc., which I hope to post here later.
When I came home that evening, There was a note and pen tucked inside my storm door. I've been getting nothing but positive comments on my elaborate (and very political) Halloween display. The life-sized Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld figures sport anti-Bush pins (my design -- shameless self-promoting plug -- available HERE). The note said:
Dear Sir or Mame,
I knocked, but you were probably at the rally.
I wanted a anti-bush pin. I traded you for
this Kerry pen. Hope you're not mad.
Go Kerry! 2004
I hate bush
All in all, a very satisfying evening! :-)