Sunday, September 7, 2008

 

McCain-Palin Rally, Albuquerque

Mesa Mike and family went to the McCain-Palin rally in Albuquerque yesterday. Mesa Mama and the kids stayed up till 11:00 PM the night before and made several posterboard signs. When we arrived at the convention center, someone told us we wouldn't be able to bring them inside, so I disappointedly put them back in the car. Later on, as we were standing in line behind eleventy-bazillion people, we learned that actually if we brought the signs in they would be taken from us, and after they were "vetted" by the Secret Service they would be handed out randomly, so I went back and got them. It turned out that once inside, we were able to get most of them back by finding whoever had them and asking for them.

The sun was shining down bright and hot as we were standing in line, and 2-year-old Mesa Toddler started melting down. Mesa Mama asked one of the campaign volunteers if there was any way we could get her out of the sun. He replied that since we had a young child we should all just go up to the front of the line and go inside!!! What? Is this some kind of cruel joke to make us give up our spot in line? OK, well, we'll go see... We trudged the 17.56 miles to the front of the line and the guy at the door said that wasn't correct, but go ahead anyway --sigh-- and he'd tell everyone else that kids melting down in the hot sun was not an excuse to go in early. What luck!

So, we got in just a couple minutes before the doors officially opened. After going through the metal detectors and having our innermost beings probed by the Rays of Truth, we wandered out onto the convention center floor and looked around. The platform was small with a railing around it in the middle of the hall, and there was still plenty of room up at the rail, so we parked it there. And we stood there for 2 hours before anything started happening. But we ended up being not more than 15-20 feet from the podium!
A group of Boy Scouts from Troop 17 came in and presented the colors. Next were state representatives Larry Larranaga and Justine Fox-Young, who led the Pledge of Allegiance, then an unidentified young man lead the singing of the National Anthem, in which the audience joined in. After that, Sheriff Darren White and Congresswoman Heather Wilson speechifying. Next, a group of youth cheerleaders ("The Storm," we've seen them before in cheerleading competitions; they always win) doing a routine and getting the crowd chanting. "J-O-H-N, John McCain! John McCain!" and then actor Robert Duvall and his wife were the last up before the big ticket items. His wife, Luciana Pedraza, called his attention to our "DRILL NOW" sign as they came up on the stage. "Can you give me an 'AMEN'?" he shouts as he takes the podium. The crowd complies. After Mr. Duvall finished his talking, he came over to the side of the stage and was talking to a secret service guy and pointing to our hand-made sign. He wanted the guy to get the sign, but the secret service guy wouldn't bend down to get it. He was probably just doing his job of not getting distracted. I picked up the sign and handed it to the SS guy, and he handed it to Mr. Duvall, who took it back up to the center of the stage and held it up and walked around the stage for everybody to see. It read "READ MY LIPSTICK." Then he flipped it over and did the same thing again with the "DRILL NOW" side. The audience went wild. Of course, that was probably because the Straight Talk Express was at that moment driving into the Convention Center.

After a short while, Senator McCain and his wife, and Governor Palin and her "First Dude" came on stage. McCain arrived without jacket and tie, with sleeves rolled up. Palin arrived de pelo suelto -- hair down -- (but wearing those Kazuo Kawasaki 704 series glasses!) It's OK; this is New Mexico. Gov. Palin saw the "DRILL NOW" sign and gave a thumbs-up and said "Thank you!" At some point in his speech, Senator McCain made a promise that we would "drill now", and then pointed to our sign for emphasis!

After the speeches were done, the candidates and their spouses (and a bunch of secret service guys) came down off the platform and started shaking hands and signing autographs for the people near the railing. Scout and Squirt were right up against the rail, Luke next to them, and I was standing right behind them with the camera. Gov. Palin and her husband autographed some of our tickets and a sign that Luke made. McCain didn't autograph anything because he had dropped his Sharpie (Luke later picked it up, it's now his prize possession...). When McCain saw Scout and Squirt standing there squished and barely able to see over the railing, he got such a big smile on his face and bent down to talk to our girls and give 'em a pat on the head. I could tell how warm and genuine he was. Then Luke chatted with Cindy McCain for a short while. This was such an exciting experience, and I hope our kids will remember it for a long time.

We have a whole bunch more pictures, which you can see at http://www.gentux.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=27002.

Also, you might be interested in Blogengeezer's writeup of the event.

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Comments:
Mike, that is awfully cool. Thanks for directing my attention to it. More pictures?
 
Hello friends and family: I uploaded all the pictures I'm going to. You can see them at http://gentoo.net/McCain-Rally. Look at them individually, or download all-pics.zip

If any of you want the full resolution version of any particular pictures, let me know which ones and I can email them. They range from 3 to 4.5 megabytes each.
 
Mike,
How EXCITING for you, Mesa Mama and the Mesa young'uns to go the rally - I think it is way cool. Bet ya'll will remember it for a l o n g time.
BTW you got some great pics too.
 
Mike, that was great that your kids made the signs that were the ultimate props at the rally. You bet I was impressed. I am getting several em's from pilot friends. Seems like they all are excited about Sarah and Todd, they always were with John of course. I will happily post your comment along with the, 'Sarah's Stories', on http://daflikkers.blogspot.com/
 
OK, I have added a few more pictures for the sake of completeness, and have Gallery'd and titled them for easy viewing at http://www.gentux.org/gallery
 
Great that Los Alamos has active supporting familys for John and Sarah. Keep up the good work. Tried to get some signs with both names on them at the headquarters, nothing yet. Maybe your kids should go into the sign business? Of course the media is going into hyperdrive but they are unsure of which vector? So many false assumptions spreading about 'Our Sarah'. Everyone ..please Pray for protection for Sarah and her family.
 
GREAT report thank you so much for sharing about the rally. Fantastic!!!! I love how you put this together. It took a lot of work but is really worth it. Thank you again, it made me feel like I was there too.
 

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