Big Government reports:
According to ABC News, the Obama campaign had expected an "overflow" of people. Instead, the arena looked half-empty. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Obama organizers even had people move from the seats to the floor of the gym in order to project a larger crowd on television.Big Government goes on to say, "To hold a campaign event in a room that you can't fill is a mistake; to promise the media a more-than-capacity crowd then fall this far short of that promise is utter incompetence."
According to the Toledo Blade, the venue for Obama's rally seats 20,000 but "there were a lot of empty seats." Comparatively, Obama drew a crowd of 35,000 at Ohio State when he campaigned for former Governor Ted Strickland in 2010.
The official Barack Obama Tumblr boasts a figure from ThinkProgress that 14,000 attended the event--70% of the stadium's seating capacity.
As it turns out, it's even worse than that. Early on Saturday, the Obama campaign's pretentiously named TruthTeam2012 tweeted the following taunt of the Romney campaign:
What the TruthTeam left out was that this photo is from a February 24, 2012 event in Detroit when Romney was addressing 1,200 members of the Detroit Economic Club. The stadium was actually a change in venue because according to the Detroit Free Press, "an initial plan to hold the event at the Westin Book Cadillac [hotel ballroom]... quickly became oversold." As a matter of fact, according to the headline at mlive.com, "Detroit Economic Club moves Mitt Romney speech to Ford Field after original venue sells out in hours." Sure, the campaign took some hits from the usual suspects at the time for the unfortunate "optics," but this was an event hosted by an economics club, for Pete's sake, which sounds about as exciting as a CPA convention (I'm an accountant, so I'm allowed to say that.)
On the other hand, today's Obama event was the kickoff for the reelection campaign for the Greatest President in the History of Great Presidents, organized weeks in advance (if not months) by the Greatest Campaign Team in the History of Great Campaign Teams. The Obama campaign even promoted the rally incessantly this week on Twitter. As it turned out, Saturday's rally was the political equivalent of skier Bode Miller at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, or, to put it more bluntly, a face-plant. Failure is never so awkward as when success is supposed to be a given. Babe Ruth famously said, "It ain't bragging if you can do it." But if you can't do it, everyone knows what that's called.