This post isn't exactly about politics although it does start with Senator Barack Obama, the likely nominee for the Democratic Party in 2008.
This past weekend the candidate gave a stump speech, this time in Portland, Oregon and it is totally a coincidence that this is the second day in a row I've written about the Beaver State.
What was noteworthy about this appearance was the astonishing size of the crowd. The Portland Fire Bureau estimated that 75,000 people turned up to see a politician speak.
Oregon is, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than ninety percent white. Interestingly, that is 40% more white than Mr. Obama is.
Like I said, this is not about politics. Forget who you are thinking of voting for or why. Let's talk about audience appeal, magnetism, charisma, or whatever word you want to describe that could make 75,000 people spend a Sunday listening to a speech. Even for free. Even on a nice day on the banks of the beautiful Willamette River.
How many others can you think of? No way President Bush draws that. Or even Miley Cyrus. I'll suggest Pope Benedict might hit that number. But who else? Can you think of anyone else with that kind of pull to add to my two-person list?