Senator Hillary Clinton in Lorain, Ohio [photo by Jesus Crisis]
Tuesday 26 February 2008, my wife Geri, nephew Mike and I got up very early, undeterred by the winter storm warnings in our county, and stood outside for an hour and a half to attend Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall at Admiral King High School in Lorain, Ohio.  Once inside, we waited nearly three more hours (doors opened at 10, the event was scheduled to begin at noon, and we ended up beginning around 12:45).  But Senator Clinton, who was to debate Senator Barack Obama in nearby Cleveland that evening, though delayed through no fault of her own, was undeterred by the weather as well.

my nephew Mike and wife Geri near the front door of Admiral King High School [photo by JC]

Here is some video I shot in Lorain. It features not only Geri, Mike and me – but also an introduction by Lorain’s new Mayor Tony Krasienko and the first five minutes of Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Town Hall.

Unfortunately, since we were tightly packed in the bleachers, easily bumped around by the enthusiastic crowd, and seated behind the stage in a spot where the TV spotlight seemed to be aimed right at my camera lens, the video quality is not as good as I’d hoped.  And because I’m used to my camera being able to hold an insane number of hours worth of video on its internal hard drive, I didn’t think I needed to dump any video off of it before the event, and so I ran out of memory before the highlights of the Town Hall occurred.  (I won’t let that happen again!)  Still, it was a fantastic experience.  And I enjoyed being able to watch Hillary and the other participants with my bare eye this time, unlike in Lyndhurst when I viewed virtually the whole rally through my camera’s viewfinder.  I would have liked having a video record of the whole event, however….  Senator Clinton covered a few things in more detail than she did in Lyndhurst, responded well to the crowd’s questions, and left me even more satisfied that I’m supporting her.  Too bad she didn’t have an opportunity to go into such detail in the debate later that day….

Mike and me awaiting Senator Clinton [photo by Geri]

Unfortunately, because of the spotlight shining in our direction, I didn’t get any good photos of the action on stage. But I was lucky to get a few nice pictures at closer range before and after the Town Hall.

One thing I found interesting: although school was cancelled because of horrible weather (I believe we ended up with over ten inches of snow, by the time it was over), a surprisingly high number of high school students (my nephew one of them) considered it important enough to “go to school” this day anyway.  I applaud them.

Some memorabilia of the day [photo by JC]

I also applaud newly inaugurated Lorain mayor Tony Krasienko for being the primary person responsible for this event happening.  One of his priorities after taking office was to get the major presidential candidates to visit our area.  Democratic contender Barack Obama responded to his overtures by coming to Lorain on Sunday 24 February for a private meeting with workers at National Gypsum.  And of course Hillary Clinton responded by holding the Town Hall on Tuesday at Admiral King.

Senator Clinton after the rally, right before Mike got to shake her hand [photo by JC]

I failed twice to get Hillary’s autograph at the rally two weeks ago in Lyndhurst.  The first time a Secret Service agent moving through the crowd bumped my shoulder as I was handing her my banner, moving it out of her reach and causing her to grab and sign someone else’s instead.  The second time, as Hillary was exiting the room, I deferred to an elderly woman who was trying to get to her, and that woman ended up being the last person to get an autograph before the Secret Service ushered “the next President of the United States” out of the room.  At that rally I settled for getting some good photos and having the chance to barely touch Hillary’s shoulder (or, as I’ve joked, “the hem of her garment”) as she turned to leave.  But this time, in Lorain, I was honored to obtain her signature in my copy of her book Living History.  I hadn’t taken it with me the last time because I’d had no idea she would sign autographs.

Yep that’s my hand and copy of her book [photo by JC]

I swear I’ll never wash that book again!

All in all, it was a fun experience.  I was not quite as “in awe” as I was the first time I saw Senator Clinton.  But I was excited my nephew could experience it this time. I was thrilled that she autographed my book.  And I appreciated that she didn’t just repeat the same things she had said in Lyndhurst, but really seemed to go into greater detail about some of the issues.  You could tell that much of what she talked about not only made good sense, but also came straight from her mind and heart – not just from a rehearsed script.  I regret I wasn’t able to get video of a lot of that because of my camera memory issues.

But I did find this four-minute video of some highlights from the Town Hall on You Tube:

It at least fills in a few of the gaps my video left out.  But you really had to be there to get the whole story.

I also encourage you to read these Elyria Chronicle-Telegram articles about the Town Hall:

To view my two blogs about Senator Clinton’s inspiring rally at Brush High School earlier this month, please click the following links:
Icicles for Hillary (But She Warmed Us Up)
As Promised: More Hillary Rally Video and Photos

Other recent political blogs you might find interesting include:
Celebrity Lookalikes: Election 2008 Edition
John McCain says 100 years in Iraq is “fine with me”
Clinton/Obama – the Dream Team?
Wanna Be Like Osama?
Video: Dick Cheney says in 1994 that invading Iraq will lead to quagmire

Geri Mike and me at the Town Hall [photo by JC]

P.S.  Despite all the excitement, I’m still a bit bummed.  Why?  I had the opportunity to see Barack Obama early this morning in Columbus.  But with all the snow, we were unable to make the  two-and-a-half- hour trip to see him.  We’re still hoping he’ll have a public rally closer to Lorain County.

P.P.S.  I’m also bummed that I missed an opportunity to see former President Bill Clinton last week.  His wife’s campaign sent the invitation to my Road Runner e-mail address.  But I don’t check that one every day – and by the time I did so, it was too late.  Alas….  But all in all, it’s still been one hell of a heavenly week.  And I haven’t even gotten to Tuesday night’s Democratic debate in Cleveland!  Maybe you’ve heard enough about that already… lol.