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Friday, February 8, 2008

Barack Obama at Seattle’s Key Arena

posted by on February 8 at 14:25 PM

Here’s the audio. And here are a few images:






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I think Osama is in that top picture, right below the sign with his name on it.

Posted by Scott | February 8, 2008 2:23 PM

Everyone is standing like at one of those mega-church prayer thyangies.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | February 8, 2008 2:23 PM

Yeah, that first picture with the accidental "Osama" banner is rather unfortunate. I fear that will show up on right-wing sites now.

Posted by tsm | February 8, 2008 2:27 PM

i think it's a fold in the paper. still, unfortunate.

Posted by skye | February 8, 2008 2:32 PM

The rally was awesome! Go Obama go.

Posted by puget sound octopus | February 8, 2008 2:43 PM

Scott and tsm, from your mouth to the clinton campaign's ear (or the republicans'). nice work -

Posted by get rid of it | February 8, 2008 2:48 PM

Biggest crowd ever for a primary rally. Saw a dude trying to bribe his way in for $200 cash. Landslide tomorrow.

Posted by Zander | February 8, 2008 2:48 PM

let's hope the Stranger removes it off of their website before it's distrubuted

Posted by apres_mois | February 8, 2008 2:48 PM

I was at Hillary's rally last night and Obama's rally today and I was more moved by Hillary's than Obama's—despite the fact that Obama filled an arena with 28,000 people had big flashy monitors playing Obama propganda, pop music playing, Obama beanies being thrown to the crowd, etc. Hillary seemed a lot more sincere.

Posted by Carollani | February 8, 2008 2:49 PM

Could someone please relay anything of what was actually said, rather than just giving each other blowjobs about how many people showed up?

Posted by Big Sven | February 8, 2008 2:50 PM

wow. they must have an awful lot of kool-aid.

Posted by jay | February 8, 2008 2:52 PM

Obama stopped outside and got a megaphone to give a speech to the at least 10,000 people waiting outside - after Key Arena was full - for about ten minutes.

He was maybe ten feet from me.

What I liked best is that the crowds grew and most people stayed even when - three hours into waiting - it started to rain.

Naderites, Conservatives, Moderates, Liberals - we were all there.

Fired up and ready to go!

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 8, 2008 2:53 PM

I know Eli said that there would be adio of the speech up soon but does any one know were to find video of the event? You tube has nothing yet and CNN took down their video at 2:00.

Posted by Brandon Dismuke | February 8, 2008 2:57 PM

Will, where were you standing to get this bonus speach? West side of the arena on 1st? I feel like people drive to the west side and use transit to come in thru the park on the east side.

Posted by Anon | February 8, 2008 2:57 PM

Will, where were you standing to get this bonus speech? West side of the arena on 1st? I feel like people drive to the west side and use transit to come in thru the park on the east side.

Posted by Anon | February 8, 2008 2:57 PM

I'm working on converting and uploading video now.

Posted by cut_here | February 8, 2008 2:59 PM

Never mind the "Osama" sign, there was a group of east African immigrants in head scarves directly behind Obama during the speech. The GOP oughtta have fun with that.

Can anyone who was there comment on the noise and energy in the room? I watched KING5's online feed, and the only sounds were patched directly from Obama's mic and the Key Arena sound system.

Posted by Joe M | February 8, 2008 3:00 PM

My sister was there. Said it was very hard to hear, and she had to stand - SRO, and she also said about 10,000 were left outside. She was one towards the last to get in, and she was in line fairly early, around 10 or so. But she's pretty excited and is going to caucus tomorrow. This is my apathetic little sister! See what 7 years of GWB can do to radicalize folks?

Posted by Tlazolteotl | February 8, 2008 3:10 PM

Go Hillary! McCain/Crist will beat Billary like a drum!

Posted by Ready for your beating? | February 8, 2008 3:12 PM

I couldn't get in and watched in on TV. Can someone tell me what "ERI's 4 Obama" means?

Posted by DOUG. | February 8, 2008 3:12 PM

Big Sven, why didnt you go?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | February 8, 2008 3:12 PM

The bonus speech was on the East side - he was on some steps at the SE corner of Key Arena.

You could tell he was showing up when barriers started moving that way and about 20 cops appeared in what had been an empty area before.

It was a pretty typical Seattle mixed crowd - you know, the kind you see for events that aren't just white - tons of little kids who had to leave early with their moms and dads part way thru the speech inside the arena.

Think the media taped it too - was maybe 8 cameras (TV) and mike/photo setups.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 8, 2008 3:13 PM

LOL thank you Sven

Could someone please relay anything of what was actually said, rather than just giving each other blowjobs about how many people showed up?

I didn't go but I'll tell you what he said.

HOPE HOPE HOPE change HOPE change change HOPE HOPE

oh, and HOPE.

Posted by Non | February 8, 2008 3:16 PM

@23, you forgot "CHANGE."

Posted by joykiller | February 8, 2008 3:19 PM

@22: There is nothing mixed about Seattle. A typical Seattleite is hateful, gazes at his/her navel, wants the government to do everything, and wants to tax everybody to death. You know, like all of you Obama & Clinton supporters.

Posted by You're all the same! | February 8, 2008 3:27 PM

um, 28,000 inside and 10,000 outside? I agree that the crowd was hugely impressive, but these numbers are crazy talk, no?

Posted by josh | February 8, 2008 3:30 PM

@22, in all of the Obama excitement I forgot to ask, how did the Mrs. Huckabee rally go?

Posted by Joe M | February 8, 2008 3:32 PM

No, he talked a lot about specific policies and the various candidates. It was fun! @25 - you must not go to mixed events like I do - you need to get out more and stop just going to events the Times and Stranger are pushing. Check out Rainier Valley and West Seattle sometime ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 8, 2008 3:32 PM

Sorry Will in Seattle, my question was obviously directed toward @25...

Posted by Joe M | February 8, 2008 3:34 PM

I went to the Obama rally and also Hillary's last night. For Hillary I was close to the front, just a few feet away. For Obama I was one of those outside treated to the megaphone speech and piped audio. There was no comparison between the two, in my opinion. Hillary was good, but it was a typical rally. With Obama there is something very special in the air. Something I have truly never seen before. It's a beautiful thing, and I am glad to be part of it. People are energized. Tomorrow I will caucus for Obama!

Posted by duncan | February 8, 2008 3:34 PM

as another has said -

GLAM AMD MORE GLAM, but will it work to win an election?

Hillary gave the best political speech last night thAt I have heard from anyone in 15 years. She has hit her stride, no bill, no little girl stories, just policy, plans and issues.

Amazing, and so emotional and personal she should get an oscar.

She will trample him in debates if she keeps it up. And she had the crowd in two minutes and on and on for forty more.

Obama is in for a fight. What a contest.


Posted by Larkin | February 8, 2008 3:35 PM

No, the police said only 18,000 inside - the crowds outside were originally on the East and West sides of Key Arena, but the one on the East side (think the water fountain area) grew a lot starting around Noon. No idea about what happened to the West side after noon - i got the number from a cop there at the time.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 8, 2008 3:35 PM


Yeah, and all of the Russell Johnsons of the world are soooooo much better!

"Give war a chance!"


Posted by Mr. Poe | February 8, 2008 3:38 PM

The speech was substantive, he gave examples on HOW to put that "hope" into action, HOW to change things, and why he can do it.

The speech addressed criticisms of his campaign and his style (both from the Right and from the HRC campaign), confronted them directly without hesitation.

The speech was inspiring, of course, and he himself mocked those who claimed his hopefulness and positivity was a weakness.

The speech was inclusive (mentioned gays several times, veterans several times, Republicans, Latinos, Native Americans, the rest of the world, everyone).

The speech was not too long.

The speech was direct, skillful, --and very "Presidential."

Posted by Andy Niable | February 8, 2008 3:43 PM

But Russell Johnson's so cute (if you stuck a sock in his mouth).

I met your Good Twin today, Poe.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | February 8, 2008 3:45 PM

WiS & Joe M, relatively speaking, Seattle is racially diverse. It is the whitest "big" city in the country. I don't like ANY of the candidates or parties.

Posted by You're all the same! | February 8, 2008 3:56 PM

Key Arena holds 18,000 and they were over capacity but I don't know by how much. I was hearing at least 20,000. I was outside and from where I was, looking back toward the fountain from the barriers at the top of the steps on the east side of the arena it was packed. I'd guess minimum 2,000, but it could easily have been 3,000 maybe more. I didn't go around to the west side at all so I'm not sure what the tally was over there. The numbers are probably

The crowd outside was pretty damn enthusiastic despite having been standing out there fora good 3 hours or more.

He talked about foreign policy, education, and healthcare. He also touched on environmental policy. His manner today was a little less "speechy" than some of the other events I've seen on t.v. which I thought was cool. He definitely spoke more specifically about his policy ideas and desires for the country, but he came off extremely friendly and human and wasn't uber preachy.

All in all I'm really glad I skipped work to go. It was totally worth braving the cold for.

P.S. It seemed like information on the caucuses has started to spread. I was there on my own but was listening in on other people and everyone around me seemed pretty well informed. It also seemed like Campaign volunteers were doing a great job covering the crowd to get the lookup info out to those that still didn't know.

Posted by Queen_of_Sleaze | February 8, 2008 3:57 PM

Correction on 36: is NOT racially diverse.

Posted by You're all the same! | February 8, 2008 3:57 PM

Wow. Obama packs em in like Joel Osteen.

Posted by Mahtli69 | February 8, 2008 4:00 PM

Man, that was sweet! My favorite part was when Obama's campaign staff handed out all of those "homemade" signs with catchy slogans to the people in view of the cameras. People weren't supposed to be allowed to bring in their own signs or banners, so it's great that they were provided. Made for such a pretty picture!

Posted by Lauren | February 8, 2008 4:16 PM

--@38, agreed Seattle is lily-white compared to other metropolitan areas, but the event attracted people from all races and colors in Seattle (and I even spoke to a Republican waiting in line).

I would wager it was a more racially diverse crowd than will attend the McCain event at the Westin tonight or Mrs. Huckabee in, ahem, Kirland...

Posted by Andy Niable | February 8, 2008 4:20 PM

It was brilliant.

Posted by Gitai | February 8, 2008 4:20 PM

@41, if it makes you feel better, I'm caucusing for Obama tomorrow in (North) Kirkland

Posted by Hooray | February 8, 2008 4:36 PM
Posted by Phil | February 8, 2008 4:41 PM


Had to work. I'm taking a redeye tomorrow night to go see my very, very sick Mom in MN.


Posted by Big Sven | February 8, 2008 4:47 PM

@43, excellent--and I'd bet you will statistically make a bigger difference than the Obama supporters like me crowding the Metro Seattle caucus sites.

Posted by Andy Niable | February 8, 2008 4:50 PM

Sigh. Please ignore the opinions of the naive, group-thinking Seattle-ites. I am an Obama supporter, but this was his bog-standard stump speech, and if you've seen Obama on the news more than once, you've probably heard about 80% of what he said today.

That said, he was a very good speaker, and had a few genuinely funny moments. I wouldn't go so far to say that he was "moving", but it was a very good showing nonetheless.

(Not worth waiting outside in the rain and cold for three hours, however. People here have lost their minds.)

Posted by A Non Imus | February 8, 2008 4:52 PM

Whoever said "Hillary seems more sincere" probably believed Hillary when she said she didn't know about Monica Lewinsky.

Also, anyone who is for Hillary, I'm you fall into the demographics that the media and pollsters target: lower education, older, low income?

Posted by Ann B | February 8, 2008 4:55 PM

No, Aislinn did both events and she says she's gonna caucus for for Sen Clinton.

Look, we can all disagree, we each bring different backgrounds and life experiences to this, and different candidates appeal in different ways to different parts of us.

Some are still undecided, some are for Obama, some are for Clinton - heck, we even had someone at the rally for Obama who waited the whole three hours and still decided she was going to go for Kucinich.

It's a choice.

Thank god we have such great choices this year!

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 8, 2008 5:05 PM

I would say about 20,000 inside Key Arena--capacity is 18,000 and there were people sitting on the steps and standing wherever they could fit. I heard around 3,000 couldn't get in. It was awesome. And #47, who thinks it wasn't worth waiting: I beg to disagree. As someone who has heard his stump speech before, I still think it was worth it. Just standing there (for about 3 hours) watching the line grow was amazing, and Obama did a great job. I agree with what #37 said, and would like to add that he once again showed just what a decent human being he is--there was a girl in the front who was passing out or something, and he stopped in the middle of his speech to ask someone to get her a chair and some water, even though it seemed to throw him off a little. Good guy, and he'll be a great nominee and President. (Yes that is based on policy, not just speeches...) Looking forward to the caucuses tomorrow!

Posted by Alena | February 8, 2008 5:09 PM

They say he is going to win tomorrow because one group of people who vote for him are educated people, and we all know washingtonian are smart ( home of microsofe , Boeing )Go washington. I am independent and i will vote for him when he comes to tx.

Posted by ruha | February 8, 2008 5:40 PM

They say he is going to win tomorrow because one group of people who vote for him are educated people, and we all know washingtonian are smart ( home of microsofe , Boeing )Go washington. I am independent and i will vote for him when he comes to tx.

Posted by ruha | February 8, 2008 5:41 PM

They say he is going to win tomorrow because one group of people who vote for him are educated people, and we all know washingtonian are smart ( home of microsofe , Boeing )Go washington. I am independent and i will vote for him when he comes to tx.

Posted by ruha | February 8, 2008 5:41 PM

@17: The energy was crazy wild. There were so many young people that were all very excited and riled up and instigating "the wave"—there was even a dance off between a girl with long brown hair dancing very rocker popstar-y in one section and another girl who was crumping in a neighboring section. I'm not even kidding. There was an actual dance off while we waited, the entire arena cheered them on. Everyone in there did a lot of waiting... probably 4 hours, so we definitely started getting restless. But when Obama eventually came out everyone erupted and refused to sit down. We were all pretty excited.

Posted by Carollani | February 8, 2008 5:45 PM

@48: No, I don't fall into the demographic. I'm young, college educated, and pretty comfortable financially. I'm voting for her because her policies laid out so much more efficiently and because she has a history of working hard (against the grain) to accomplish really great and important things. She has a lot of important relationships that will be very good for diplomacy and I just believe she's the right choice right now.

As for " probably believed Hillary when she said she didn't know about Monica Lewinsky." That's just ignorant and irrelevant. I was at both rallies and even though Obama is a very eloquent orator he didn't say anything that I haven't heard him say before. It was just another speech for him—that's the feeling I got. Hillary really spoke to the people of our region.

And again... her assistant is so hot.

Posted by Carollani | February 8, 2008 5:54 PM

Anyone notice when some lady was fainting and he was telling people to help her? How cool was that? :D

Posted by longlines | February 8, 2008 6:07 PM

I think it's really unfair to Hillary that Obama makes everyone so excited. He should really stop doing that! Why can't he give Hillary a break, and act more like a concrete cinder block?

This is so frustrating!

Posted by Gregor | February 8, 2008 6:39 PM

I have been at two Obama rallies - Hartford and now in Washington - and someone nearly fainted at both. I would be disappointed if this was a gimmmick orchestrated by his campaign - but I'll assume it was just coincidence. In Hartford I saw people crying during his speech - and I know that was genuine, as is the excitement he generates among a very diverse group of people.
I'd also have to add that both rallies were well-organized and under control, even though way too many people showed up for both. That's a sign that the campaign is well managed and speaks to Obama's ability to lead and put good people in key positions -- good skills to be able to demonstrate if you want to be President.
His comments at both rallies were very similar (the Hartford rally was Monday night)- maybe 85 to 90% the same. I thought he was actually a little more energized in Hartford and a bit more dynamic -- he seemed a bit fatigued today, but I don't think anyone noticed and I only did because I could compare the two appearances.
Obama's Hartford rally, I believe, made the difference in the CT primary. He got lots of air time as Hillary's appearances in CT the same day drew 100 and 1,100 people. He won Tuesdays primary by 4 percentage points. I can only imagine that the effect in a caucus state will be even more dramatic.

Posted by Jerry | February 8, 2008 6:43 PM

Carollani, one of the things I like and find refreshing about Obama is that he speaks more to the nation as a whole instead of more specifically to each region. He is running to be president of all of us after all and doesn't seem to do too much pandering.

and Jerry,I was at the Obama rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis and no one fainted or even came close. Coincedence combined with long waits, hunger and other factors I'm sure.

Posted by speckles | February 8, 2008 7:11 PM

@49 Some are still undecided, some are for Obama, some are for Clinton - heck, we even had someone at the rally for Obama who waited the whole three hours and still decided she was going to go for Kucinich.

uh, kucinich isn't running anymore!

Posted by skye | February 8, 2008 7:56 PM

Okay, aside from the passion of the moment polarizing some Hillarians and Obamatons, as a life-long democrat who reluctantly and unenthusiastically cast his first vote for Mondale, then again just as boringly for Dukakis, etc--it IS good to step back and apprecate our party's embarassment of riches this year, our choice between The Greater of Two Goods, two very qualified and passionate people.

And then I step forward and look at poll after poll (and anecodtal evidence all over the place) documenting Obama's wider support among Independents and Republicans, of the Christianists' and Wingnuts' consolidating (and fundraising) passion against their political antichrist, Hillary...

and go to caucus tomorrow for a winner not just for the blue patch of Washington I live in, but a winner for the Democrats, for the country, and for us all.

Hope to see you all there, putting your commentary passions into political actions.

Posted by Andy Niable | February 8, 2008 8:01 PM

@55 Which policies would that be? Name one major or even minor controversial (i.e. one that Republicans actually opposed) issue that Hillary has successfully fought for. Hillary may have a long history of fighting Republicans but it is a long history of losing to them. We don't need to elect a known consistent loser to the Republicans, we need to elect a person that has successfully managed to get controversial issues passed.

Issues like the most sweeping Campaign Reform in the last 40 years. Then there is the fact that Obama was able to spearhead significant health care legislation while in the Illinois Senate, unlike Hillary who failed miserably due to her arrogance and refusal to divulge who assisted in writing the legislation (similar to how Dick Cheney crafted his Energy Bill.) Also, Obama has already successfully changed Washington DC's pork barrel politics by passing Transparency legislation that allows people to see exactly who is and how much money is spent in regards to earmarks.

The most striking difference between Hillary and Obama is one of style. It is that difference that people need to decide upon when selecting who will be the next President. Do we want a person that arrogantly refuses to admit her mistakes and denies that there is anything wrong or do we want a person that acknowledges when he made a mistake and works to rectify it. Is it better to have someone that consistently ignores advice from anyone that isn't her chosen few or someone that will listen to and address anyone, even if they aren't a friend. One that believes that the ends justify the means (no matter how vile the means are) and that winning, no matter what the cost and who gets hurt, is the only thing that matters or one that believes that how you achieve your objectives must be just as noble as the cause and that it is better to win by convincing your opponents that it is in their best interest to let you win.

Posted by Michael Caine | February 8, 2008 8:54 PM

For those who weren't present: Obama gave a good speech and the crowd ate it up.

But to tamp down the hype, it should also be said that the content was basically boilerplate democratic stuff. Also, I share @58's observation that he seemed a bit tired. How could he not be after a year of solid campaigning?

Still, I remember attending rallies for that firebrand Mondale in '84 & the equally inspiring Dukakis in '88. Those crowds were also plenty 'fired up & ready to go'; too bad the candidates were such sad sacks. But 20 years later, I think Obama has the gifts to justify the enthusiasm.

Posted by Andy M | February 9, 2008 1:00 AM

* [new] Lousy sound in The Key (0 / 0)
Anyone else who attended the rally in Seattle yesterday notice the sound system? For whatever reason, I think the whole event was piped through a PA down around the stage. The house PA they use for basketball games and such was silent. I've been to Sonics games and noticed a huge difference in volume and quality at the rally yesterday. Like, there was no sound coming through the banks of speakers up around the big TV/scoreboard in the middle of the arena.

I wonder if the sound system is owned/controlled by the Sonics or someone other than the city of Seattle/Seattle Center, and the Campaign wasn't able to plug into it for some contractural or technical reason.

Or, jumping to conspiratorial conjecture: maybe the Sonics ownership wouldn't let the Obama campaign use the sound system, because the new owner from Oklahoma, Clayton Bennett, is a Reep who gave money to Guiliani, Bush, George Allen, and a bunch of other wingnuts.

Bennett's (mostly) Republican contributions:

Posted by AmbientBuzz | February 9, 2008 11:21 AM

I made the OBAMA sign. you can tell its folded

Posted by olivia | February 10, 2008 4:45 PM

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