Ungodly Crowds

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – As I walked past thousands of people queued outside of a Barack Obama event at the University of Maryland, one guy shook his head in disbelief. “I wouldn’t show up for that if God himself was coming,” the guy said, “The lines are too long.”

I laughed but didn’t tell him that every now and then Obama thinks he’s the next best thing . All Messiah talk aside, the Comcast Center on campus is absolutely jammed. Officially, the stadium’s capacity is a little less than 18,000 people, and it looks like there are only a few hundred to 1,000 seats empty. Considering how many people were lined up outside, the empty seats aren’t an issue of demand–it’s timing. Obama is due to speak in 10 minutes.

They’re killing time by playing’s “Yes, We Can” video . Everybody is standing and facing the JumboTron like it’s the American flag. Instead of holding their hands over their hearts, they’re holding their cameras out in front of them. Everybody’s mouthing the words and clapping. One woman is already crying.