Recap of Barack Obama’s Rally at Georgia Tech

Clarence Wardell III, PR Chair for Young Georgia for Obama, recently attended and photographed Barack Obama’s Rally at Georgia Tech University this past Saturday.

Barack Obama at Georgia Tech
(Credit: Clarence Wardell III, 2006)

I had the pleasure of attending a historic rally, in many senses, this past Saturday on the campus of Georgia Tech. On an overcast day, with the prospect of rain, Senator Barack Obama brought his message of hope and healing to an estimated 20,000 people in Atlanta, GA. This rally marked the first time in which a democratic presidential candidate had held a rally in the city since Bill Clinton in 1992. The message delivered by Senator Obama did not provide any new insight as it concerns his stance on the issues. He reiterated his calls for U.S. troop withdrawal, universal healthcare, and took head on the questions concerning his lack of Washington experience. However, the purpose of the event was not to introduce any new policy platform, but was simply to motivate a base of support that is approximately 2.5 hours from South Carolina. South Carolina has one of the earliest primaries, along with IA, NH, and NV, which, in a lot of opinions, must be won by Obama if he is to advance as the Democratic Party candidate.

Quite frankly, I have never seen a political candidate that has generated so much excitement. Those that know me, know that I have an affinity, if you will, for meeting prominent political personalities. I have attended a rally for George W. Bush in his 2000 primary campaign, met Hillary Clinton, and met John Edwards at a book signing at Ga. Tech earlier this year. The general excitement level surrounding these people paled in comparison to what I witnessed Saturday and throughout the week as I volunteered with the rally organization. It became quite clear after the rally Saturday that Obama is indeed the proverbial “political rock star,” a term so often associated with former President Clinton, and while Hillary is notable in her own right I’m not quite sure she has achieved this status.

What I felt to be the most remarkable aspect of the event was the truly diverse support that the Senator received. Throughout the week, as I passed out tickets I was greeted with the same excitement from both Blacks and Whites at the prospect of him coming to speak. While this phenomenon has been well documented, it is truly an inspiring thing to see in person. One is left to wonder if he can continue to walk the fine line that is required to maintain that type of fervent backing from so many different communities.

Thank you Clarence for sending this in.

If any of you attend social and/or political events such as this one and would like to send a write up in for publication, feel free to email it to us at

One Love. One II.


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

One response to “Recap of Barack Obama’s Rally at Georgia Tech”

  1. Amani Channel says :

    There was certainly a lot of energy and excitement at the rally. What impressed me, however, was the amount of young people who seemed interested in the political process. I’ve covered numerous political rallies in my journalism career, and I’ve never seen a more diverse, youthful, and energized group. It’s still too early to know if his “star power” will be enough. Peace!

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