When I was growing up in Turkey, especially following the 1980 military coup, it was commonplace for city officials to close schools and government offices, and force staff and children to line up the streets, and create an impressive backdrop in the town square whenever a higher ranking government official decided to visit their town.
I am somewhat familiar with "people's beloved leader" theater.
I used to ask myself if they really did not understand that it only really showed support if people chose to line up the streets to get a glimpse of you, or waited in an open square in all sorts of weather to hear you speak.
I read the story of how the Democrats plan to inflate their ranks in the stadium in which they're holding their convention.
College students from across North Carolina will arrive in Charlotte by the busload. Same with members of predominantly black churches in neighboring South Carolina.
Their goal: help fill a 74,000-seat outdoor stadium to capacity when President Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination Thursday night.
I don't get it: Certainly, 74,000 is an impressive number at a political show. I don't know if anyone has exact numbers, but the Republican convention web site says there were
2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates,
the convention will also include approximately 15,000 credentialed media, and
roughly 50,000 people are expected to visit the Tampa Bay area during the gathering. So, clearly, not as ambitious as the Democrat undertaking in terms of putting warm bodies in the stadium during the President's second coronation.
But, why choose such a venue if:
Democrats have been fretting for months over whether the president can draw a capacity crowd …
[Duke University] was busing 100 students to the speech …
several large black churches in his state are planning to send busloads of members on Thursday to watch the president’s speech …Obama aides say several thousand tickets also have been given to new campaign volunteers in North Carolina …
There was little concern [in 2008] over whether Obama would fill the stadium, in part because he was easily attracting tens of thousands of people to his campaign rallies across the country …
Obama’s crowds are far smaller. He drew his biggest audience at his campaign kick-off rally in May, a 14,000-person crowd at Ohio State University.
Don't they understand? The fact that they have to work so hard at filling in the seats means something. Even if, at the end, every seat is taken by people who just want to be at a free and entertaining event. Heck, I would go if someone gave me a free ticket.
I am a little worried that they have been passing out tickets to everyone and his uncle. It might create a security problem. So, I went searching for a very helpful and informative article I had seen. And I found it. They should call Inflatable Crowd! But they should definitely heed Ms. Boykewich's advice below:
If you overinflate, you can create leaks,Boykewich said. She is twenty-nine, and she heads up East Coast operations for Inflatable Crowd, a Santa Monica-based company that offers movie directors a cheaper alternative to hiring real-life extras.I've never seen a doll explode,she said,but if you don't close the valves correctly they will probably stay inflated for a few hours, and then, after you dress them and bring them to the set, you’ll have a whole stadium of deflated dolls.