The Obama rally

If Marion Gaborik could’ve remembered how to score goals, tonight’s Obama rally might be held in Rockford, Illinois instead of St. Paul. It’s unlikely, perhaps, that the Xcel Energy Center would be transformed from last night’s game (or what would have been last night’s game into a stage for tonight’s rally, even though, I suppose, it could have.

At 5 p.m., three helicopters were hovering near the arena, each taking turns for the prime airspace to deliver the money shot of crowds forming in time for the TV newscasts.

Laura Yuen’s story about the number of street peddlers outside the Xcel reminds us, again, that there’s money to be made in politics. And tonight, the big winners are, the telecommunications companies. An hour or so of wireless Internet access, for those who are live blogging, is going for $175, $400 for hard wired. With so many local TV and radio stations providing coverage tonight, and with so many telephone line and computer lines required, the media is spending thousands of dollars.

MPR’s Public Insight Network has set up a Twitter feed. I love Twitter, but I’m not convinced — yet — that there’s great insight to be had when covering, let’s face it, a pretty staged event.

As usual, I’m leaving the nuts-and-bolts of Obama’s speech to others. I’ll be talking to a few of the “regular folks” inside and outside of the arena. At the moment, I’m simply more interested in what they have to say. And you of course.