Yikes! Has it really been a whole entire week since I blogged? Wow, time sure does fly by when you’re insanely busy…and this past week I was insanely busy. Besides my usual duties (which I’ve, uh, temporarily abandoned), musician Amy Courts crashed at my pad from Thursday until Tuesday morning while she was playing some shows in the area (specifically Alive ’08 with Shirock–more pics to come). And today I spent the day at Stabler Arena with some rabid McCain/Palin fans at a local rally.
It was like a rock concert for politicians, but crazier. Plus, I had some great seats so I have the opportunity to meet Chet Beiler, who’s running for State Auditor General, Congressman Charlie Dent, and a couple of other politicians who aren’t in my voting district. One was particularly annoying as he tried to court my vote and my writing skills. As you all know, I can’t be won over by flattery, just cold, hard bribes (just kidding). The Republican Party’s superstars took the stage, including Senator Arlen Spector…and some people I’ve never heard of, but they seemed important.
Of course, all that was just garnish. We were there to see John McCain and Sarah Palin (judging from the crowd frenzy and chants–we were really there to see Sarah Palin. Shhh! Don’t tell John). All of a sudden the lights flashed, the music blared, and their arrival was announced–everyone went wild. After a minute of nothingness, people started to exchange looks. Five minutes later, people began to sit down. At ten minutes, two waters were placed by the podium and then five minutes after that, the speeches. Twenty minutes passed and I wondered if McCain and Palin were going to stand up the entire stadium.
All of a sudden, the “Rocky” theme song echoed from the loudspeaker and the Straight Talk Express rolled into the side of the area. I AM NOT KIDDING! They just drove it on in there. Sarah Palin emerged and then John McCain and his wife and one of his daughters People were screaming, waving “Country First” signs, and chanting various things. You would have thought the Beatles were arriving in America–again. But, no, this was the man who could be our next President and the woman who could be our next Vice-President. If you thought McCain was lagging behind in the polls, you wouldn’t have been able to tell it from this crowd.
Cindy McCain spoke first. Then Sarah Palin took the stage, and she was as every bit charming as one could imagine. I was too busy taking pictures to pay attention, but when McCain was speaking I’m fairly certain she winked at me.
Again, I was taking pictures, so I didn’t catch too much of what McCain was talking about (sounded like the same ol’ stuff to me). But one thing struck me–as McCain talked about Obama, the crowd started chanting, “Nobama! Nobama!” McCain raised a hand in the air to quiet the chant and said that was unnecessary. He then continued on with his speech. I believe that his character was evidenced in this simple act. While he may attack Obama on the issues with sometimes questionable tactics (which is more his campaign than McCain, but, yes, he “runs” his campaign), he refused to allow his speech to turn into a mockery of his opponent. John McCain oozed class, and I smiled proudly. At that moment, I knew exactly why I wanted McCain to be my next President, and all it took was a simple act of respect for Obama.
Unfortunately, I wish the crowd could have taken a lesson from McCain about respect because trying to get out of our seats and back to our cars was a nightmare. Because my mom is disabled, I urged her to step down to the front of the bleachers to allow others to pass so we could take our time. Wrong move! Because McCain and Palin lingered in the crowd to sign autggraphs. So everyone was lurching forward to get a piece of the McCain/Palin ticket, which included yelling, “Sarah! Blow a kiss! Do it for Trig!” Umm…yeah. I was pushed forward by the crowd and nearly fell into the railing, but was caught by a very kind man (thank you, kind man!) I’ve seen teenage kids waiting for autographs at rock concerts act with more civility than these grown-ups who were supposed to be civilized human beings. Perhaps they could get some tips on celebrity etiquette from their kids.
Despite spending 8 hours on this rally adventure and nearly plummeting to my death (or at least hospitalization), I had a good time, saw an old friend (shout out to Erica!), and met some fairly interesting folks. Plus, the one lone protester made for an entertaining spectacle. My advice if you plan on attending a rally–speak loudly to cheer on your candidates and carry a very large stick to beat off the rabid McCain/Palinites.
And here are pics of the lone individual protesting the event…