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Obamaville Gathers Outside Palin Event At Penn State

This story was written by Danielle Vickery, Daily Collegian
As Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin prepared to speak in Penn State University's Rec Hall Tuesday night, supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama set up across the street.

Penn State Students for Barack Obama lobbied support for their candidate with signs and tables set up to encourage others to sign up to volunteer with the Obama campaign -- a move the organization's president, Zachary Zabel, said was a success.

About 100 people had gathered by the end of the night, Zabel said.

"Parachuting a candidate in with only a week left doesn't show much ambition for this campus," Zabel said of the Palin event.

Across the street, directly in front of Rec Hall, individuals separate from the Obama campaign held up anti-Palin signs that read things such as "Palin doesn't represent this woman" and "Hey Sarah, I can see the moon from my backyard; does that make me an astronomer?"

"I don't want Palin to be representing me," said Jimmy Burridge (graduate-horticulture), who was holding the latter of the signs. "Her foreign policy would be a disaster."

But supporters of Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Palin seemed unperturbed by the show of support for Obama.

Cassandra Feagley, a senior at Juniata Valley High School, said she had seen the Obama supporters before she got in the line that extended around the side of Rec Hall facing Atherton Street and onto the bridge of the IST Building. She specifically remembered a sign that said, "I feel Palienated."

Feagley admitted she thought the sign was "clever" but said that didn't mean she agreed with their stance on Palin.

"She's my idol -- she's my hero," Feagley said as she unzipped her jacket to reveal a homemade T-shirt that said "Pumped for Palin" on the front and "I [love] Palin" on the back.

Frank Densevich, a veteran and Penn State graduate supporting McCain, also said the Obama supporters did not bother him.

"That's what people in America do," he said. "My God, I love this country."

Densevich said he was encouraged by how many young people were in line to see Palin.

"I'm the only 'Joe the Old Guy' I see," he said.

Landscape architecture graduate student Steve Preston and Matt Leaman, Class of 2007 -- Obama supporters -- got out of the line on the bridge of the IST Building when they figured they were too far back to get in.

"I'm going to be Sarah Palin for Halloween. I gotta get my accent down," Preston cited as why they had come. "We're going to join Obamaville, and then we're going to get some coffee."