Clinton Rally Feels a Little "Last-Minute" and "Half-Assed"
Schutze is at the Hillary Clinton gathering in an Oak Cliff parking lot, where Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price just exited the stage to strains of "Taking Care of Business," and Jim sends back this report: The event was very "last-minute and half-assed," according to Jim, who, along with other reporters with whom he spoke this a.m., guesstimates the crowd at between 300 and 400. Organizer Ralph Isenberg, who owns the Bank Tower parking lot in which Clinton will speak shortly, is inside his building watching on a security cam and insists it's much, much higher -- around 1,500. (Look at KDFW-Channel 4's streaming video, and you'll see something that feels far more local than national -- like, say, a council race, maybe?)
CNN is also reporting at this moment that traffic's backed up near the Trinity River because of an accident involving a Dallas police officer thrown "30 feet" from a motorcycle; a reporter traveling with the senator says Clinton was caught in the traffic. Clinton began speaking at 9:33.
Update: The Dallas Morning News, at 10:22 a.m., reported that the officer thrown from his motorcycle was killed after crashing into a concrete wall. As CNN mentioned earlier, the accident occurred at 9:20 a.m. on the Houston Street viaduct. Says The News, via WFAA-Channel 8, "A veteran Dallas police officer escorting Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's entourage to a rally in Oak Cliff lost control of his motorcycle and was killed Friday morning."
Isenberg, a fund-raising buddy for former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, says he was contacted late last night by Clinton campaign workers, who had originally planned to stage the rally in a different location. Only, turned out it was too close to an early-polling place, so they had to move it; Isenberg and Clinton folks were out in the parking lot last night with a tape measure. Reports Schutze: "The podium is 1,182 feet from the polling place." And what does Isenberg get out of the deal? Says Jim: "He says what he gets out of this is a handshake from Clinton." With that small a crowd, sounds like you can get one too. --Robert Wilonsky