Saturday, March 27, 2010

Palin rally for McCain in Tucson full of dissenters and JD supporters

Some great coverage from an attendee and the Arizona Daily Star, here are some excerpts -

I was at the rally in Tucson yesterday. I carried a sign (outside the gate) that said, "Sarah Supporter for JD Hayworth" and I had JD on both of my palms. I was interviewed by 2 news networks. There were an estimated 4000 at the rally (Editor's Note: Only 2000 showed up today at Palin's rally for McCain in Mesa, AZ). McCain staffers were pushing McCain sticker to everyone, everywhere. I must have said no thank you at least 20 times as I walked to and from the restroom.

shortly after I entered the room, which was 15 minutes before Sarah was to take the stage, a "warm-up" speaker mentioned Sarah's name and the crowd went wild. He then followed up those applause with McCain's name, the crowd was enthusiastic but there were also boos and cat calls scattered throughout. In the immediate area where I stood, I would say about a 1/3 did not have on the free McCain sticker and I noticed they refrained from clapping, whenever McCain's name was mentioned.

Once Sarah finished speaking, McCain took the stage. He was well received but didn't get near the response that Sarah did. Where I was standing, near the center, just in front of the press, a small stream of people left but I hear those in the back left in droves. I was going to leave but instead, chose to stay and see what he had to say. Many of his statements were cheered when they were about fighting to repeal healthcare and things like that, that all the people could agree on but when it was generally about McCain, the applause were polite but less enthusiastic.

One more thing I'll mention, the room was like a big barn, no seating anywhere. In the middle was a huge set up for the press. One could definitely tell this rally was all about promoting McCain (playing to the press), it was certainly not about the people! Standing on cement for 3 hours, with wall to wall people (most of them seniors), in a very hot room, was not a set up with the people in mind. 

I noticed there were a few "signs" in one photo of the event, notice they were on a riser of some sort, those folks must have been invited guests, as we were told emphatically, NO SIGNS! Of course they didn't like my sign, so maybe there was a double standard?

From the Arizona Daily Star 

 Former running mates John McCain and Sarah Palin were reunited Friday for their first public appearance since the 2008 election cycle.

The run-up: Will Allgood, 40, was selling T-shirts that read "OBUMR" in the parking lot. The crowd filtered past gun advocate Ken Rineer, who stood out front holding a sign that said he wouldn't forgive McCain for attempting to control his guns, speech, energy, health care and vitamins. 

The J.D. Factor: Republican precinct committeeman James Kelley said he had spoken with a number of undecideds in the audience. "I believe Southern Arizona is still on the fence about McCain," Kelley said. "They love him personally but his voting record and the compromises he's made concern them."

Jennifer Leslie, 41, stood with a few friends outside the security checkpoint holding signs that read "Sarah Supporters For J.D. Hayworth." Leslie said she didn't think Palin's support of McCain would sway voters. "I think she is doing it out of loyalty and political payback," she said.

Reaction afterward: The crowd in the back of the room started thinning out as soon as Palin stopped speaking. 

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