Obama, Conor, and the politics of dancing…

Category: Blog — @ 6:52 pm February 5, 2008

By now you’ve heard about the Barack Obama rally featuring Bright Eyes, M. Ward, Jim Ward of Sparta and Secret Life of Sparrows this Thursday at Slowdown starting at 7 p.m.

What I don’t understand is the ticketing situation. According to an e-mail I received from Saddle Creek Record’s Robb Nansel, to acquire two tickets to the rally you must be 18+ and “must either register to vote or sign a pledge card stating ‘I pledge to caucus for Barack.'”

Now, that isn’t an issue for me, as I threw money at Obama’s campaign weeks ago. I’d love to see as many people caucus for him as possible. But forcing those already registered to vote to sign a pledge card to get in seems like bad politics.

Isn’t the whole idea behind a rally to get people to support the candidate regardless of their affiliation? Why force someone to sign a “pledge card” who may not support Obama prior to the rally? How many of the signees will have lied to get into the event? Is the goal to keep the honest Republicans, Undecideds and Hillary supporters out? It seems out of character for a candidate whose central message has been about inclusion in the political process — and that includes for clueless Republicans as well. Does Obama want people to vote for him in exchange for a Bright Eyes concert? No, no he doesn’t.

Yeah, I know, I’m just reading too much into an event that has obvious limited capacity. Nansel’s memo also said even if you have a ticket you may not get in. The sign-up for tickets begins today at 4:30 at Slowdown. Strangely, an article in today’s OWH states the club’s capacity is a mere 640 — quite a few less than the 715 we’d been told in the past. One assumes that they didn’t sell many tickets to the Jim Ward show that was already scheduled for that night, as they’re refunding any previously purchased tickets and guaranteeing admission to the Obama event. So, if they sold 200 tickets to Jim Ward (presumably to 200 possible Republicans *yikes!*), that leaves only 440 remaining rally spots. Better get in line now…

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