Last Thursday, Bill Clinton appeared on our campus for an indoor rally with an impressive and enthusiastic crowd estimated at 6,000. This would not ordinarily have been any real concern to me had it not been for the fact that I knew Penn State was also scheduled to receive a visit this week from Ann Coulter, who had vowed, should John McCain emerge as the Republicans' presidential nominee, to campaign for Hillary Clinton.
So, with two such powerful advocates slotted to appear at University Park in support of the Clinton candidacy, I was naturally concerned that Penn State somehow maintain its scrupulous nonpartisan stance. It was clear to me that we needed a good spokesperson for the Barack Obama campaign.
Yesterday, such a spokesperson came to town, Senator Bob Casey -- he who did us all the very great favor of displacing the dread Rick Santorum. And for good measure, Senator Casey brought Senator Obama along with him.
The clouds and rain finally broke, and Sunday morning was beautifully sunny. It was a great family day, and it looked as though the entire extended Penn State family, Paternos and babies included, had turned out.
You may by now have seen the video of Barack bowling in Altoona, feeding a calf at our Ag school, etc. What has not been seen, apparently unfilmed, was his morning pickup game on the basketball court.
Obama was in great form by the time of the afternoon rally, and he couldn't have asked for a more receptive audience.
Said audience has been estimated at 22,000 -- more than twice the size of any audience for any earlier presidential candidate.