ABC’s Sunlen Miller, Matt Jaffe, and John Berman Report: The rain pouring down, his jacket off, his white dress-shirt clinging to his body, Barack Obama played to a crowd in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat since 1964.
Obama and his running mate Delaware Sen. Joe Biden took the stage at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., before a crowd of 10,000 to 20,000 people who had been waiting hours in the mud to see them. The weather in northern Virginia has been awful the last couple of days. And not long after Joe Biden’s introduction, just minutes after Obama started speaking, the rain started falling again.
"I know some of you got a little damp," Obama told the audience gathered in the school quad. "I’d like to cover everybody’s dry cleaning bill here tonight, but I can’t because I got to use it on the campaign, so consider it one more modest contribution to our efforts to change the country."
As the rain began to pour harder, Obama noticed his running mate’s stool close to the edge of the slippery stage.
"I'm gonna ask Joe to move that stool up because I don't want to have to choose another vice-president," Obama joked. "I don't want him slipping over, toppling over there."
Obama spoke for just under 30 minutes, and used the unruly weather as a metaphor nearing the end of his speech.
"Sometimes the skies look cloudy and it's dark. And you think the rains will never pass," Obama preached, "The young people understand that the clouds -– these too will pass, that a brighter day will come."
Astute students of history have noted, weather is not something politicians should take lightly. The presidency of William Henry Harrison, indeed Harrison's life lasted a mere month after after he caught a cold at his inauguration, which was held outside on a chilly Washington morning.