Live from the Obama rally in Pueblo

Get your fresh updates on Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s rally in Pubeblo, Colo. More under the fold.

3:30 p.m.: What good would a rally in Pueblo be without a mariachi band?

(Photo/Jeff Bridges)
(Photo/Jeff Bridges)

4:18 p.m.: The grandstands and field fill quickly at the Colorado State Fairgrounds.

(Photo/Jeff Bridges)
(Photo/Jeff Bridges)

4:28 p.m.: Entertainment for the line-waiters

(Photo/Jeff Bridges)
(Photo/Jeff Bridges)

4:30 p.m.: The crowd breaks out “the wave.” Gotta love P-town.

(Photo/Jeff Bridges)
(Photo/Jeff Bridges)

4:43 p.m.: My first trip to the State Fair

I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but even though I lived in Pueblo while working on John Salazar’s race in 2004, I never made it out to the state fair. I didn’t have any trouble finding it, though, and neither did thousands of Obama fans. This place is packed!

The line just to get to the line went on for about a mile, snaking back and forth enough to make it at least a two mile walk. Still half an hour to go and I’m not sure where everyone’s going to fit. I went to see Kerry in 2004 at the train depot, and they had to fudge to make it look like more people were actually there. I suppose that’s just how Obama events work!

They’ve set up the stage where monster trucks, demolition derbys, and the rodeo usually entertain the masses during state fair time. I lucked out with a spot in the shade thanks to VIP tickets from my good friend and the next state rep from Pueblo Sal Pace. (In case you haven’t noticed, he’s kind of a big deal down here. I hope it doesn’t go to his head…)

Of course it wouldn’t be a rally in Pueblo without mariachi bands. There’s been at least 5 of them since I got here. Very nice.

We saw the big O on the back of Obama’s plane as it came in for a landing at the airport — lots of cheers. The motorcade just pulled up — even more cheers and chants of “Obama.”

This gonna be good!

5:01 p.m.: The Pueblo curse?

Every Democratic president has come through this town for at least the last 100 years. Contrast that with Grand Junction, who hasn’t seen a Presidential candidate since Truman. But GJ never killed one, either.

In 1919, Woodrow Wilson stopped through Pueblo on a tour through America to drum up support for his League of Nations. Apparently strained by trying to convince an isolationist nation to engage with the world (as if!), he collapsed on stage. It was later determined he’d suffered from a stroke that day, yet somehow managed to complete his last year in office.

Some say that Wilson’s wife basically ran the office of President post-Pueblo, and I know that personally I’d rather have Cindy McCain in charge than Palin. What a scary thought.

On a completely unrelated note, McCain’s father and grandfather both died before the age McCain’s at right now. And I saw a chart somewhere about the life expectancy of people diagnosed with melanoma. Not good.

Just saying, is all. I’m sure he’ll be fine. Congressmen get great health care. Presidents even better. I mean, Wilson somehow managed to serve out his term, right?

Colorado Independent’s blogumnist (blogger-columnist) Jeff Bridges has worked in Democratic politics for the last 10 years, serving as communications director for two congressional races in Colorado and two governor’s races in the Deep South. Bridges also worked as a legislative assistant in Washington, D.C., with a focus on military and small business issues.

Read Jeff’s latest commentaries.

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