Documentary Photography

Obama Texas 2008

Documentary Photography

It is rare for presidential candidates to campaign in Texas: The nominees for both parties are usually already chosen by the march primary, and the state is too red for either party to spend time and money there during the general election.

2008 was different with the two Democratic candidates in a dead-heat, and I had the opportunity to cover three Barack Obama Rallies in Dallas/Fort Worth.

There were two events in Dallas: a small rally
that did not include an appearance by Obama and a big rally that did include an

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appearance by Obama.

The turnout was impressive at Dallas Reunion Arena. I've worked a lot of crowds, and I put this one between 20,000 and 25,000. When I walked into the nearly filled 18,000 seat venue- at the last minute- I had just come from the line in the parking garage, and there were at least 5,000 people still waiting. (I heard 2,500, but I put it higher.)

The next week Obama filled the Fort Worth Convention Center. I had too much photo gear to get in this rally.

Imagine drawing crowds like that in a state where a Democrat has not won a statewide election since 1992!

Republican John McCain's campaign events were not open to the public.

Hillary Clintion spent more time focusing on South Texas, and I missed her North Texas appearances because I did not know about them. After all, I am an independent documentary photographer and do not have a large news agency behind me.


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