Barack Obama rides into town on a horse named TOTAL ROCKSTAR

Richmond’s Photographic Wonderboy takes us inside the most anticipated event since that Most Recent Unpleasantness

Photos by: Jake Lyell.

Obama fans spell out their support outside the Siegel Center on Broad Street


Supporters without tickets to the Jefferson-Jackson dinner were none-the-less enthusiastic


Hillary’s advocates were of a less diverse demographic


Bros before Hos


“Hey remember when I was governor that year?” Virginia’s Democratic heavyweights schmoozy it up back stage


Hillary Clinton kept her chin up as news of the latest contest losses came through


Larger than Life: Clinton addresses the biggest Jefferson-Jackson dinner in the Commonwealth history


“Don’t go losing on me B.” Obama shakes hands after a rousing address to VA democrats


Virginia Governor Tim Kaine first endorsed Obama one year ago


Positioning himself as the only candidate who could win in the general election, Obama readies himself for a fight against McCain


A first hand account

by: Sam Fetchero

This year’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner, a Virginia Democratic Party fundraiser and get-together, became a higher-profile event than ever with the presence of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and a vote on Tuesday that could help decide the primary and the election.

While both candidates were invited to speak, one was clearly the headliner, and the other was no more than an opening act. And that night one could clearly feel the pendulum shift from the Clinton corner over to Obama’s.

Clinton took the stage early in the evening and gave a short-but-sweet pitch to the quiet but attentive crowd. She took no shots at her opponent and no policy details, but focused her ammunition at the current administration.

Clinton was at a disadvantage from the beginning. Obama had already swept a number of key Virginia Democrat endorsements, from Mayor Wilder to Governor Kaine. Clinton was not entering friendly territory. And while the “Hillary” signs filled the walls of the building, only a scant few could be seen in the crowds, mostly by college-aged females from area liberal-arts colleges.

While the delegate count is neck-and-neck, the crowd, the cheers, and the support at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner was anything but. Throughout the night, the crowd chanted Obama’s name and his slogans of “Change” and “Yes We Can.”

Obama took the stage around 10:30 pm like a rockstar. And the crowd only reinforced that fact through a fever and roar that made it seem like an Obama rally and not a Democratic Party fundraiser.

Obama spent nearly an hour delving into his specific policy position on Iraq and healthcare, among others, and inflicted some vicious blows on his opponent. To say that he is a captivating public speaker is an understatement. His rhythm and style whipped even casual supporters into a frenzy.

Walking out of the event, there was only one conclusion left to make: the nomination, and perhaps the presidency, is Obama’s to lose.

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Jake Lyell

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