On Friday, LatinoPoliticsBlog attended the “Moving America Forward” rally from the vantage point of the press riser at USC. This event started about two hours late, and the crowd was estimated to be at 37,500. I was amazed at the turnout, and for me, this event pretty much reinforced that President Obama and the Democrats are still very popular in Los Angeles. The crowd was diverse in ethnicity and age, and there seemed to be a mix of professionals, labor, and students from all over the greater Los Angeles area.
The event started out with Mayor Villaraigosa, who talked about the importance of voting on November 2. He talked about Los Angeles being a leader in progressive politics and said that its a city where one can find success no matter who his daddy is, or as in his case, if one doesn’t have a daddy or even if one has two daddies. He basically got the crowd pumped up for the parade of Democrats and then introduced his younger cousin, John Perez, speaker of the California Assembly.
Jamie Foxx emceed the event with some cheers to remind people to vote for the Democrats. Candidate for Attorney General Kamala Harris spoke, and thankfully, she gave a short speech. Since the event started late, the crowd was getting antsy for President Obama by the time Harris addressed the audience. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis spoke and reminded the crowd that they need to vote for the party and for the candidates who most approximates the needs for the future. Gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown spoke, and he was refreshingly brief and made a quip that the state doesn’t need Saudi or Texas oil because we have California sun. Senator Barbara Boxer followed Brown, and reminded the crowd that we need leaders who are fighting for the middle class. Boxer also stressed that “the other side” wants to take us back to Bush era policies. Finally, President Obama took the stage and spoke for about 15-20 minutes.
President Obama stressed that this upcoming election will be difficult and that the choice between voting for leaders who support his agenda vs. those who do not is a choice between hope and fear and moving forward or moving backward. Obama also made an analogy about Republicans driving the car into the ditch and said that you wouldn’t want to give the keys to the car back to people who got us in this ditch in the first place. The car analogy seemed to go over well with the crowd, but I have heard the President tell it before in other stump speeches.
Overall, this event was positive for the Democrats, but I think that the crowd logistics and event timing could have been better.
Photo credit: LatinoPoliticsBlog, California Speaker of the Assembly John Perez, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, and President Barack Obama.