Enthusiasm Gap

Dems to Stage Huge Rallies

Hoping to recapture the excitement and enthusiasm among their voters that animated the 2008 presidential campaign, Democrats are turning back to the massive campaign rallies that offered a visual sign of Obama’s then-surging popularity. Since that campaign ended, President Obama has stuck to smaller, town-hall-style talks with voters, until now. On Tuesday, Obama will speak on the campus of University of Wisconsin-Madison, in front of thousands packed onto the school’s Library Mall. The White House hopes to have 200 “watch parties” around the country for the event, just as Obama’s campaign did in 2008. Strategists say the event is “a pretty big deal,” meant to spark enthusiasm nationwide. Whether Obama can still draw tens of thousands of fans is yet to be seen.