This week I was privileged enough to see Barack Obama, the President of the United State speak in the town I am currently living in. Now before we dive too far into the details of what it actually took to see him, let’s get a few things straight.
Seeing Mr. Obama has nothing to do with my political affiliation. I would have gone and seen any of our presidents’ speak if they were here, even a Republican. We are talking about the leader of our country here, and whether or not you agree with everything he (or maybe sometime in our future, she) says, having the opportunity to see them in person is a privilege every citizen should appreciate.
It was a big deal for the president to be coming to Boulder, Colorado. While he was inaugurated just down the road in Denver, it was the first time he visited this city in 58 years, and most people were not going to miss out. When public tickets went on sale at noon on Monday, I was lucky to run into a friend standing about #600 in line, an hour before they even went on sale. While it turned out that (almost) everyone got a ticket that wanted one, it was just a forbearing to the chaos that was to ensue the following day when the actual event was taking place.
While the tickets were handed out in allotments during different times to students, faculty, and the general public, getting into the actual arena was a whole different animal. By the time I showed up an hour before doors opening, the queue for the 11,000-plus ticket holders snaked around most of the University of Colorado’s campus. It would not be another hour until I would move again, and another two hours of walking in line before we would reach the security checkpoints.
Here is where my only frustration of the day came in, while CU handed out enough tickets to make the arena looked completely packed, they did not account at all for the hundreds of people that would end up with blatantly awful viewing angles. I sadly was one of those people, seated a mere ten rows… from the back of the stage. As I said after we had taken our seats, I guess you go to hear the president speak, and watch on TV to actually see him.
After about another hour wait, checking Twitter to see he has stopped of on ‘The Hill’ for some dinner and handshaking, the president made his appearance. Without going into details of his speech, the one thing I could notice is that he was quickly switching into campaigning gear. While it did not take away from his speech, it further proved that sadly most of any politicians time is spent campaigning, rather then entirely focusing on trying to get something done. Nonetheless, he spoke a lot of truths about student loans, and how the status quo for the millions of us that would like to, are currently, or have completed higher education is not good enough for our country.
That said, will I vote for Mr. Obama in this year’s election? Probably yes. I agree with many more of his positions and policies that I do with Mr. Romney. Nonetheless, no matter what president decides to make a stop in Boulder next time, I will try my best to be there.