Riding with Obama – A final bump from “The Boss”

November 4, 2008

Reuters Washington staff photographer Jason Reed is traveling with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Barack Obama through election day November 4. He and his colleague Brian Snyder traveling with the McCain campaign are posting daily photographers blog entries sharing their experiences and favorite pictures of the day from their campaign coverage.

When people ask me what its like to cover a presidential election campaign, traveling with Democratic nominee Barack Obama over the past months, my standard reply is it’s like going to three or four rock music concerts a day, every day, for weeks on end. The adrenalin rush you get from the thousands of excited supporters in the crowd is infectious, even after a 14 hour day on the road and you are suffering a nasty case of severe sleep deprivation.

The rock concert analogy played out more literally on Sunday, as American popular music legend Bruce Springsteen headlined for Obama at a campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio. Throwing his support behind the democratic nominee, Springsteen fired up the crowd with some of his songs, most with a political flavor, ending his set with a spoken political speech accompanied to the strumming of his guitar.

In a few carefully chosen words, Springsteen summed up the historical significance of Obama’s campaign, and its unusual path from community organizer in Chicago, to a state senator, to U.S. senator, to possibly the next U.S. President.

Springsteen’s message drew a lot of emotion in the crowd, crystallizing the hopes and dreams of thousands who have followed Obama’s path in this election campaign which began an incredibly long 21 months ago, where he announced his candidacy for president in February last year.

The mini Springsteen concert was one of the more memorable rallies that I have covered in all the months that we have been on the road and it was great to get a front row seat to the spectacle. With one day until the U.S. presidential election, the excitement is infectious.

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