Well, <em>This</em> is Different

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Jan 07, 2008 11:08 PM

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Obama supporters do the Wave-- that's right, the Wave-- at a rally in Concord, N.H.

Since I've been in New Hampshire, I've been to a Huck event, a Mitt event, a McCain event, and a Hillary event. They were all solid appearances, with solid crowds, although I'm amazed that Huck's crowd of about 600-700 is the largest among those I've seen.

Until now. The line to get into the gym was three people deep and wrapped around an entire high school-- about 3 or 4 very long city blocks long, I'd estimate (for a 10 p.m. rally). Many of the people in line are young-- 16-24. They were hanging out in groups, chatting, drinking coffee and chanting Oh-bama at passing cars. It's not an exaggeration to say that 20-somethings dominate this event. There are older folks here, but the young people's influence is keenly felt.

They're chanting "Fired up, ready to go!" and making up other chants in the stands. They started the Wave with greater success than I've ever seen in accomplished at a political rally, and all of this is during the BCS Championship game? Color me impressed. (Although, as the event starts, I'm noticing the gym isn't entirely full, so maybe the line looked more impressive than it was.)

The girl introducing him sounds about 16, though I can't see her from here (She just announced that her dad, "a lifelong Republican, is very proud to be voting for Barack Obama," to great applause). The soundtrack for this event is head and shoulders above any others I've heard. Hillary used "Beautiful Girl," "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic," and the Dixie Chicks' "Ready to Run." McCain used "Don't Stop Believin'," but I don't remember any other notable songs.

The Obama event is rockin' out with one of my personal favorites, "Superstition," and the Jackson 5, among others, and his young supporters are feelin' it. If you want to know what political failure looks like for Hillary Clinton, it's in the awkward gyrations of these N.H. 20-somethings, drunk on Obama's hope and groovin' their way to change by the sound of a sweet Motown soundtrack.

Seriously, though? If they nominate this guy, we're in some trouble. It can't help but be infectious when people are this excited about anything.

Update: Case in point, about the young people. Obama's saying, "They said we couldn't do it, but we did!" about Iowa, and a large chunk of the crowd responds with "You can do it!" Like this: