First of all, if you want the objective report on this rally, see Nate’s observational post. The following is my partisan report since I’m an open Palin (and McCain) supporter.
There’s only one way to describe the McCain/Palin rally this morning in Fairfax, VA: mind-blowing!
Starting my day out at 5am so so I would be able to get in the inner circle next to the stage, I was not going to miss Sarah Palin blowing a kiss at me! The best surprise of all was the introduction to McCain and Palin turned out to be Fred Thompson! Anybody familiar with my commentaries knows full well I was a self-described Fred-head from the beginning with Thompson. So this was by far one of the major highlights of the rally for me personally.
Cindy McCain spoke first and, if you can believe this, is everything you imagine a first lady to be, and more. Hearing her speak today, she was very clear, articulate, and confident in her statements and support of her husband. This is similar to our current first lady, Laura Bush.
In some of my past commentaries I think I spoke too harshly of Cindy McCain. Last week at the convention I watched her biographical video which included her work with children and operation SMILE. She’s got more experience in international charitable and social work than Biden and Obama put together. I got such a warm sense from her today and yet she was tuned into the speech and seemed delighted to be there. You’d think hearing the same stump speeches several times a day, you’d be sick of it by now. Plus, boy can that girl rock a pair of Coco Chanel sunglasses!
Here comes the good part. Can you say “Sarah Palin!” This is my own personal bias, as if it could be possible, but I think she’s even more gorgeous in person. But that’s not shocking since RepubliChicks are usually pretty hot. I was taken by how humble her and her husband Todd really are in person.
Her speech was very cookie-cutter but delivered with ferocity. For me personally, the highlight of the speech was when Sarah addressed the veterans who were in the VIP seating. Sarah pointed to a sign in the crowd which said something about being a mother of a soldier and stated that being a mother of soldier, her son Track, she wouldn’t want anyone other than John McCain in the White House because she trusted him to take care of our military.
At one point, after her speech during McCain’s speech, Palin looked over in our direction, about 10 to 15 feet from the podium, at the ladies behind me who had a Sarah Palin elephant made on one their daughters. It was complete with the glasses and hairdo. Sarah grabbed her husband’s hand and pointed at it and they both had a chuckle over it.
You would have thought that you were going to a concert that was sold out for months.
As for McCain, his speech was good and I was surprised at how much I actually did appreciate it. The excitement of the crowd contributed to a very energized McCain. He made a big point of thanking veterans and resolving to support them in every way possible. I feel much more comfortable pulling the lever for McCain considering my past criticism. With the choice of Palin, he has erased some of my fears that he would be playing mainly to moderates and independents. His message of being a “maverick against his own party” is present in order to appeal to them, however, Palin’s conservative principles more than make up for my disagreements with McCain.
The McCain protesters / Obama supporters which showed up, somewhere around 10, were pretty pathetic. The legions of McCain supporters walking by simply drowned them out chanting “U-S-A!” There were no fights, no thing as the opposition was pretty weak. A walking polar bear came up to me while I bought some pins from a veteran. He began to educate me on the plight of global warming. I explained to him that he ought to not bother people or he’d better be able to run fast in that polar bear costume.
One thing that I was awestruck to find were how diverse the age range in the crowd was. There were many people in their 20s, like me, and even younger. Alongside them were working professionals up to senior citizens, all gathered for the event. It dispelled a lot of the notion to me that young people are so bent on Obama, the crowd of 23,000 was full of young voters and supporters.
The energy was absolutely overwhelming. We’ve gone through over a year and a half of the majestic Barack Obama coming to deliver us all. Thankfully that flame is now dying out and has made way for McCain to choose a principled conservative in the form of Sarah Palin. As the Obama campaign seems to be faltering at the sight of Palin, the enthusiasm is running deep and is re-energizing the Republican party as a whole.
We may not have been a part of the Obamacropolis with the Greek columns but we came out in droves to stand 23,000 strong in Fairfax, VA.