Pengilly's was packed Monday afternoon to greet Raul Alvillar, Western region political director for the Barack Obama campaign. Fresh from Obama appearances this weekend in Salt Lake City and Elko, Nevada, Alvillar said that although no Idaho campaign stops are certain, he'll be working hard to get Obama to Boise.
Close to 100 people showed up at the historic Boise saloon to welcome Obama's emissary. People bought Obama Ts and signed up to volunteer on the campaign (see below). At one point, organizers asked people inside to move up so people waiting on the sidewalk could get in.
Alvillar said that after an afternoon spent meeting with Democrats in the Treasure Valley (including several bloggers just before the public event at Pengilly's), he had heard plenty about how former VP and 2000 presidential candidate Al Gore had drawn 10,000 people - among his largest crowds anywhere - to a January lecture at Boise State. "I want to have an event here for Barack with 10,000-plus," he added, noting that about 1,300 Idahoans have already signed up at www.barackobama.com.
Obama appeared Sunday in Elko, Nevada, where a crowd of 800 greeted the candidate. Also Sunday, he met with hundreds of Utahns who organized a last-minute rally for Obama to see the candidate on his way to a fundraising event in Park City.
Obama is also the runaway Boise favorite among candidates at Eventful.com, where 339 people have "demanded" him compared to 34 for Hillary Clinton and 32 for John Edwards. (Republican-Libertarian candidate Ron Paul has 131 demands.)
Idahoans for Obama meet at 1 p.m. the last Sunday of each month at Papa Joe's on Capitol Boulevard across from BSU. The next meeting is August 26.