Today, I had the pleasure of attending a rally for John McCain and Sarah Palin in Fairfax, Virginia.
Click the pictures for a close up view.Because it was going to be held in a high school gymnasium, I thought I might have not only the opportunity to meet McCain and Palin, but was also hoping they would have a Q & A session, wherein I might be able to ask Sarah about her views on illegal immigration.
It is the one Palin position about which I still have no clue. And, it is an important issue to me.
No such luck.
First, they had to move the site of the rally to a park in Fairfax because the local school board pitched a fit. This had the effect (fortunate for the campaign, unfortunate for me) of making the event even more accessible to more people. They announced, after the rally had started, that it was the largest turnout for a McCain rally since the Republican convention, to which I muttered, under my breath, "Just my luck to end up in the biggest crowd."
I hate crowds.
After traveling a mere 46 miles in nearly two hours up the Capitol Beltway, and getting lucky with a parking space fairly close to the park where they had moved the rally, I positioned myself near the front of the stage and to the speaker's left. I was, I'm guessing, about 30 yards or less from the podium.
I thought this guy (in blue shirt) was Newt Gingrich at first, so I took his picture, but, it wasn't him.
After a brief concert by a Country/Western musician,(He's the guy in the cowboy hat in the middle. Can anyone identify him? ) we were treated to several short speeches from various speakers.
One was the Mayor of Fairfax, Virginia. (I don't remember his name) And there was a guy who was imprisoned in the Hanoi Hilton when John McCain was there. There was a woman who is a small business owner from Richmond who was an Obama supporter until three months ago, when exhaustive research into both Presidential candidates caused her common sense to kick in, and now she proudly supports McCain.
Then there was a Democrat Feminist Hillary supporter, who gave a very effective and impassioned speech about her feelings of betrayal by Obama and the mindless, blind, obsessive, Obama worshippers. She enthusiastically announced her support for McCain because, apparently, he had the good sense to choose a woman as his running mate.
It is a poor reason to vote for McCain, I admit, but it's a vote, and that's all that matters.
Then, after some more speeches and additional fanfare, Fred Thompson approached the podium and made a rousing speech extolling the virtues of both McCain and Palin.
He introduced John and Cindy McCain, and Todd and Sarah Palin, and then Mrs. Palin made a speech that bore a striking resemblance to all the previous speeches she has made since her nomination was announced, although she did add some extra information about her accomplishments as Alaska's Governor, which I appreciated.
Don't get me wrong. I was delighted to hear her. She doesn't appear the least bit affected by stage fright or by the merciless and shameful attacks by her opponents in the Obama campaign.
She has been tried by fire and come out without even smelling of smoke.
I am more of a McCain/Palin fan than before I went.
Finally, John McCain spoke, and while I wasn't as impressed by his speech as I was by Mrs. Palins, he did an effective job of rallying the party faithful, and I dare say, a few doubters.
Some fat head (literally) kept moving over in front of me and blocking my view with his gargantuan cranium ( as you can see). I wasted several pictures because he kept sticking his McCain/Palin sign up just as I snapped the photos.
Oh well. Who can blame him? He was caught up in the infectious enthusiasm just like the rest of us.
After the speeches, the rally drew to a close, and as the candidates left the stage, they were immediately enveloped by a crowd of adoring fans. So many fans, in fact, that I was literally pushed to within ten feet of Governor Palin as she moved along shaking hands, but in spite of my close proximity, due to the press of the crowd, I not only didn't get to shake her hand, I couldn't even see her among the teeming mass of humanity. So I picked my way through the throng and made as hasty a retreat back to my car as the crowd allowed.
I did take one last picture of a news crew from some Asian Television news program. I don't know if they were Japanese, Chinese, or what. There were several attendees being interviewed by various newspaper and television reporters as I left but none seemed interested in my opinion.
That's ok. They can read my blog.
I really wish Sarah had presented her views on illegal immigration but I guess I can be patient until her position becomes public.
I'll have to be.
Overall it was an enjoyable, exciting, yet a leg and knee numbing experience. Next time I wonder if they will let me bring a lawn chair.
Here are a few pictures of some attendees who had some interesting outfits:
A moose hat.
An old fashioned imitation straw hat reminiscent of the old Eisenhower days.
Click the picture and read the t-shirts.
I met a very nice lady who has her own blog. We traded Blog addresses. I didn't get her picture. Poor girl. She is so short I wonder if she even saw anything onstage.
And this is me, with my fedora. I recently read an article that said fedoras are the latest rage in fashion, so I really thought I'd see several of them there. I didn't. Apparently, I was the only one.
I think I'll pass on the next rally, unless it is a small town hall type meeting where I can ask questions.