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Over the course of the last year I believe I’ve taken close to 4000 photographs at political events in Missouri. Most of them didn’t make it into the blog. Some of the things we saw and heard made us smile, made us think, made us gasp, made us hope, and made us despair. I thought I’d provide a retrospective of some of the pictures and stories I consider to be memorable.

January 26, 2008: Former President Bill Clinton speaking at a pre-primary rally for Hillary Clinton at Truman William Chrisman High School in Independence, Missouri.

Bill Clinton in Independence, Missouri on Saturday night

This was a rally for Hillary Clinton in the auditorium gym at Truman William Chrisman High School in Independence right before the February 5th presidential primary. I had asked for media credentials for days and kept getting put off. I never got the credentials, but I did get into the event and I did cover it.

March 4, 2008: Antonin Scalia looking out to the audience during his speech in Warrensburg, Missouri.

Antonin Scalia in Warrensburg, part 1

Antonin Scalia in Warrensburg, part 2

Antonin Scalia in Warrensburg, part 3

Antonin Scalia in Warrensburg, part 4

Antonin Scalia in Warrensburg, part 5

Only credentialed media could take photographs or record (not for rebroadcast) this speech. I did get press credentials. I had been given tickets to the reception after the speech. I attended the reception, but did not get the opportunity to speak to Antonin Scalia – if I had done so it would have been off the record.

May 10, 2008: Registration for delegates to the Missouri State Democratic Convention in Columbia, Missouri.

Lacy Clay at the Missouri State Democratic Convention

Claire McCaskill at the Missouri State Democratic Convention

Leila Medley: uncommitted super delegate

The Missouri State Democratic Convention was the first time Hotflash, Clark, Blue Girl, and I were in the same place at the same time. We had the largest media presence at the convention.  

May 17, 2008: Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, and Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. at Truman Days in Independence, Missouri.

Truman Days 2008 in Jackson County

Truman Days 2008 in Jackson County, day 2

Joe Medley: Greater Kansas City Democracy for America

Blue Girl and I got credentials to cover the two days of the Truman Days activities sponsored by the Jackson County Democratic Committee. We had so much fun we figured we should sponsor a hospitality suite at the next one.

June 14, 2008: Former Arkansas Governor (and Republican presidential candidate) Mike Huckabee speaking at Missouri Boys State in Warrensburg, Missouri.

Mike Huckabee at Missouri Boys State: Q and A, part 1

Mike Huckabee at Missouri Boys State: Q and A, part 2

Missouri Boys State gave me credentials to cover the week long event, including speeches by Mike Huckabee, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, and Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman. They had never had a blogger cover them before – the folks at the journalism school had me speak about blogging in two separate sessions.

Mike Huckabee is slick, polished and affable. His packaging and his content scare me to no end.

June 30, 2008: Barack Obama speaking on patriotism in Independence, Missouri.

Barack Obama in Independence, MO: the preparation

Obama in Independence: photos

This was the first Obama event I covered during the campaign. In contrast to the McCain campaign the press credentialing process was relatively straightforward. We interviewed a campaign volunteer at the open site event the day before. We later heard she was reminded to not talk to the media, including bloggers. This is standard campaign operating procedure – only the candidate or their designated campaign spokesperson can speak for the campaign.

This event itself was quite different than the usual campaign rally. It was treated by the campaign as a serious speech on a very serious subject. Obama was speaking on patriotism – the campaign did not distribute rally signs or other campaign “chum” to those in attendance.

In the press area I sat next to Scout Finch from the Daily Kos. I understand that Blue Girl may have tormented some reporters in the traveling press by pointing to Scout Finch and saying, “See her, she has a lot more readers every day than you do.”

July 17, 2008: An infant in the audience at the John McCain town hall in the Great Hall at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.

John McCain in Kansas City – the crowd gathers

The Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO on John McCain’s visit

I had called the McCain campaign headquarters in Virginia to inquire about credentials for this event. The told me that they really didn’t issue credentials, but that I should show up with identification. I did, but they didn’t quite know what to do with me and about a half dozen other individuals. First we were in, then we were out, then we were in, then we were going to be asked to leave. It didn’t really matter to me because either way, I was going to get a story.

August 14, 2008: State representative Judy Baker (left) and Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (center) at the Governor’s Ham Breakfast on the grounds of the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Missouri.

August 14, 2008: United States Senator Clair
e McCaskill (left) and Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee (right) at the entry of the Governor’s Ham Breakfast on the grounds of the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Missouri.

A ham breakfast at the Missouri State Fair

Attorney General Jay Nixon’s press conference at the Missouri State Fair on Thursday

The Governor’s Ham Breakfast at the Missouri State Fair is the largest annual concentration of Democratic and Republican politicians in the State of Missouri outside of Jefferson City.

September 6, 2008: The crowd listening to a speech by Missouri Attorney General (and now Governor-elect) Jay Nixon at the Johnson County Democratic headquarters in Warrensburg, Missouri.

A Democratic crowd gathers in Warrensburg

October 18, 2008: The line of people waiting to get in to the Obama rally at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri.

RBH, Blue Girl, and I received credentials for this Obama campaign rally at the Liberty Memorial. I had to leave (a scheduling conflict) before Obama spoke, but I was able to witness the huge lines of people waiting to get in to attend the event. As I walked south toward 31st street I would periodically call Blue Girl, in the press area at the site, on her cell phone and exclaim, “Holy shit! The crowd is huge.” This is one of my favorite photos from the campaign. Before I left the site I loaned Blue Girl my second camera. From her perch on the press “cut riser” she took some of the best campaign photos I’ve ever seen of Barack Obama speaking.

October 24, 2008: A relative of the Johnson County Obama Campaign field organizer sent him this t-shirt in a care package.

October 30, 2008: The crowd at an Obama campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri.

Obama in Columbia, Missouri – photos

The logistics were a nightmare. The setting was spectacular. The crowd was huge.

We waited at the press entrance for an eternity, then waited another eternity to get our credentials. The one volunteer checking the press list didn’t have a flashlight so she couldn’t read it in the dark. I tried to live blog, but the available WiFi was quite skittish. I took a large number of photographs – close to 200. I spent an inordinate amount of time on the huge press “cut riser”. Too late into the event I noticed a lift that was being used to take credentialed media up about thirty feet so that they could get aerial photographs.

At this point in the campaign we were struggling to keep up with one event after another.

October 31, 2008: A bumper sticker through the looking glass.

November 15, 2008: A sign at the Proposition 8 protest rally in the park near the Plaza at 47th and Main in Kansas City, Missouri.

Proposition 8 rally in Kansas City

Join the Impact in Saint Louis

Proposition 8 rally in Kansas City – more photos

After the election I had a tendency to sleep in on weekends. Late one morning my spouse asked my, “Are you going into the Plaza to cover the Proposition 8 protest rally?” “Holy crap,” I thought to myself. I rushed around getting batteries charged and getting my equipment together. The weather was cold – I dressed from previous cold weather protest experience. I interviewed a number of people at and near the event. That’s something I wouldn’t have easily done before this year started.

This is a small slice of the experience of this past year. For me here at Show Me Progress this certainly was the year that was. Now that we’ve had practice I suspect we’re going to do quite a bit more.