Obama's Image Control in Charlotte

Mary Katharine Ham
|
Posted: May 06, 2008 2:39 PM

I wonder if they were wearing Abercrombie & Fitch shirts:
About three-quarters of the 9,000 people who turned up to see Barack Obama at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday evening were black. Yet, the section of seating directly behind where he spoke was filled overwhelmingly by whites.

The Obama campaign would not say how seats were allocated but it appeared as though a conscious decision had been made to ensure that television pictures showed the senator against a backdrop of white faces.
I think they're littering the desired seats with New Balance shoes, North Face fleeces, and DVDs of "The Wire" and other high-quality HBO programming. In fact, Oprah's staff is arranging the giveaway.

I'm headed to an Obama rally in Raleigh tonight, where I'll try to position myself so as to up his white-people cred and collect the goods. It's at Reynolds Coliseum (former home to the N.C. State basketball team), which means they're expecting quite the crowd. Will Michelle smile? Will Obama play presumptive nominee? Will I overhear a conversation about the skyrocketing price of organic milk and juggling it with the cost of carbon-offsets? The suspense is killing me.

Clinton's election watch party is in the more rural town of Kernersville, slightly west of here, so I may hop over there if possible, but the Clinton bigwigs are in Indiana tonight, which means I'd likely be treated only to another glimpse of Gov. Easley.