Live! At Universal City! The Barack Obama Show
The Obama Show came to Los Angeles tonight, albeit without Oprah and Michelle. And The Times' Cathleen Decker reports from the scene -- the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal City -- that some 5,000 rapturous fans received the Democratic presidential candidate with cheers, whistles and applause.
There was show biz, of course. Ne Yo and the Goo Goo Dolls sang. And some political business to attend to. Besides paying $25 to $250 for a ticket, fans also needed to provide their phone numbers and e-mails. They were invited to go to Nevada and Iowa to volunteer door-to-door for the campaign. And you can guess those phones and e-mails will be put to further use in coming weeks.
At one point in the pre-Obama festivities, Buffy Wicks, Obama's state field director, paused the program and ordered everyone present then and there to phone four friends and pitch Obama's candidacy. Those phone numbers and e-mails were also collected.
But the crowd came for the other Big O and they got him in full preacher-cadence. "The era of Scooter Libby justice and Brownie incompetence and Karl Rove politics will finally be over next November," Obama said in a line borrowed from his weekend appearances. "We were promised a compassionate conservative and we got Katrina and wiretaps. We were promised a uniter but got a president who couldn't even lead the half of the country that voted for him."
"I don't want to spend the next four years having the same arguments with the same lack of results," he added during his 35 minutes of remarks. "I don't want to pit red America against blue America."
Then, in a not-so-oblique reference to an unnamed Democratic opponent who's refused to release her first lady documents from her husband's presidential library, Obama announced that tomorrow he would be releasing for public scrutiny his long-held kindergarten papers.
"There's some scandalous stuff in there," he admitted. "I experimented with coloring outside the lines. Pulled a girl's ponytail once. And liked it."
So much for the ponytail vote.