Sen. Barack Obama led another fan thrilled charge from his podium that railed against Wall Street and Washington for the current financial crisis. As we all know in Michigan, bad news relating to the economy is no new news at all. The state has the nation’s highest unemployment rate at 8.9%, more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs have gone under and the mortgage foreclosure rate is among the highest in the nation. So what is knew from the Obama campaign?
“We meet here at a time of great uncertainty in Detroit and all across America. The era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has led us to a financial crisis as serious as any we have faced since the Great Depression,” Obama said. “I know these are difficult days and nowhere has it been more difficult than Michigan and Detroit. But here’s what I also know: We can steer ourselves out of this crisis. Because that’s who we are. Because that’s what we’ve always done as Americans.”
“It looks like we have a rescue plan that includes these taxpayer protections. And it looks like we will pass that plan very soon,” Obama said. “But our job is far from over. Because now that we’re fixing the mess on Wall Street, we need to move with the same sense of urgency to help families on Main Street.”
As I drove up to the event traffic was already backed up. . To my benefit, know the city well so driving on side streets all the way up to the ceremony on Woodward was not hard, even with only 30 minutes to go. The temp was a cool 70 degrees or so as I parked my car in one of the many back alley ways of Detroit. People were talking here and there whether or not Obama would only speak for a few minutes like he did last time in Heart Plaza. I brought my video camera and still camera to fit both appetites that the media has for distribution. There was a great mixture again of people of all colors and ages walking in the direction of the large American flag draped over the famous street. I went up to a cop to see if he knew which direction Obama would be facing and he answered, ” Do you know what kind of question you are asking, I should arrest you”. Woah, ok, next cop. I could not see the podium through the trees on the DIA lawn so I asked that cop. I think he over reacted as there were about 70,000 people looking at an empty podium for an hour before Obama was to take stage. Being press you can go about anywhere you want to behind the scenes relatively speaking. I got there with only 30 minutes to go, signed in and was off to the stage with nobody in my way. When I wanted to get into the crowd though the volunteer kindly stated, “Only normal people are allowed in here”. Time to get creative. The biggest thing about shooting with photographers that have been in the biz for more years than I have been alive is to find the angle that is not taken and make the best of it. Now with over 200 press crawling around, that is a hard thing to do. But I managed with what I had. So I went medium high, close and super high, calling on my friends in the Park Shelton to open a window for me. I was the only “professional” photographer to shoot from that high up. From the podium area you could notice little men with big guns from every room in the surrounding area. No helicopters from what I could see.
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More to come later..