Obama in Harrisonburg – Updated

Emmy -- October 25th, 2008

This has probably shown up on some other blogs already, so I apologize for the delay. Jeremy mentioned the rumor in another post, but Obama will in fact be in Harrisonburg on Tuesday the 28th. I spoke with some non-local campaign workers this afternoon and I’m expecting a call once everything is finalized. It appears that the event will probably be at the Convocation Center but the time was still up in the air. I will update as soon as I have more information.


Oct. 25, 2008

Barack Obama to Hold Change We Need Rally in Harrisonburg Tuesday

RICHMOND, Va. – U.S. Sen. Barack Obama will hold a Change We Need rally Tuesday at James Madison University. It will be Obama’s ninth trip to the commonwealth since the end of the primary campaign.

In Harrisonburg, he will lay out his plans to jump start the economy, provide affordable health care to Virginians and make college more affordable and contrast his vision for America with John McCain’s plans for four more years of the same failed policies of the last eight.

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, though, an RSVP is strongly encouraged.  To RSVP, please visit www.VA.barackobama.com.

Details of the event below:

TUES, OCT. 28, 2008

Harrisonburg, VA


James Madison University

Convocation Center

Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Media Pre-set: 12:00 to 12:30PM (Equipment must be dropped at the site by 12:30PM; media will not have access to their equipment from 12:30 to 3:15PM)

Media Access: 3:15PM

Doors Open: 3:15 PM

Program Begins: 5:15 PM

Throw: 50ft

Cable Run: 500ft

Live truck parking: Lot B (Directed on site)

Media Parking: Lot B

Press Entrance: Gate A

Internet will not be available on site.

Workspace will be available on site.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required but an RSVP is strongly encouraged. To RSVP please visit www.VA.barackobama.com. Seating is limited, first come, first served.

Media Coverage: The event is open to the press. For credentials, please visit www.barackobama.com/mediarsvp.

For logistical and planning purposes only, please contact Nicole Lynch at 917-673-0652 or nlynch@obamaforamerica.com.

***For security reasons do not bring bags or umbrellas and please limit personal items.  No signs or banners allowed.***

Additional Update from JMU


HARRISONBURG, VA – Due to the increased volume of traffic expected in conjunction with Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign event at James Madison University on Oct. 28, motorists are advised to plan ahead and allow extra time during their afternoon and evening commutes.  Individuals are strongly encouraged to use public transportation throughout the day.

Traffic is expected to be particularly heavy along the Port Republic Road, Reservoir Street and University Boulevard corridors all day.  Additionally, motorists traveling on Interstate 81 near exits 245 and 247 should prepare for delays.  Harrisonburg City Transit buses will operate on a regular schedule.

For those planning on attending the Obama event at JMU, a limited number of parking spaces near the Convocation Center will be available on a first come, first served basis beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Once the Convocation Center lots are full, University Boulevard will be closed to thru traffic between Carrier Drive and Oak Hill Drive.  (Forest Hills residents should display their FHR permits for access to the neighborhood.)

Sections of Bluestone Drive on the main campus may be subject to periodic closures or limited directions of travel.  South Main Street and Cantrell Avenue and other surrounding thoroughfares will experience high volumes of traffic.

Normal parking regulations will be enforced on the JMU campus, with the exception of the Convocation Center lots, throughout the day.

Overflow parking is available at Regal Cinemas and K-Mart, both off of University Boulevard towards East Market Street.  Public transportation to the Convocation Center from these satellite lots will begin at 1:30 p.m.

For those unable to access the Convocation Center, alternate viewing locations of Sen. Obama’s visit are available in the Godwin Gym and the Ballroom at the Festival Conference and Student Center.  An additional alternate location will be outside the Convocation Center on the University Recreation Center (UREC) soccer fields.

No backpacks or umbrellas will be allowed into the Convocation Center.  Concessions will be available once inside the event.

112 Responses to “Obama in Harrisonburg – Updated”

  1. But doesn’t the Convo center only hold 6,000? Is it possible that if 20,000 respond, they’ll move it to Bridgeforth?

  2. Emmy says:

    I asked about the stadium and they were worried about weather. I’m sure its a safety concern too. I think its going to be a matter of spending half the day in line if you want to be one of the lucky ones in the building.

  3. I think the Convo Center can hold about 10,000. Obviously the best thing to do is get there early!

  4. Christa says:

    Frank, well said and I agree with you 100%. I have never understood why some people dislike one another because of their politics. Emmy and I are GOOD friends and she is VERY liberal and I am VERY conservative. It’s what makes things interesting. There are no better people in this county than Lowell and Dianne. I love them both…their girls too!

  5. Emmy says:

    I think 10,000 is about right.

    On a side note, I just got a text from the campaign about the event.

  6. This is a great time to be an intelligent, compassionate prgressive!

  7. Convo Center holds 7,612 according to JMU’s Web site. In Salem, they just moved Monday’s Palin rally from the 8,000-seat Civic Center to a 20,000-seat stadium. Could not this happen in Hburg? Or are they concerned about keeping the football field in good condition for Saturday’s homecoming game? I heard earlier today that football practice had been moved, but I don’t know how reliable the source is or from where to where practice had been moved. Is is possible that Bridgeforth has been reserved and they’re just not saying so. If it’s at the stadium, I and many other parents will take our kids out of school to stand in line for this once-in-a-lifetime event. But if’s at the Convo Center, and you have to get in line at 6 a.m. to get in, we’ll probably not even try to go. Bummer.

  8. Emmy says:

    I don’t know Deona, perhaps they are reserving the stadium in case of a higher turnout. I’d love it if they did that because then I’d have a better shot at seeing him. The guys I talked to today did not give me any indication that they’d be using the stadium, but I suppose that’s not something they’d really tell me. I’d love it if enough people RSVP’d and they moved it to the stadium.

  9. republitarian says:

    You can always get press credentials if you’re a member of the media….that way you don’t have to stand in line……

  10. Renee says:

    I sure hope they have a backup plan at a larger location, because I know people will come from all around to attend this, and on top of the thousands of JMU students that can camp out there all day, I hope they put it in a big enough place that everyone that wants to get in can.

  11. Dave Briggman says:

    Yeah, please…the last time Obama drew 20,000 was back in the summer when everyone was fainting at his rallies…


    (Remember what I wrote about taking showers when I’m around crowds of Dems? One couldn’t have written a better URL to support my statement).

  12. K says:

    Does anyone have good information about the process of early voting? Where does one go? Are there rules about qualifying for early voting? For example, I believe I read that a registered voter may only vote early if he or she would qualify for voting by absentee ballot? Any insights?

  13. Renee says:

    Dave, he just drew 30,000+ in Loudoun County in the last week.

  14. Renee says:

    K, I heard that though there’s no official “early voting” in Harrisonburg, there are places where you can fill out an absentee ballot in person. Hold on, let me find a link….

    Here we go:
    1) In Person
    An application completed in person shall be made not less than three days prior to the election in which the applicant offers to vote and completed only in the office of the local general registrar. The applicant shall sign the application in the presence of a registrar or the secretary of the electoral board.

    I believe the correct place to go would be the Municipal Building downtown:
    City Municipal Building
    345 South Main St.
    Harrisonburg, VA 22801

  15. Emmy says:

    We get it Dave, you don’t like Obama. You don’t like Democrats. You don’t like liberals. We’re all clear on that. You disappear for long periods of time and then come here only to be negative. You’re allowed to do that, but don’t you ever get tired of being so grouchy. I’d be happy for you if you were going to see Barr.

  16. Briggman,
    You do understand how foolish you look here, right? You sound like a whinny kid. You must be hating life. Isn’t there some sort of hate spew going on over at your website(s) that are more of your liking?

  17. Dave Briggman says:

    I think Barack Obama is a gifted speaker…even a dynamic speaker.

    What I don’t get is how a bunch of people who I consider to be fairly-well informed, if not fairly-well educated, could vote for a man who associates freely with domestic terrorists, espouses nothing but socialist policies, attended church for 20 years under a minister who espoused black liberation theology…

    I mean, come on…out of a 40 minute or so speech, Obama fills the air with 8 minutes of ahs…the kind of ahs you get when there’s nothing moving around through the grey matter between one’s ears.

    Our rights and freedoms have greatly eroded under the dunce we have in the White House…the national debt now exceeds $11 billion…in large part because the Democrats in charge of both the House and Senate banking committees killed any hope of regulating Fannie & Freddie…and you people want a community organizer who was in the U.S. Senate a grand total of 143 days before he announced his campaign for president?

    You don’t get a lot more stupid than to want to vote in McCain…but, in my opinion, voting for Obama qualifies.

    You know, you people ought to be thinking about what happens to this country should the polling data be as accurate as it has been and Obama loses…

    Large numbers of the people you will have stood beside at the poles will likely be trying to kill YOU. (Read: James Carville, Paul Begala, etc.)…we will have riots…and I hope I won’t be in a position to say “Told you so.”

    This is the FIRST election since I began voting in 1984 that for the good of the country, I’m going to be unable to vote for the candidate I believe would act in the best interest of the country…this year, I have to vote for the lesser of two evils: McCain-Palin…because this country will swing back so far right in the event of an Obama election that people like Mark Obenshain and Bob McDonnell would feel right at home at all levels of government and we’ll be just as bad off.

  18. Dave Briggman says:

    Actually “Valley Progressive”…I don’t want your presidential candidate…sue me…I don’t have have to join in with you and your Obama buddies and your raging erections for this empty shell of a socialist/marxist man.

    Mark Warner for Senate, OK…I’m voting for him, Mark Warner for President, yes, I’d vote for him as well.

  19. Briggman,
    Again, I repeat, don’t you understand? I’m not going to thake the time or enegy to argue your accusations about Obama. Thry are old, stale and have been debunked as ludicrous weeks ago. I know though that the McCain desperate want to hold on to their hatred so they re-hash tired and false allegations. I know it makes you feel better. This silliness is exactily why McCain lost the election.

    The fact is you don’t have to “want” my candidate, you got him. And he will make your life better whether you want it or not.

    As for the socialist comment? PLEASE, your current president just pushed thru the biggest socialist package in the HISTORY of the US. So back off.

  20. Renee says:

    Dave, you said: “What I don’t get is how a bunch of people who I consider to be fairly-well informed, if not fairly-well educated, could vote for [Obama]…”

    I’d like to share my 3 main reasons I’m voting for Obama (and there are a LOT more), and yes I consider myself to be a well-educated person:

    1. Economy/Healthcare/Small Business – I’ve personally had issues getting individualized health insurance since I work for a small business I co-own, and I have a “pre-existing condition” (which I’m not being treated for and to me should be irrelevant to coverage). The insurance I have is not cheap, and it sucks. We’ve needed major changes in the health care system for a long time since what we get is not worth what we citizens pay into it, to me. There are people struggling with economic and employment issues beyond health care costs, and I think Obama’s plan is better for this country than McCain’s.

    2. Education/Science – Our country is sliding in the world in education, scientific output, and technological advances. I think teachers should be paid more and students should be educated better in K-12 public schools. There are solutions to these problems, and I believe Obama is going to implement the right ones. We also need to make sure to fund scientific research so America can generate the newest best technologies as our civilization continues to advance. Solving our educational problems will also lead to solutions in a lot of other areas, too.

    3. Foreign Relations – I think a lot of the world doesn’t like America – for many reasons. I think our “doctrine” for the last 8 years has perpetuated, if not inflamed, Anti-American sentiments. I also think there are a lot of places in the world where our country could make a gigantic difference where innocent people are dying, that as a country we are generally ignoring. I think Obama’s approach of being open to discussions with world leaders, on top of his calm and understanding demeanor, will help improve the world’s view of us, as well as move forward in a way that benefits our country and the world. I don’t have confidence in McCain’s foreign policies or how he will interact with other world leaders.

    There are many more reasons I don’t like McCain’s policies and many more reasons I do like Obama’s. You can compare each candidate’s stances on the issues for yourself at their own websites:

    To me, the concerns you raised are all either ignorant or irrelevant. I do believe both major party candidates are good men as individuals, though I think McCain’s positive qualities have been lost in the muck of his campaign lately. I just don’t trust McCain or agree with his policies. Despite your misgivings, I believe Obama to be the more truthful, more caring person of the two, and I trust him to lead us toward a better future, protect our freedoms, keep “we the people” involved in government, and represent us to the world – which is what I look for in a U.S. presidential candidate.

  21. Renee says:

    You also said, “You know, you people ought to be thinking about what happens to this country should the polling data be as accurate as it has been and Obama loses… Large numbers of the people you will have stood beside at the poles will likely be trying to kill YOU. (Read: James Carville, Paul Begala, etc.)…we will have riots…and I hope I won’t be in a position to say “Told you so.”

    And yes, I agree with you that there will be major protests and our country will have a crisis if Obama is way ahead in the electoral vote predictions by every polling organization on election day, then he doesn’t get elected. And I think there should be.

    I’m still not sure I fully understand what you’re point is there, though.

  22. [comment deleted for violation of guidelines — no name-calling]

  23. Renee says:

    Yeah, I was attempting to respond without dignifying his remarks, while still intelligently answering his question of how an educated person could vote for Obama. I know everyone has their reasons, so I shared mine. I’d like to hear other local people’s real reasons for voting for their candidate, too.

  24. Actually I think your reasons pretty much sums it up, adding to that how badly america needs change even when the scaredy-cats resist it. The operative word here is obviously “educated.”

  25. Draegn88,
    Don’t you think that some of this is paranoia and some of it is trying to be overly prepared because of the political repercussions that any police force caught offguard would incur?

  26. Draegn88 says:


    I think some of it is due to people wanting to cover their assets as they do not know what to expect. If there are riots either celebratory or vindictive will Obama pardon them or condemn them?

  27. Renee says:

    Draegn88, I’m sure Obama will denounce any riots/violence.

    I’m not that worried about it, and it’s not going to affect how I vote. I just pray that everyone that is eligible to vote and registered gets a chance to vote, and that voting machines work well, and that everything goes smoothly on election day so whoever wins or loses, no one can say the election wasn’t fair.

    And if Obama is way ahead in the polls that day, then loses, our country will either have to seriously evaluate its voting and registration processes and voting machines, or seriously evaluate any psychological or bias reason that so many people would tell pollers they would vote for Obama, then on election day, not cast that vote.

    My hope is that everyone that is registered to vote does vote, that everyone who wants to vote can, and that the votes are counted properly.

  28. Draegn,
    I see your point. It is sad if that’s truly the case though. Do they really think that his election could cause more chaos than what is going on right now with the economy and stock market? As for Obama’s position, as a man of change and reconciliation, I hardly doubt that he would condone such behavior.

  29. Dave Briggman says:

    Of course, it’s Obama and his financial advisors as well as fellow Dems in the House and Senate which caused and profited off of the current financial chaos in the first place, huh, Progressive?

    The name Frank Raines mean anything to you? He grabbed $90 million over six year in Fannie Mae…now’s he an advisor to BO.

  30. David Miller says:

    Briggman, don’t start with the holyer than thou junk. Who’s McCain’s top advisor and for whom did he work until about a month ago? How much was he paid for “access to McCain”?

  31. Miguel Luis says:

    Obama, is not only the best candidate to be president for USA; he is also the man, who will bring the real change for the world. Obama my vote is for you. Because you alway said the thru and i feel you will be the best president for america and for the world. God bless you.

  32. Briggman,
    Nice try repeating a McCain smear that was debunked months ago.
    The non-partisan fact-check website Snopes.com looked into these smears, and their conclusions about Barack and the Fannie Mae executives shouldn’t be surprising: “None of them has (or apparently ever had) ongoing roles with the campaign as chief economic advisors.”
    As for Raines personally, Frank Raines himself even released a statement saying that he is “not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters.”

    Just another republican lie. Not surpisingly you have no problem with your candidate being one of the “Keating Five.”

    Lastly, If you truly believe that this economic fiasco is due to the do-nothing Congress of the past two years then you know absolutely nothing about economics and finance.

    It began back in the 1980’s when Ronald Reagan embraced Milton Friedman’s concept of Laissez Faire economics and industry deregulation. It continued throughout the 1900’s and 2000’s when BOTH parties, bought and sold by lobbyists, slowly eroded the checks and balances put in place to prevent this sort of thing. The republicans led the way as they made corporate deregulation a platform issue. One of the biggest proponent of deregulation, and contributor to this mess, is Phil Gramm who has been advising and campaigning for McCain.

  33. David Miller says:

    Valley, McCain is certainly not Dave’s candidate. He’ll soon point that out. The important thing is that he’ll never debate you in the world of reality. I momentarily forgot that when I posted. Just a heads up, there is no constructive dialogue with him.

  34. Progressive…you must be new to the Valley…McCain’s not my candidate either…I’m Libertarian…that makes Bob Barr my candidate.

    I can’t stand John McCain…and am only voting for him to stop a socialist/marxist from taking the White House.

    “do-nothing Congress of the past two years”…what are you, completely ignorant? The Congress has been handled by Senator Harry Reid and Congressman Nancy Pelosi — both Democrats.

  35. My bad. I did know that your candidate was Barr. As for Pelosi and Reid they have only their respective chairs for less than 2 years!

  36. Thanks for the heads up DM!

  37. Pelosi and Reid assumed their roles in early JANUARY 2007…

    I know it’s tough to take, but facts are facts and the Dems have been running Congress for those two years, or are you saying the “do nothing” Congress was only do nothing in the past two years PRIOR to the dates Pelosi and Reid assumed leadership?

  38. Draegn88 says:

    Regardless of whoever wins, I feel that in the end the election will be decided in the courts. Be it from ACORN’s voter fraud, Obama’s citizenship issue, complaints about Diebold, etc..

  39. David Miller says:

    Whatever, besides the legitimate diebold concerns the rest of your “concerns” are bogus and wasteful of time that could be spent discussing actual voter fraud.

  40. Briggman,
    Listen, please. They both assumed their chairs on January 4, 2007. Do the math, I said that they hadn’t even held their chairs for 2 years yet. Jan 4, 2007 + 2 years=Jan 4, 2009. Is it jan 4, 2009 yet??? Your last sentence is foolish. To imply that Dems are in control of, or to use your word “handled”, Congress while in the minority is foolish. You’re saying that Dems are in control when they are in the majority and in the minorty. Huh! Why bother to have majority/minorty parties in Congress? The poor republicans never get a chance to run the Governent according to you. This that neocon denial of responsibility that I blog about. Wow..

    Draegn, you do know that the FBI is investigating the possiblilty that a rightwing group pulled that fraud stunt and planted it on ACORN, right?

  41. Renee says:

    Ugh, Diebold. I have zero confidence in them after a machine at JMU added $1 to my JAC card, then spit the dollar back out, so I got a free dollar’s worth of printer usage. Not that I mind that, but I don’t want the same technology giving free votes to anyone in the election.

    I’m a software developer, and I see no reason for the voting machine companies not to open up their code to a neutral examiner for something as vital as a voting machine, or at the very least have extensive 3rd-party testing to expose any glitches before election day. The way they’re allowed to keep it all closed is very worrisome.

  42. David Miller says:

    Harvard hacked them, it was easy. There is zero confidence in the machines from anyone with tech ability.

  43. Emmy says:

    Just got word that all volunteer shifts for tomorrow have been filled!! 150 people!

  44. Renee says:

    Oops… I was too slow to decide on that. Here’s hoping I get that press pass! Thanks for the update, Emmy.

  45. The DNR is reporting that the rally will NOT move to Bridgeforth; Obama will take a car from Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport to JMU; and I-81 will NOT be blocked off.

  46. Breslau says:

    Well, I’ll never get in then.

  47. Emmy says:

    Well I hoped they’d change their minds about the stadium. I’m going to give it a try, but if the line is too long when I get there I’ll just come back to work.

  48. Renee says:

    Woo hoo – 100 comments! :p

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