I'm taking a two-minute break from the local candidate responses because of what happened today. An event like a Presidential visit deserves some comment, but it will be featured for only a brief amount of time in order to make sure that all the local candidates get the same amount (or close to it) of 'airtime' (I would hate for anyone to accuse me of being biased - - next stop, SNL).
Before today, some of my friends and colleagues asked me what I was going to say about President Clinton's visit, and I told them "not much". At this point in the primary season, I could recite most of the points he was going to raise (although mentioning flooding and students loans could be considered as smart politics or pandering to the audience - depending whether you like him or not). I really don't have many comments about the President's message, not because I don't have anything to say (if you've read this blog before, you know better), but because I had other things to worry about.
As part of my job at the University, I was on the team responsible for making sure the event was recorded from every possible angle. Specifically, we had two video cameras and one photographer doing their best to make sure we did not miss anything...and let me tell you, my team did an OUTSTANDING job!
It was great watching my group stand alongside the media outlets from Findlay, Toledo and a few national organizations. The Clinton campaign organizers treated our group the same way they did traditional media outlets, and it was nice to see students excited about this unique opportunity.
No matter your politics, there is something special about a President visiting your city...double special because it was happening where I work. But ultimately, for me at least, it was more exciting to stand there and watch the event unfold than listen to the words being spoken.
Knowing how this was pulled together, it is a credit to all parties involved that these events occur. The logistics are mind-numbing, and when you factor in that this happens from city-to-city-to-city, it is a small miracle (and a credit to organizers, hosts and media) that everything comes off without a hitch.
Watching the crowd waiting outside in the snow, just itching to come in...seeing how the stage is set and cables are run...seeing how the media get ready...seeing VIPs restless with anticipation...the small rumblings in the crowd as the clock nears the announced time...the building excitement as the introductory speakers get through their remarks...the roar from the crowd that crashes down on you when the President comes into view...it was great to see how it came to be.
Now, I admit that I did not vote for the President in either election, but that did not stop me from appreciating the history of the event. My wife and I made sure that our daughters would attend (only my youngest came because the other had important school work to complete) because it is not every day a (former) President comes to Findlay (and even rarer for a Democrat).The bottom line...it was a great event.
If you want to find out more about this visit, it is bound to be in all the papers, and there is this little thing called the Internet that has places to find out more
- The Courier's on-line photo album
- WTOL's video (this is about an hour long)
- The University of Findlay's article on the event
- The Pulse (UF student newspaper)
If you have any stories or photos you would like to share with others, either add your comments below or send me your story and photos, and I will publish them. All voices heard.
Now, back to our regular programming.
Melissa Andrews - thanks for the autograph you gave my daughter! It is already framed, and you made an 11 year-old girl extremely happy (and her Dad a hero).