An absence of passion

President Obama is in Minnesota today to the mostly giant shoulder shrug of the state. He’s giving a speech in Golden Valley and raising money for his re-election campaign.

Whenever Obama visits the state, it’s very hard not to think about one of the most amazing sights in the history of Minnesota politics.

It was four years ago Sunday that thousands of Minnesotans lined up through the streets of downtown Saint Paul to hear then-candidate Obama speak at Xcel Center (relive it here).

It was clearly a moment of political passion which has pretty much disappeared. Were the expectations of what life would be like four years later realistic?

The unemployment rate in the country that evening was 5.5 percent. Today, the government announced, the unemployment rate jumped to 8.2 percent.

The stock market had closed down 100 points that day — the Dow was at 12,402.85, after opening 12,503. Today, the market opened a few hundred points below that, and tanked big.

  • Tom

    You’d think with greater unemployment more people would be able to make it.

  • Kevin Watterson

    Are you sure it was a Sunday? I’m pretty sure I saw the lines as I was riding home on the bus, and that would have been a week day. Could be I’m confusing it with something from the convention.

  • davidz

    It was a weekday, the last primary date of the season, in which Obama got his number to get the nomination.

    There was a Sunday rally at the Target Center, a few weeks away (don’t remember if it was earlier or later).

  • kay smith

    I remember well that day. My nephew and I hopped on a bus to downtown St Paul. At least we were smart enough to not drive and try to park. Checking out the line, we realized we wouldn’t get in so we stopped by the Liffy and had a beer, then went home to watch it on TV. And I’ll be voting for President Obama again in November.

  • Bob Collins

    // Are you sure it was a Sunday?

    It wasn’t a Sunday. It was a Tuesday. Sunday will be the 4th anniversary of the event.

  • Kevin Watterson

    In which I am too stupid to read good.

  • Robert Moffitt

    I think its fair to say that there is a lack of passion for the other guy among the GOP crowd in Minnesota as well.

    Passion for political candidates is a fleeting thing, and perhaps that’s a good thing. Put not thy faith in Princes, the Bible warns, and I think it’s good advice.

    Come November, we will make a choice between two very different men. I’m certain we wiill make the right choice.

  • jon


    I have faith, that come November they will be very similar men as they both fight for the votes in the center.

  • Cara

    My daughter excitedly tweeted today: “I just drove by President Obama”! She’s been collecting articles from newspapers and magazines about him since 2008. I think she’ll probably work on his campaign when she’s back at school in Wisconsin this fall.