Saturday, October 20, 2012

Obama campaign event music playlist and other trivia from recent visit to Fairfax, Va.

On Friday Oct. 19, President Barack Obama spoke at a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The event received a lot of press because of Obama’s attacks on his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. (See story links below.)
I was in attendance, along with my 9 year-old son. Here are some miscellaneous observations about how the event was organized.

Obama campaign event music playlist

Once in the venue, attendees had to wait more than three hours for the president to speak.
Organizers started admitting ticket holders to the event, held on the GMU football practice field, at 8:45 a.m. The president took the stage about noon. The event featured four other speakers who warmed up the crowd.
During the down time, organizers played a mix of rock, country and R&B music. Here’s the majority of the playlist. My iPhone app Shazam didn’t recognize some of the songs, likely because of background noise.

“Mr. Blue Sky” – ELO
“Keep Me in Mind” – Zac Brown Band
“Raise Up” – Ledisi
“Stand Up” – Sugarland
“We Used to Wait” – Arcade Fire
“Even Better Than the Real Thing” – U2
“Green Onions” – Booker T. & the M.G.s.
“No Nostalgia” – AgesandAges
“Roll with the Changes” – REO Speedwagon
“Love You I Do” – Jennifer Hudson
“Learn to Live” – Darius Rucker
“Home” – Dierks Bentley
“Keep Marchin’” – Raphael Saadiq
“Tonight’s The Kind of Night” – Noah and the Whale
“My Town” – Montgomery Gentry
“I Got You” – Wilco
“You Are the Best Thing” – Ray LaMontagne
“We Take Care of Our Own” – Bruce Springsteen
“The Best Thing About Me Is You” – Ricky Martin, featuring Joss Stone

Campaign event preparations

Obama spoke from a platform placed at the 5-yard line on the artificial turf field. I tweeted that this could be a metaphor for his campaign being in the red zone or making a goal line stand. We’ll find out which on Election Day, Nov. 6.
A big focus of this event was women’s health issues, an area where Obama draws a clear distinction from Romney. Three of the four warm-up speakers were women, including Democratic Party activist and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.
For the event, the bleachers behind the president were packed almost entirely with women. That way, as Obama spoke about women’s issues, he’d have a lot of cheering women backing him. It’s all about managing the media.
Great attention was paid to the look of the speaker’s platform. It had to be just right. Flowers were rearranged and the red-white-and-blue curtains retouched several times.
Before the president arrived, one of his handlers stepped on stage to affix the presidential seal to the podium. He carried the plate-sized ornament in a cloth bag like it was as vital as the nuclear launch codes. Before Obama took the stage, he came back to make sure the seal was secure and straight.

Media coverage of the event

Obama fires up crowd in Virginia with ‘Romnesia’ speech (Washington Post)
‘Romnesia’ and the weasel factor (Washington Post)
Obama diagnoses ‘Romnesia’ (CNN)
Obama accuses Republican rival of suffering ‘Romnesia’ (Reuters)
Obama: GOP nominee suffering from ‘Romnesia’ (NBC)
In Virginia, Obama diagnoses Mitt with ‘Romnesia’ (CBS)
President Obama Accuses Opponent of Contracting ‘Romnesia’ (ABC)
Romnesia’s rise from Twitter to Obama (Politico)
‘Romnesia,’ Meet The ‘Mittmento’ Movie Poster (Huffington Post)

Photos: My photos of the event. 

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