Friday, October 16, 2009

Joe Biden in Wellston

Close to 200 attend Gov Nixon and VP Biden speech

I got an email Wednesday afternoon saying that Joe Biden was comin' to town. I knew the weather had been unseasonably cool, but I wasn't expecting such an early Christmas. Like most videographers, I know that if Biden is in the house, the tape is rolling—you don't want to miss those twelve seconds of comedy gold that will bring you a million views on YouTube. Glenn Reynolds clearly understands this principal:
"AM I THAT DANGEROUS?" Blogger booted by Biden. When Biden’s talking, anyone with a camera and YouTube access is a threat . . . .
Biden's booted blogger was, none other than St Louis Tea Partier:, but we'll get back to him later.... It was Wednesday afternoon and I had until 3PM to pickup tickets to the event Thursday. I called and emailed some Tea Party friends, but no one was able to get over to Wellston to pickup tickets.

Thursday rolls around. Run some errands and swing by the venue in Wellston: the Police and Fire Training Center. Before finding a place to park, I notice that there's a junk yard right next to the Training Center. That kinda makes sense. They probably burn and shoot stuff at the Police and Fire Training Center, so you wouldn't expect it to be located next to the Chase.

At this point, I'm not expecting to get in, but I need a story. All I know is what KTVI reported (emphasis added):
Vice President Joe Biden will be in St. Louis to discuss how federal money is being used to help create jobs and aid law enforcement. Biden and Gov. Jay Nixon will travel to St. Louis on Thursday. Biden is scheduled to give remarks at the St. Louis County Police and Fire Training Center, beginning at 11:00am

The White House says a limited number of general admission tickets for the public will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The story that never got reported started to form in my head. I didn't have a lot to work with: federal money and flattened cars stacked five high. That equals cash for clunkers in my mind, so I was planning to do a video report in front some destroyed cars. I'd talk about the fallacy of the broken window and explain how accelerating the purchases of cars with cash for clunkers, shifted money away from durable goods, but had no positive effect on the economy as a whole. There will be another time for that economics lesson...

Getting back on topic... the Police and Fire Training Center... I decided to walk in the front door and ask about tickets. They had a whole stack of 'em. I got one, went in, and immediately sent a message to Dana: "I'm in!!!" I then called Sharp and Rambo to tell them that there were still tickets available.

While I waited for them to arrive, I struck up a conversation with a wire service reporter. I can't find her report from the event online. I also met PD reporter Jake Wagman. He described the size of the crowd as "modest" in his report.

Much of that crowd is seen in the picture above. That photo was taken at 10:26AM. Biden did not arrive until 12:16PM. The late arrival meant that I would have to duck out before Biden finished his remarks.

By the time Biden got there, Sharp had been asked to leave. Rambo and I were camped out towards the front, but we were not in seats. As the VP walked in and took to the stage, someone kept asking us to get in our seats. I headed to the back where I got a little video while shot some video from close to the front:

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