I'm pretty sure everyone knows that the Boss did an appearance last week in Ohio with the Big Dog (or did the Big Dog do an appearance with the Boss? That's a tough call determining who was topping that bill!).
In any event, since Bruce was going to be here in Charlottesville for a concert Tuesday night at the JPJ (a concert that, unfortunately, I was unable to attend), there was hope we might see a similar rally here. Hey, the Boss was here, and we are a swing state, so...
And sure enough, the Obama campaign put out word this weekend that Bruce would do a free concert/get-out-the-vote rally at the Pavilion on the Downtown Mall.
Getting tickets on Sunday was easy enough, and on Tuesday, a beautiful Central Virginia autumn afternoon, me, Mrs. aznew, and Jonah, the most junior aznew (he's 12) headed down to the Mall. Sure, we had to pull him out of school early to get there in time, but we have our priorities straight.
I didn't have a great vantage point to judge crowd size, but based on other gatherings I've seen at the Pavilion, it looked like at least 3,000 to 4,000. The crowd was enthusiastic, but not necessarily political. Many people were clearly there just to see Springsteen, which of course was the idea behind the rally, namely, to deliver the "get out and vote" message to people who otherwise would not attend a political event.
Virginia doesn't offer early voting in the same way as Ohio - here in the Commonwealth, you need to have a reason for needing to vote early, you can't just do it as a matter of right - but volunteers were on hand to help people vote early if they needed to once the rally was over.
But, in truth, just planting the idea in people's minds will get some of them out to the polls on Election Day who otherwise might not go.
Much more on the flip, including video of the Boss
There were a number of speakers and videos before the Boss came on aimed at getting people to vote for President Obama, but finally, Gov. Tim Kaine came on to introduce Bruce. Before doing so, of course, he made short speech.
"I am here today to support the reelection of Barack Obama," Gov. Kaine said. "We're not just gonna make it happen. We're gonna make sure it happens not in spite of Virginia, but because of Virginia."
Folks, if President Obama wins Virginia, it is game, set and match. Simple as that. There is simply no path for Romney to win this election if he doesn't win Virginia. We may not be part of the President's so-called "firewall" in the mid-West, but we could have the privilege of perhaps being the state that seals Romney's defeat.
How great would that feel on Nov. 7?
But I digress.
I won't go into detail about the Boss' show, except to say that it was great. The set was basically the same one he did in Ohio with Clinton (if you saw that), except he seemed to have added a few more verses to the Obama campaign song he's been writing, and he substituted The River for Youngstown, for obvious reasons. So, the set was as follows:
Obama Campaign Song
We Take Care Of Our Own
My words couldn't do the show justice, but, Hell, they don't have to. Judge for yourself. Here is a video of the show, well worth a half-hour of your time if you can spare it - just some really beautiful, quintessentially American music here, courtesy of Obama For America:
Seriously, the fact that we have artists like the Boss who care so deeply for social and economic justice, and express it so profoundly, is one of the things that make me proud to be an American.
I am thankful to the Boss not just for writing and performing such beautiful music, but more importantly for caring enough about his country to put in the time and effort to appear at a rally only a few hours before he has to perform at a concert -- not a small or easy thing - to help President Obama get re-elected.
Here's how I see it. If Bruce can do this for us, the least we can do is take a small amount of time on Nov. 6 to make sure we all get out and vote.
But, in reality, that's not enough. Look, if you're reading Blue Virginia, I assume you're going to vote.
What we all need to do is to make sure all of our family members vote. We need to talk to our neighbors, and make sure that they vote. Talk to our friends, and make sure they vote. Talk to our kids teachers and make sure they go out and vote. E-mail people we have not e-mailed in years and say, "Hi. Hey, go vote, will-ya?"
Remember, if the President wins Virginia, he wins the election. It is as simple as that.
Ask yourself, do you really want to be referring to "President Romney" for the next four years? Do you?
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