And two perspectives. The first:
I have been a "Good Republican" all of my voting life. The party no longer means anything to me. It was about keeping the governments hands out of my pocket and out of my life. Hopefully maintaining some sort of moral authority.. More and more I find myself, thinking of myself as a Libertarian, with a bit of a social concience.
I was once asked if I would ever vote for a Democrat. My response was "only if I had a gun pointed at my head". This time I might pull the trigger for Obama, not necessarily for his potential policies, but rather that at least he appears to be a man of principle. It's kind of sad that is the only reason to vote for someone. It used to be for someone who reflected my own beliefs and principles as closely as I could ascertain. Now I just want someone of character, any character at all.
You ask: Who Else Does This? Ah, the vaunted youth vote... The much-touted vote that somehow never materializes.
This is the political equivalent of a rock concert or a really fun "happening." There isn't a shred of evidence that any of this is translating into significant support for Barack, at least in the polls.
The people who will decide the Democratic primary were not at Washington Square Park yesterday evening because (a) they do not live in NYC; (b) are well beyond college age and well beyond attending "happenings"; (c) are home with their kids; (d) are holding down two jobs with little time left over for a feel-good speech in a crowded park.
Right now, (a) - (d) are firmly and unequivocally in Hillary's camp.
Until there is some significant movement in Barack's poll #s --- and he has been static ALL YEAR --- it is hard to see this as anything but ephemeral.
Crowley sees hope sinking. I think it's too early to know.