Bruce Springsteen opened a free concert for Barack Obama volunteers and supporters at Soldiers & Sailors Hall in Oakland singing "No Retreat, No Surrender."
"Idealism takes a pretty hard kick ... during the election cycle. But it's at the seed of why we are here today," he told the crowd.
"You have to believe the world is open to change, open to petition, open to argument."
He described Mr. Obama as the candidate committed to bridging a growing disparity between haves and have nots. Local artist Joe Grushecky, a longtime Springsteen collaborator, performed with him on "We Take Care of Our Own."
The rally was designed to turn believers into activists rather than to convert the undecided. Those who attended were given talking points and asked to call friends and family to ensure they were planning to vote on election day.
In fact, when people entered the auditorium, they found envelopes on their seats with a list of eight local people to contact. An Obama staffer asked them to make the calls then and there, for a total of 20,000 recruiting calls in the 10 minutes before the rally started. The response was enthusiastic. One man yelled from the balcony that there were no packets in his row, and the staffer promised to send some up.
First Published October 27, 2012 9:15 PM