Tag Archives: rally

Red, White, & Bruised

14 Oct

Right now I should be in one of two places–intently listening to John McCain discuss women’s issues at a Town Hall Meeting in Blue Bell, PA or screaming like a banshee for Sarah Palin at a rally in Scranton, PA.  However, I’m at home, still in my pj’s, pondering how to best tackle my to-do list.

When I got up this morning, I didn’t feel like being up at 6:30 AM, didn’t want to drive an hour in rush hour traffic to get a ticket to the McCain event, drive to the event, and wait in lines with tons of women.  Then I didn’t fancy sitting in a chair waiting a couple of hours for McCain to show.  After his crowd interaction/speech, I’d have to navigate out of the crowded venue and deal with more traffic.  The same goes for the Palin rally (although I did find out that I would have been with a group that had backstage passes to the event…but I found out a little too late.  Oh well). Plus, I did get to see McCain/Palin less than a week ago at a rally and have the pictures to prove it (read post).

One of the reasons I wanted to go to either venue was to hang with like-minded people and make new friends.  Seriously, rallies can be wild and the crowd energy is contagious.  But I really wanted attend these events to take more pictures (and hopefully figure out my lighting issues) and meet either McCain or Palin.  However, a lot of people want to meet McCain and Palin, so who I am in a crowd of thousands?

Sure, Sarah Palin is my hero–a woman whose courage I admire.  She’s well-spoken, real, and shows grace under a ridiculous amount of media attacks.  I wanted to encourage her and to tell her to keep fighting because there are woman (like me) who believe in her.  We are glad she is running for VP and feel that she represents us.  Her mere presence in this election is a kick in the face to everyone who told us we couldn’t because we’re woman.  That’s why I would give Sarah Palin a sincere hug, wipe the tears from my eyes, and say, “Thank you,  Sarah!”

John McCain, on the other hand, is someone I have admired for a long time.  I have always admired his ability to cross party lines to get things done and to fight for what he thought was right even if it meant going against the norm.  I believe that he’s a man of honor who deeply loves this country.  I don’t care if he’s in his early 70s because with age comes wisdom.  He’s proved the kind of man he is over and over again in a variety of heart-wrenching situations, and when he’s failed, he’s admitted to his folly.  I want a man of honor in the White House.  I want to shake his hand, thank him for his service, and tell him to keep fighting for the presidency.  Your fight is my fight, John McCain, otherwise I wouldn’t have given up hours of my life to volunteer for your campaign.

Truth be told, as much as I believe in the McCain/Palin ticket, I’m feeling a little red, white, and bruised.  I’m tired of going into my local “Victory Center” and making phone call after phone call to people who would rather not talk to me.  In fact, Sarah and I received four calls from the Republican Party telling us to vote for McCain, asking us to volunteer, and what not!  Ironically, one of the messages on our answering machine was left while I was volunteering.  Uh, yeah.

So, since I’m tired of getting all these ridiculous phone calls, I figure other people are tired of getting these phone calls as well.  Therefore, I feel less than excited at the prospect of making more phone calls that annoy people.  When I’ve asked if I can use my other skills, I am told that there’s nothing else I can do, but I see other people, who are unwilling to harass people for McCain, doing all sorts of other things such as greeting people at the door, putting together signs, entering data into computers, and so on.  I’ve been in there 13 times, 12 of which have been spent making calls.  I’m really getting bored…you know?  I want to be humble and to do what is asked of me, even if it seems really lame.  But just because studies say that phone calls are what win elections doesn’t mean that’s what reaches my generation.  Everyone I talk to is sick of the phone calls–I don’t want to be part of the problem.

Part of me wants to continue until the end, or at least until I leave for vacation on Nov. 1, but I’m just so sick of making phone calls.  I’m almost weary of the whole election.  I mean, it’s hard to have devoted so much time to a campaign only to hear on the news that your candidate probably won’t win the election anyway.  I’m starting to take attacks on Sarah Palin personally, like I’m a dolt for choosing to support a woman who seems like a complete idiot to so many.  Really, I just want the whole thing to be over.

Do I continue to make phone calls, even though I feel like they’re a hindrance?  Do I continue helping at the office because I want to finish what I started?  Should I demand other work?  I have no idea.  Maybe I should have attended one of the rallies in hopes that I could be encouraged by the energy of the candidates instead of sitting at home pondering what to do next.

I imagine a world without candidate phone calls, no political ads taking up commercial space when I was TV, and news about the election not dominating the headlines.  As for me, right now I’m red, white, and bruised.


A Day at the McCain/Palin Rally

8 Oct
McCains lagging in the polls?  Cant tell from this crowd!

McCain's lagging in the polls? Can't tell from this crowd!

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.

Sarah Palin commands the crowd.

Sarah Palin commands the crowd.

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.

The expression on John McCains face = priceless.

The expression on John McCain's face = priceless.

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.

Sarah Palin getting off the Straight Talk Express.

Sarah Palin fresh off the Straight Talk Express.

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.

We love Sarah!

We love Sarah!

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.

We love McCain, too!

We love McCain, too!

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.

John McCain speaks at a rally in the Lehigh Valley.

John McCain speaks at a rally in the Lehigh Valley.

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.

My mom and me.

My mom and me.

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…

Theres one in every crowd.

There's one in every crowd.

In case the sign and the insults werent enough, he also flips off the line.

In case the sign and the insults weren't enough, he also flips off the line.

Protesting without a permit is illegal so the shenanigans of the protestant are put to an end by local law enforcement.

Protesting without a permit is illegal so the shenanigans of the protestant are put to an end by local law enforcement.

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