This is stunning.
I expected an enormous crowd to greet Obama and Springsteen in Madison. I thought it would be smaller than the alleged 80,000 that John Kerry and Bruce Springsteen drew in Madison on October 28, 2004.
Flashback to 2004--
CommonDreams.org described it this way:
Springsteen, who is traveling with the Kerry campaign for the last five days of the election drive, opened his two-song set with "Promised Land." In the song, he urges people to "blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and broken hearted."So how many showed up today for the Obama-Springsteen version of the rally, the day before the election?
Then he spoke directly to the audience. "I've been writing songs about America for thirty year, about what America stands for, and what America fights for," he said. "The essential ideas of America's identity are what is at stake November 2."
He praised Kerry for honoring America's ideals, for addressing issues of economic justice, health care, civil rights, the environment, for advocating "a sane and responsible foreign policy," and for "safeguarding our precious democracy."
He said Kerry has "an adult view" of our place in the world and "understands that we are not infallible." He said Kerry has helped America face its "hard truths" and find a "deeper patriotism" and will "make our world a better and a safer place."
Springsteen invoked the name of Paul Wellstone, mentioning that the late Senator from Minnesota had a saying, "The future is for the passionate." To that, Springsteen added: "Well, the future is now, and let your passions loose. The country we carry in our hearts is waiting."
He ended with Kerry's anthem, "No Retreat, No Surrender," which contains the line, "I want to sleep underneath peaceful skies."
After the song, Kerry bounded onto the stage and clasped Springsteen's hand and praised him for singing about real people. "The people he sings about," said Kerry, "are the people we need to fight for and have representation for in the White House."
Then Kerry cracked a joke: "When George Bush heard the Boss was going to be with me today, he thought I was talking about Dick Cheney."
From the Associated Press:
Bruce Springsteen plays four songs, does an impersonation of President Barack Obama and introduces the president before a crowd of 18,000 in Madison.Good grief, why would Springsteen open with John Kerry's campaign anthem, "No Surrender"?
Springsteen took the stage around 10:30 a.m. Monday and joked about how early it was to be playing music, "particularly if you don't have a voice."
Springsteen played acoustic guitar and harmonica and opened with "No Surrender" followed by "The Promised Land." His third song had the refrain "Four More Years" and included the line ""So I came to Wisconsin looking for a date, we kissed and I said it was a hell of a state."
Springsteen closed with "Land of Hope and Dreams."
Why stir memories of loser Kerry and his losing campaign?
Way to fire up a crowd!
Eighteen thousand is a lot smaller than what I expected. That's not even 25 percent of the crowd size in 2004.
Furthermore, the 18,000 - 20,000 figure may be inflated. The MacIver Institute reports that Madison Capitol police said 10,000 could fit in the two block area hosting the rally. As it turned out, there was little crowd overflow.
Whatever the actual attendance was, enthusiasm for Obama/Springsteen is not high, not even close to the enthusiasm for Kerry/Springsteen.
Video from the MacIver Institute:
Compare this photo from the Obama rally to the photo from the Kerry rally:
Forward, Wisconsin! twitter.com/BarackObama/st…
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 5, 2012
The difference is striking.