EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Robert De Niro has shown up to pitch for Barack Obama, just as the rumor had it, here at the Izod Center at the Meadowlands. He’s looking sporty in a blue blazer. "Barack Obama does not have the experience to be president of the United States" is his opening line. For one thing: "He wasn’t experienced enough to authorize the invasion of Iraq."
"And that’s not all,” he went on. “It’s clear Barack Obama does not have the experience to let the special interests run the government."
The crowd (which takes up 5/28ths of just the lower tier of seating in the 30,000 seat arena, so you know, a big crowd, but not a big, big crowd) is jazzed. This rhetorical device goes on for a bit. "That’s the kind of inexperience I can get used to," said DeNiro.
"I’ve never made a speech like this at a political event before," he said. "Sooo, what am I doing here?"
"Finally, one person has inspired me," he said. Guess who!
"Lemme just speak to you young people here," he continued. "The rest of you can listen –it’s okay. I’ve been concerned that so many of you aren’t voting…. No one inspired you. You wanted to vote, you just didn’t have anyone you wanted to vote for. You know what? I felt the same. Until now."
He then introduced Senator Ted Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy and Barack Obama.