Obama draws 80,000 at Cleveland rally

Sarah Nusinow

People watch rally from business windows in city

While approximately 73,000 fans cheered for their beloved Cleveland Browns against the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, 80,000 Obama supporters celebrated nearby as Bruce Springsteen and his wife, along with Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama at a rally.

“Just two more days,” Obama said. “We can change this country and prove that we aren’t as divided as our politics suggest.”

The vibe was one of excitement and support. The crowd spread beyond those standing at stage level to people watching and listening from windows of surrounding businesses. “Yes we can” rang through the city.

Reporters from France, Ireland, Switzerland and Japan said they were happy to be part of this election because of its international impact.

From newspapers to radio stations, students to professional journalists, the world was well represented in downtown Cleveland last night.

“We’re really on the map for once,” one reporter said as Obama and his family took center stage.

With the entire world watching and listening, Obama didn’t miss a beat during his speech. And as it unexpectedly started to rain, he laughed and said, “Just two more days of these clouds. Change is on the way. A little rain never hurt anyone.”

“It’s so powerful, what Obama says,” Shaker Heights resident Kelly Bhatnugar said after the rally. “Especially as a minority woman – it’s just so powerful.”

Cleveland resident Theresa Beard said she was touched by Obama’s attention to fairness and is looking forward to tomorrow when she can head to the polls and vote.

“Fairness for all is so important and the pursuit of happiness for all, too,” she said. “It’s a terrible thing to waste the mind just because you don’t have enough money, but Obama, well, he won’t let that happen.”

Contact public affairs reporter Sarah Nusinow at [email protected].