First Diary anywhere. Forgive the disjointedness.
I went to the speech. There were around 4-5k people there by my rough estimate (bottom tier of seats at Hilton full 2/3 of the way around, 400 or so on the floor, and top tier sparsely seated 2/3 of the way around.) In respose to the question below as to whether it would be mostly students, I would say that it appeared to be about 1/2-2/3 students.
Seemed to be his standard speech (see the reviews of his Springfield speech.) His speech didn’t have obvious pauses for applause, so the audience never got roaring, just moderate rounds of applause. He included calls for increased teacher pay, which seems out of place in a presidential race given that teacher pay is a state and local issue. Smacked too much of telling people what they want to hear.
Was dissapointed by one introduction (I think it was Tom Miller) who stated Barack was the “only major candidate” to actively oppose the Iraq war from the beginning. That whole “major candidate” political weaselling to shut out Kucinich and Vilsack seemed unnecessary. Sure he’s trying to win, but a shout out to those who support his views would seem to be a magnanimous gesture. And if those other candidates are really so minor, why not get on their good sides for when their campaigns go under?
He must have read Snipehunter’s diary, as he did actively solicit caucus pledge cards from the audience.
I was dissapointed by his use of the term “homeland”. The term still gives me the willies and there is no reason to continue to use it. “Our nation” worked just fine for 200 years. Let’s take back the framing of the debate and drop this Republican coined phrase.
I was also dissapointed by another phrase he used. He stated that America must be feared AND respected, or words to that effect. Implying that we need more active diplomacy, which is of course a good thing. But really, I see no reason for us to be feared at all. That’s a meme that can die with “homeland.”
But all in all, he was clean and articulate and I’d have a beer with him.