True A supporter holds up four fingers as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a presidential campaign stop at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
Obama makes stump speech at OSU in Columbus, Ohio | Alex Farris Photo Blog
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2012.10.10
There are three different stories told here, and one that will be told later, so let's get down to business.

The first: The second photo below was an Editor's Pick at Demotix (screenshot). With almost a month of the campaign to go, maybe this is only the first of a few to go with frequent appearances on the front page. They also liked the gallery of photos enough to feature them on the front page for a little while.

The second: The Secret Service doesn't like DSLRs on a rope line. After not being signed up in time to get a typical media credential, I got to Ohio State University's grassy Oval early to hang out with Obama supporters, about 15 of whom had the crazy idea of waiting in line before 8 a.m. for a 2 p.m. entry into a 5 p.m. speech. I grouped with them when they were invited into a VIP section, which was closer to the front than every other section of the crowd. The spot, and the supporters I hung around with, made for good variety and originality, and once Obama finished his speech, I was geared up for getting a photo of him, arms sprawled out, looking for every possible hand to shake (a la Paul Ryan). Alas, when the Secret Service came upon me to scout the area just before Obama would reach me, one of the guys said, "You'll have to put that down." Slightly dejected, I then remembered that I had my iPhone in my breast pocket, recording audio for a future project, so I pulled that out and took as many photos as I could. Five of the 31 photos I took in that chaotic minute appear below, starting at photo 4. They're no Nikon-D300-with-17-to-55-f/2.8-lens photos, but they do communicate how close I was.

The third: Lucas Perie, a junior at OSU who was in the VIP group, bought Big Bird's Sesame Street Dictionary, Number 8 (T through Z) at a thrift store for Obama to sign. I had to leave before Lucas got his book back, but it did get handed to the Secret Service agent in charge of such things, along with his copy of The Audacity of Hope. That story starts at photo 9.

The fourth story, which won't be told yet, starts with a campaign volunteer I met in the VIP section. He was a point-man in Ohio during Obama's 2008 campaign, so I recorded an audio interview with him about what the 2008 election was like and how different 2012 is. My goal is to do the same at a Romney event: get there earlier than a normal human would, find another abnormal human who worked for the McCain campaign in 2008 and works currently for the Romney campaign, and ask how 2008 and 2012 are different. (And how they aren't; the Obama supporter I talked to said that, while 2012 doesn't have the same new feeling as 2008 did, there is still a lot of excitement for, and in, the campaign.)

I'd do something with that last item now, but it's internship and job application season. Back to work.

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a presidential campaign stop at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a presidential campaign stop at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
A supporter holds up four fingers as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a presidential campaign stop at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. A supporter holds up four fingers as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a presidential campaign stop at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a presidential campaign stop at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a presidential campaign stop at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters after his stump speech at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters after his stump speech at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
Yeah, it was crowded. Also, those aren't deformed fingers; this is just the same sort of "prepared for a different photo" distortion that many of my kite photos have experienced. Yeah, it was crowded. Also, those aren't deformed fingers; this is just the same sort of "prepared for a different photo" distortion that many of my kite photos have experienced. Alex Farris
U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters after his stump speech at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters after his stump speech at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters after his stump speech at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters after his stump speech at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters after his stump speech at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters after his stump speech at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
Alex Farris
Alex Farris
Alex Farris
A Secret Service agent flips through OSU junior Lucas Perie's Sesame Street book, which he hoped to have Obama sign. A Secret Service agent flips through OSU junior Lucas Perie's Sesame Street book, which he hoped to have Obama sign. Alex Farris
Alex Farris
The campaign press pool, also known as "those who have stronger press credentials than mine," could take photos of Lucas' Sesame Street book from the other side of the fence as he held it there during the speech. The campaign press pool, also known as "those who have stronger press credentials than mine," could take photos of Lucas' Sesame Street book from the other side of the fence as he held it there during the speech. Alex Farris
A Secret Service agent takes Lucas' Sesame Street book for Obama to sign. A Secret Service agent takes Lucas' Sesame Street book for Obama to sign. Alex Farris

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