The Washington Times - October 22, 2008, 11:20AM

I only sometimes write about crowd size on this blog.



It’s a good barometer for enthusiasm and big crowds help campaigns generate lovely optics, but it’s hard to know the actual number of people who stream into an event.


The Obama campaign provides traveling press with crowd counts along with a verifier (usually a police official) and the person’s phone number.


(The McCain campaign got in trouble last month for vastly inflating crowd counts and not giving verifiers.)


The campaign told reporters yesterday the Miami rally had “30,000+ inside with people lined up outside still trying to get in.”


So I was surprised to hear Michelle Obama, in a video that was posted this morning but removed by the campaign sometime before 2 p.m., tell supporters she had just introduced her husband “to a crowd of 50,000 here in the city.”


“It’s just phenomenal,” she said in the get-out-the-vote Web video.


Thinking maybe 20,000 people had been turned away, I called the verifier sent by the campaign the day before. He told me the count was indeed 30,000 inside and a “roughly 3,000 or 4,000 that didn’t make it in.”




UPDATE, 2 P.M.: This post has been updated because as you can see above, the campaign has removed the video with the inaccurate claim from its YouTube page


Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times


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