The London Daily Mail reported at the time:
Finally nominated as the first black candidate for the U.S. presidency, he moved the Democratic Party Convention from the conference hall to an 80,000-seater football stadium for his landmark address.
His challenge was to turn his trademark soaring rhetoric into simple ideas to improve the lives of hard-pressed American families. But the Greek pillars of his backdrop prompted ridicule before he stood up to speak early today.
Well…ol’ Scooter’s drawing a few thousand less than that nowadays…
“At Obama fundraiser in Chicago. Admission only $51, but room is half full,” New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor wrote on Twitter.
The Romney campaign seized on Kantor’s estimate, as spokesman Ryan Williams tweeted, “Thrill is gone.” The Drudge Report also piled on, linking to Kantor’s tweet, which has been reposted by a few hundred others. (Kantor quickly followed up with additional tweets noting that only some tickets to the event cost $51 and that the campaign said the event was sold out.)
But the crowd for the afternoon fundraiser at the Bridgeport Art Center totaled 1,000, an Obama campaign official said – more than the 850-person estimate the campaign offered earlier in the weekend. Tickets for the Gen44 fundraiser, targeted at younger supporters, started at $51, but many were more expensive.
And, to this reporter and several others in the White House press pool, the room seemed plenty full. There was empty space at the back of the large warehouse space during and immediately after the president’s remarks, but the crowd was densely packed to get close to the stage at the front of the room where Obama spoke.
Meanwhile, the new Republican ticket fared a lot better:
The largest crowd of the campaign so far for a Mitt Romney event welcomed home favorite son Rep. Paul Ryan at a massive rally here in the congressman’s district Sunday night, pushing the GOP’s vice presidential nominee to tears as he took the stage, setting off cheers with two simple words:
With that, voice cracking, Ryan showed his Wisconsin credentials to a crowd the Romney campaign hopes will be emblematic of the charismatic congressman’s support in the Badger state, a reliably Democratic enclave the Republican candidate hopes to turn red this fall.
“My veins run with cheese, bratwurst, a little Spotted Cow, Leinie’s, and some Miller,” Ryan said, mentioning two well-known local beers. “I was raised on the Packers, Badgers, Bucks and Brewers. I like to hunt here, I like to fish here, I like to snowmobile here. I even think ice fishing is interesting.”
“I’m a Wisconsinite through and through,” Ryan said to cheers from a crowd which contained many members of Ryan’s extended family, and which the campaign estimated to be more than ten thousand strong, likely the largest turnout ever for a Romney event.
The energy generated by Ryan seemed to inspire the man at the top of ticket, who took on a heckler midway through his own remarks, then turned the moment into an indictment of President Obama’s campaign, who’s tactics have riled Romney in recent weeks.
Obama gives Ryan a double-edged welcome to the race
“You see young man, this group here is respectful of other people’s rights to be heard,” Romney said as the heckler was removed. “And you ought to find yourself a different place to be disruptive, because here we believe in listening to people with dignity and respect.”
“There’s no question but if you follow the campaign of Barack Obama, he’s going to do everything in his power to make this the lowest, meanest negative campaign in history. We’re not going to let that happen,” Romney continued. “This is going to be a campaign about ideas about the future of America. This is a campaign about greatness, about America’s future for your children, for the world. Mr. President take you campaign out of the gutter, let’s talk about the real issues that America faces.”
Romney and Ryan were introduced by two other leading figures in the Republican party nationally, both born and raised here in Wisconsin: RNC Chairman Reince Preibus and Governor Scott Walker, who recently survived a recall election and has become a rallying point for Republicans nationwide.
“Isn’t it great to have a cheesehead on the ballot?” Walker asked the crowd.
On Monday, Ryan will campaign solo for the GOP ticket for the first time, attending the state fair in Iowa, setting up something of a showdown in the Hawkeye state, with President Obama hitting the stump in Western Iowa then as well.
I echo the well-wishes of Former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin who wrote on her Facebook Page:
Congratulations to Mitt Romney on his choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. President Obama has declared that this election is about “two fundamentally different visions” for America. Goodness, he’s got that right. Our country cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama’s fundamentally flawed vision. We must now look to this new team, the Romney/Ryan ticket, to provide an alternate vision of an America that is fiscally responsible, strong, and prosperous – an America that understands and is proud of her exceptional place in the world and will respect those who fight to secure that exceptionalism, which includes keeping our promises to our veterans.
I really like what I’ve seen from this new team this past weekend.
Could we be approaching “Morning in America” again?