Early arrival encouraged for Obama rally

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 | 4:49 p.m. CDT; updated 5:47 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 30, 2008
Crews worked on Wednesday to set up the stage for Barack Obama's visit to Columbia on Thursday. The event will take place on the south side of Carnahan Quadrangle at MU near Rollins Street. The event will open at 7:30 p.m. and the rally is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m.

COLUMBIA — The preparations are well under way for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's Thursday night rally in Columbia.

By 11 a.m. Wednesday, beeping forklifts and flatbed trucks piled high with staging and barricades arrived at MU's Mel Carnahan Quadrangle to deliver setup materials for the campaign appearance, which is scheduled for 9:30 p.m.

Workers in black unloaded staging and other materials that will be set up as a perimeter around the quad, which lies between MU's Cornell and Hulston halls and between Conley Avenue on the north and Rollins Street on the south. The quad is flanked by gardens, and the Tiger Plaza fountain and statue is located at its southern end.

Jeff Winmill of the the Obama logistics team said the setup will continue throughout Wednesday and Thursday. The quad will be secured before the rally, and those who arrive early will have to wait outside the gates until officials begin letting people enter the quad at 7:30 p.m. This will allow the Secret Service to secure and sweep the area. Entrance gates, which will most likely be located on the quad's east sidewalk, will include metal detectors.

Winmill declined to estimate how large the crowd might be but said the number of RSVPs coming through the Obama campaign Web site is increasing by the minute.

Although MU Police Chief Brian Weimer suggested event-goers plan to arrive around 6:30 p.m., the Obama advance team acknowledged people will probably begin arriving much earlier.

The event is free and open to the public. Free parking will be available starting at beginning at 5 p.m. in MU's Turner Avenue, Conley Avenue, University Avenue and Hitt Street garages, and the campaign strongly suggests carpooling to the event.

Umbrellas and signs are not permitted at the event, and bags and personal items are discouraged, given that standing room will most likely be restricted. The weather should be relatively pleasant. The National Weather Service is forecasting a low of around 48 degrees Thursday night, with partly cloudy skies and a breeze of about 8 mph.

Some streets will be closed for the event. Missouri Avenue will be closed all day. Beginning at about 5:30 p.m., Ninth Street and Conley Avenue will be closed between University and Maryland avenues, and Rollins Road will be closed between Maryland Avenue and Hitt Street.

Phil Shocklee, director of Campus Facilities, advised in an e-mail that drivers try to avoid the South Quad area all day. The streets should be reopened late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

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Marlon Jordan October 30, 2008 | 6:56 a.m.

Looks like the poor folks are left out again. What does it mean to be an American? I don't know, but i know what it is like to be a human being. American capitolism is what this election is all about and the Americans don't care who they hurt or the damage to the earth they may cause, all they want to do is get rich with more automatic push buttons remote controls, synthetic genetics is in command and control of the American souls.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 30, 2008 | 7:09 a.m.

If you dislike being poor, do something about it.

You'd think that they would find some way to go see a man who wants to take even more money from successful, responsible people and give it to the lazy and irresponsible. But I guess if you can't get off the couch to go to work, you can't get off the couch to see The One, either.

(Report Comment)
Dana coats October 30, 2008 | 9:30 a.m.

Columbia is a bunch of materalistic idiots. I have an advance degree from UMC. I moved back here several years ago; I was hit head on by a drunk uninsured driver and since my return I have worked low pay jobs. When I needed dental care; it was too expensive. In Columbia it's about looks; not ability. I am unemployed and my ship has sunk. I need dental care to get a job; so Rand I pray you never have an illness that causes you a hardship. The middle class have died especially in this area.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 30, 2008 | 10:14 a.m.

Dana coats:

Do not listen to Ayn Rand as it is not the person's real name and they are to cowardly to post under their real name. They are only here to stir trouble and the Web Administrator should just ban them IMHO since they cannot use their real name to back up their creditability.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 30, 2008 | 10:14 a.m.

Marlon Jordan you are only left out if you do not show up.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 30, 2008 | 10:23 a.m.

Dana, if your story is true, then you deserve help. The kind of person who does not are those who refuse to take their meds, those who make up stories to get out of working and those who get hooked on drugs. Clean all of those deadbeats out of the system, and there should be plenty of money to help the truly needy.

By the way, wanting to keep the money you've worked to earn is not materialistic. It's greedy to stick your hand in someone else's pocket.

(Report Comment)
Old Dude October 30, 2008 | 10:29 a.m.

There will be two parallel lines to enter the event. Line "A" is for people that have a household income of more than $150,000 and line "B" for incomes less than $150,000. Everyone in line "A" will pair up with someone in line "B". The line "A" Patriot will gift $100 to the less fortunate person in line "B". The pair may then enter the event. Admission is free.

(Report Comment)
Emily Sussman October 30, 2008 | 1:18 p.m.

Back in the old days, when readers responded to newspaper articles by writing Letters to the Editor, signing one's name was mandatory.

I don't see why things should be any different now. If you believe in your opinions so strongly, why not account for them fully?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 30, 2008 | 3:25 p.m.

Looks to me like the Jordan family doesn't like being left out of the media and/or the action...

The heavy police response attracted a large crowd, and officers made two felony drug arrests, including Jordan’s son, 28-year-old Marlon D. Jordan, who was arrested on suspicion of second-degree drug-trafficking and obstructing a government operation.

(Report Comment)
Graham Johnston October 30, 2008 | 4:16 p.m.

Come on Missourian reporters, photographers and editors get in this story! Where are the slideshows, the video, the vignettes, the background? This is a great opportunity that just got dropped in your lap and you're letting it pass you by. Where are the community voices? Where are the local connections to Obama? Where's the "wow" factor in your coverage? You all need to start thinking about what goes online today, not just what goes in print tomorrow.
Graham Johnston
Wednesday Journal Inc. / Chicago Journals LLC
Manager of Internet and Technology

(Report Comment)

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