Former US president Bill Clinton came to a Democratic rally at the VCU Commons court last Sunday to give a speech in support of Obama. Virginia being a swing state these days, there is a lot more campaigning going on than before the last election, and I have to admit there is a selling point to in-person campaigning. Being used to everything in the world of politics happening pretty much on televesion I have seen and been a part of the overwhelming feeling of distance and irrelevance to politics among the young and the not-so-wealthy. Politics on TV is show-entertainment, popularity contest made epic, and with world order implications that we know of mostly from Comedy Central.
Now when somebody like former president himself comes to your university, stands right where you normally try to quickly munch some lunch on a windy day between classes, how can one not feel like all of a sudden your life is politically important and your vote is needed and all that. You see a political figure as a man of normal proportions and with physical limbs that he uses to shake hands and to point when he says something particularly crowd-pleasing.
The "humble" factor, the grass roots aesthetics will get you if the rhetoric doesn't. A party rally is a rock concert without music, and the crowd leaves with a sense of involvement. Is that sense an illusion, or the real thing which ends up moving social change one way or the other...?