Monday, November 5, 2012

Toughest ticket in town: Seeing Mitt Romney on eve of presidential election

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in Fairfax, Va., today, on the eve of the 2012 election. I tried to get in to see him speak, but the crowd was overwhelming.
Romney supporters filled up the Patriot Center, which seats 10,000, and several thousand other people were sent to an outdoor overflow area to hear him give his final sales pitch via loudspeakers. After standing in line in the cold for more than two hours, I decided it wasnt worth it to stand in the cold any longer if I wasnt going to see him speak in person.
I had been through this drill twice before this fall to see President Barack Obama speak at George Mason University in Fairfax. The first time I didnt get in the venue reached capacity as I neared the entrance. But I got VIP tickets to the next event, because of my inconvenience, which was sweet. I had no problems getting into the second event with Obama at GMU.
Getting into these events is an enormous hassle. You have to arrive hours before the event begins to have a chance to get in. The lines move extremely slowly because the candidates use airport-style security. They give out way more tickets than they have room for.
Id be willing to pay to get an assigned seat to these events. Candidates could give the money to charity or their campaigns. If the seats arent filled, lets say, an hour before the event starts, you can give them away to standbys.
I was floored by the turnout for the Romney event. It has me thinking that he was a good shot at winning Virginia, a swing state. Well find out tomorrow after the ballots are counted.

Photo: 2012 election-themed packaging art by San Francisco-based artist Brian Singer.

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