Monday, September 03, 2012

Will Dem butts fill all of those seats Thursday night at B of A Stadium in Charlotte? We did it in Denver

An AP story by Julie Pace in this morning's Denver Post said that Democratic Party officials are concerned that Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte will not be filled when Pres. Barack Obama accepts the Democratic Party nomination on Thursday night. The stadium seats 74,000. That's a lot of seats to fill with Dem butts, or at least Dem butts and da butts of other curious Tarheels.
Anything short of a full house on the final night of the Democratic Party's national convention will be instant fodder for Republicans eager to use empty seats as symbols of waning voter enthusiasm for Obama.

Democrats have been fretting for months over whether the president can draw a capacity crowd at Bank of America Stadium. Polls show voter enthusiasm is down, as are Obama's crowds for his battleground state campaign rallies.

Obama advisers insist the stadium will be filled when Obama delivers his speech. Vice President Joe Biden also will speak Thursday night, along with Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who will vouch for Obama's national security credentials.


Thursday's event is certain to draw comparisons to 2008, when Obama accepted the Democratic nomination before a capacity crowd at an 84,000-seat stadium in Denver. There was little concern back then over whether Obama would fill the stadium, in part because he was easily attracting tens of thousands of people to his campaign rallies across the country.

This time around, Obama's crowds are far smaller. He drew his biggest audience at his campaign kick-off rally in May, a 14,000-person crowd at Ohio State University. About 13,000 people attended Obama's rally on Sunday at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The campaign says the size of Obama's events this summer have purposely been kept low. Large rallies are more expensive and security requirements are more intense for a sitting president than a candidate.
I waited in line for hours to get into Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium on that warm August evening in 2008. The crowd was impressive, and I took some terrible cellphone photos to prove it. My technical skills haven't improved, nor has my equipment. I'm sure we'll get tons of smartphone and Instagram pix from Charlotte this Thursday. Meanwhile, ogle these pix from DNC Denver 2008.

Lining up at Denver's Mile High Stadium
Dem delegates on the 30-yard line (see anyone you know?)
Jesse Jackson almost buried by media types
Sen. John Kerry, who will speak Thursday night in Charlotte
"The Daily Show's" John Oliver, in a blur (I was moving fast)

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