The Eve of the Election Was an Exciting Time to be in Columbus

No matter who your favorite presidential candidate is, yesterday was an exciting time to be in Columbus.

Thousands flocked to see President Obama and musical stars Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z at an afternoon rally at Nationwide Arena. Hours later, curiosity led us to join thousands more at Landmark Aviation at Port Columbus to see Mitt and Ann Romney, Dublin golfer Jack Nicklaus, Olympic ice skater and Bowling Green native Scott Hamilton, Governor John Kasich and other members of the Ohio GOP team.

First, we waited in a long line to take shuttle buses from a long-term airport parking lot on 17th Avenue to the Landmark Aviation complex on 5th Avenue. Then, we inched through another long line to go through airport-like security and enter an enormous hangar. Once inside, we shuffled our way into the crowd, which included nuns, young professionals, retirees and families with children. By the time the rally was in full swing, the whole place was so packed that we were standing shoulder-to-shoulder.  I started wondering how long it would be before I would succumb to one of my infamous fainting spells.

The Marshall Tucker Band got the group going with some altered lyrics to their song, “Can’t You See.” The audience responded with roaring chants of “One more day!”

We had a front-row seat to watch NBC’s Peter Alexander… …and David Muir of ABC file their reports for the evening news.

We were so close that we could read what NBC viewers were hearing.

A campaign volunteer gave us paper punch-out models of the Romney campaign’s “Believe in America” jet.

Most of the time, we watched the proceedings on giant video screens, which were a big help.

Before long, the moment the crowd had been waiting for had arrived. After a brief silence, a Romney/Ryan campaign video started playing, punctuated by plenty of cheers and waving signs.  The Romneys had arrived.

Next, I experienced something that I’ll never forget. A recording of Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare for The Common Man blared throughout the hangar and one wall moved to reveal the Romney campaign airplane. As the front section of the plane rolled into the hangar, I caught myself jumping up and down — and I almost started shrieking! Talk about an impressive entrance!

The cheers went on for several minutes, but after they subsided, the visibly moved Romneys thanked the crowd for their support. We heard the candidate make his final argument, promised him that we’d make sure that everyone we knew got out to vote, hung on to each other as we shuffled our way outside the hangar, and joined the longest line of all for the shuttles back to the parking lot.

Now that it’s Election Day and the polls have almost closed, there’s one more thing to do — celebrate the end of the campaign with some political party cookies from Mozart’s Bakery & Café. When I picked up my order, the latest tally showed that  844 elephants and 889 donkeys had been sold.

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