Niall Stanage BlackBerrys a couple of pre-event observations from Unity, N.H.:
The sun is warm, the open-air venue is pretty and, at present, a local band is playing (winning political kudos for including "This Land Is Your Land" in its set). It smells like hot dogs and hamburgers.
One problem: the lines of people still outside are perhaps a half-mile long, calling the rumored 1 p.m. start time into some serious doubt.
One of the people outside is Bucky Demers, a 42-year-old mechanic and car race veteran. He has found a high-visibility spot for his race car, which is festooned with pro-Obama slogans and logos like "Change We Can Believe In" and "Yes We Can.”
Demers, a resident of nearby Cornish, N.H., races at the Granite State’s Canaan Fair Speedway. He told me he predicted two years ago that Obama would be the Democratic nominee based on seeing him speak briefly on C-Span.
"I believe his talk is not like normal American politicians," Demers said.
I asked him whether the car draws any hostility from race fans.
"Nobody’s been outright hostile," he replied. "The thing is that when the car comes out, it doesn’t matter whether people are for Obama or McCain or Clinton. Everybody’s pointing at it. When you have people talking about you, that’s a good thing."
Demers said he is not paid by the Obama campaign for the slogans on his car, though he added cheerily that he "wouldn’t mind" if they wanted to offer him something.
Song currently playing: "Rockin’ In The Free World."