Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Orangeburg, SC Hurry up and wait...

So we're now in Orangeburg which is about 2 1/2 hours from Conway, where we were earlier. It's not too far from Columbia and is home to South Carolina State University.

That's where Barack Obama is holding an event tonight with singer Usher, actress Kerry Washington and now we're being told actor Chris Tucker.

Now let me tell you covering Obama is a completely different story than the Republicans and even John Edwards. He has secret service protection. That means we have to get here super super early and go through long lines to get all of our equipment checked. Once we do that we get inside and then sit here like we are about an hour and a half before the event starts.

There is clearly a buzz and excitement on the campus and in the basketball arena where the event will be held.

I talked to a number of students who claim they are here to see Obama and not Usher. There are gates up everywhere and it looks more like a concert scene. This is one of several stops at universities in South Carolina for Obama as he tries to catch the younger, independent vote.

It should an interesting night. For now, we hurry up and wait!

UPDATE: The event was supposed to start at 8:00. It's 8:35 and it's clear we're not starting anytime soon. Don't get me wrong, we haven't seen an event start on time since we crossed the state line but this is really late. The problem is likely that he has been a few minutes late event after event and it added up to being really late here.

Another note on the security. At the Republican's events and John Edwards' events we wait to get them coming off the bus and are free to roam anywhere in the room to shoot video. Here, we can't move off of a riser. Just another change this week as Obama and Clinton have Secret Service. The crowd is hyped though. A church choir sang earlier and revved everybody up.

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