Obama makes Splash in New Mexico

The EventCity Press Pass has now officially been “Politically” de-virginized, as the US Secret Service approved my coverage at this event. I was originally issued our official pass at this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show), which we covered in Las Vegas.

I attended the Barack Obama rally today in Espanola, New Mexico. The small town north of Santa Fe effectively doubled its population for the day! Not even the Convention and Visitors Bureau has done that! The proximity to Santa Fe brought out the local and Albuquerque media and well as the national press corps covering the campaign. Everyone I spoke to from the campaign had very nice things to say about New Mexico, and I must say it was a beautiful day and wonderful setting in the town’s plaza.

The 12,000 folks, largely Hispanic and Native American, were first greeted by NM Gov Bill Richardson and others before Senator Obama took the stage about an hour late. “My bus driver got caught up in the beautiful scenery” he quipped before delivering a riveting 35 minute speech. From my perch next to ABC and NBC television cameras, I had a great view of both Obama and the crowd. He looked relaxed, sounded strong and focused, and didn’t mention Sarah Plain once! What he did talk about was the economy and the recent wave of bad news, McCain’s assertion that the economy is fundamentally strong, tax credits, mortgage interest, jump starting the economy, restoring opportunity in America, education, tax cuts, health care and jobs. He covered a lot of territory, but one comment really stood out — “Destiny is not writen for us, destiny is written BY us…” Catchy. But more than that Obama seemed aware of where he was, who he was talking to, and what the issues were…very specific to time and place. And since it’s increasing clear that New Mexico is becoming an important swing state, Governor Richardson told the crowd that he’d deliver New Mexico to Obama….all 102%!!

Michael Handler