My experience at a McCain rally

My family and I trooped up to Perkasie, Pa. to hear John McCain speak. I wanted my children to experience this part of the political process, and I wanted to hear John McCain speak. It was inspiring.
We drove up to Pa. because McCain isn’t going to speak down here. The Soviet Republic of Marylandistan is solidly in comrade Obama’s camp. If this country is going to be saved from the disaster that Obama represents, it’s going to be in the battleground states. Pennsylvania is one. To my shame, my beloved Maryland isn’t. We got there about 1:30, McCain was scheduled to speak at 2. We parked semi-illegally and walked to the venue. It was an airfield, which I thought was brilliant. McCain had been in Virginia early in the morning, this gave him the opportunity to fly right in with no fuss and no muss. I think this obvious advantage was lost on the McCain campaign because he was several hours late and when he arrived, it was by bus. I understand the tremendous pressure he is under timewise, trying to appear everywhere he can possibly appear to garner support, but still I think he missed the obvious.

So, we all stood around for a couple hours waiting. Jimmy found another 3 year old named Sean and they had the most fantastic time just playing. They ran around, and waved pom poms at each other and just chased each other around for hours. I’m glad he was able to enjoy himself so completely.

Matthew also enjoyed himself. He found another teenager his age to hang with, and they went off and got gloomy angsty at each other or ogled girls or did some other damn thing together. He surprised me, however, on the way home. He told me that he was interested in how people in groups interacted, whether it was politics or religion, and that he wanted to study that more. I rag on him all the time because he’s…well, he’s an idiot. He’s 14. This was the first time I saw him taking an interest in something larger than anime or cartoons or whatever, and it encouraged me. He’s a good kid. If his mother and I can keep him from sercombing to being a happy idiot, he’ll move the world. This was an encouraging step in that direction.

My wife was bored and angry. She’s Canadian, and while she prefers McCain to Obama, she can’t vote and our long, drawn out election cycle bothers her. In Canada, an election is called, politicking goes on for 6 weeks, then they vote and it’s done. There’s something to be said for that. She also had somewhere to be back home, and McCain’s delay really put a crimp in her personal plans for the day.

Me? I was interested. I met a reporter from the local Perkasie paper and gave an interview. She said I was the person who had traveled furthest to be at the rally that she’d met. I was cognesant of my wife’s desire to get home in time to meet her friends, and if McCain had been on time she would have been, but I also really, really wanted to hear McCain speak. He finally arrived. I put Jimmy on my shoulders to see McCain, and I was gratified to hear him chanting “John McCain!” with the rest of the crowd. (I’m not a fool, if we’d have been in a different crowd, he’d have been chanting O-bam-a along with the rest. He’s 3. Still, it was nice to hear him chanting the right thing)

So, John McCain finally ascends the stage and begins to speak. He was really, really good. He spoke forcefully and encouragingly about what he believes in, about why we should vote for him. Almost everything he said resonated with me. And I also noticed a big difference between what he said and what Obama says. Granted, I’ve never heard Obama in person, just on video, but I was struck by the difference between the content. John McCain speaks about the greatness of America, and how we can achieve anything we put our minds to. He speaks about leaving Iraq victorious. He speaks about government getting out of the way of us Americans. He speaks about cutting government spending. He speaks about the value of hard work and how any American can achieve whatever they are willing to work hard for. Obama speaks about the mistakes America has made, and how we need the government’s help. He speaks about leaving Iraq regardless of the consequences. He speaks about how government exists to take care of us. He speaks about increasing taxes for the always nebulous “common good”. Obama says that hard work is a fools gambit, we’ll all “work” together and split the benefit. The differences between the two are starkly clear. What I don’t understand is how McCain isn’t up 20 points in the polls, just on content.

On the stump, McCain was good, DAMN GOOD. I left the event with one thought foremost in my mind: Why the hell didn’t he bring this passion and delivery to the debates, particularly the last debate where they went head to head? He would have destroyed Obama. I’m not a huge supporter of McCain the candidate, but I am a huge supporter of him as the lesser of two weasels. I would have charged hell with a bucket of water behind McCain at the end of his speech. If he gave that order, I am confident that he would be right in front, leading the charge. Obama? He’d send me charging towards hell with my bucket while he was back at home, safe and contemplating how he could use my death at the hands of hell’s minions for the “greater good”.

And that makes all the difference in the world.

Because most people understand that most of the views you just attributed to Obama are not ones that he actually holds. It makes a difference if you listen to what Obama actually says vs. just reading some conservative’s talking points regarding what he says.

Perhaps you should move to someplace like the Großidahoische Reich that will definitely vote for the Republican nominee.

One of the things that I constantly hear from people on the “right” is that Obama doesn’t give specifics. Okay, maybe this is true. I’m not going to argue the point, but how is anything that Obama says any different than McCain saying, “I know how to get bin Laden” or “I know how to win wars”? Assuming that McCain does know how to do these things, how are these statements any less vague than what Obama has said? There aren’t any specifics in those statements. Only an implied “trust me.” I’m sorry, but I’m going to need more than that from someone from the party that is in power.

I’ll even give McCain the benefit of the doubt and say that he’s telling the truth and not just spouting something which will win him the election. I need more than just words, however, to compensate for the absolute fucked up job that this administration has done. Yes, I know that the Dems have been spineless weasels, but if I’m going to shift the power base in Washington, my only hope of doing this is voting for Obama. Not because I think that the Dems are superior, or that Obama has all the answers, but because by having the GOP get their ass handed to them so profoundly they might remember that all glory is fleeting and thus come back to those ideals with which I can agree with.

Obama has had this message for his entire campaign.

Whenever and however we leave Iraq, we have lost long ago. We have wasted billions, killed countless people and destroyed a nation.

Yep, there have been many - we squandered the support and sympathy of the world since 9/11 and stared unwinnable wars.

McCain has been in office for more than 20 years and here we are. Obama has run the best campaign in the history of America, defeated the Clintons and inspired a generation. I think McCain is probably a nice, genuine fellow, but his Party’s message and ideology has been tried and proven to not work.

I run my own business, my taxes will go up under Obama, and yet I feel Obama is absolutely the right choice to try to regain what we have lost in the past 8 years.

If you can’t understand why JMc isn’t 20 points ahead in the polls than you are really not going to understand what’s about to happen in your country.

Which is okay, half of america stood by shaking it’s head when GWB was elected for a second term.

The real question is will you still be proud of your democracy when Obama is swept into office by a majority?

Will you suck it up like the half of your country that tolerated another term of GWB? No one is asking you to rejoice or anything, but will you be able to admit that, unfortunately, your world view is not shared by most amerikans?

I notice that when Obama speaks, he speaks about what he’s going to do, and that when McCain speaks he speaks about his perception of what Obama will do.

case in point:

I printed the two essays on that page to read on the train ride home. McCain mentions Obama in 7-8 paragraphs. Obama mentions McCain in 1. Telling me the other guy is a poopyhead does not tell me why I should vote for you.

I’m kinda tired of seeing McCain/Palin say “Yeah he’s eloquent, but…” as if eloquence is something we shouldn’t look for in a world leader who has to try and make nice with the mess that he’ll be handed in January.

It doesn’t matter who wins Dave, spending will be cut. GW has already spent all the money. There is no more left. We’re broke, busted, flat on our back poor. Paying attention will require a credit rating of 750 and a line of credit from some bailedout bank. Of course, we could start the presses up again…

We just had eight years of a leader who couldn’t do eloquent if his life depended on it, because actions speak louder than words, right? And …

Oh, wait, never mind.

John McCain isn’t winning because he isn’t running his own campaign. Someone else is, and John is letting them tell him what to do.

Mr. McCain is a better person and would be a better president than his campaign has shown him to be.

He is an elderly man and is presumably finding all the travelling tiring.

The UK has the same short timeframe. (Also elections cost a huge amount in the US.)

His party has been in power for 8 years. In that time, the US has sadly achieved a world-wide reputation for incompetence, violence and attacking human rights.
Where was McCain when all this was going on?

Is this the same ‘victory’ as in the ‘War on Drugs’? How is that conflict going?

As Desert Nomad said the US has ‘wasted billions, killed countless people and destroyed a nation’.
I would add that the UK followed the US into Iraq to seize WMDs. Not only were there no WMDs, but we have had hundreds of troops killed, diverted vital military resources from Afghanistan and even had terrorist attacks in London from English citizens because of the Iraq invasion.
Our confidence in US Intelligence and current leadership is shattered. McCain thinks all is going well? :confused::smack:

Is this the guy who endorsed the US Government spending $700,000,000,000 recently?
In addition the Iraq war has cost about $550,000,000,000 so far. This money could have built 8 million houses, paid 15 million teachers, paid for the child care of 530 million kids, paid for the scholarship of 43 million students, offered social safety net during 50 year to Americans.

There were about 15% of Americans without health care insurance in 2007. Is McCain saying they are all lazy?

Probably because in the debates people would point out McCain’s unsupported rhetoric.
Consider how Palin went down a storm at the Republican conference, but collapsed into inanity when asked simple questions by a reporter.

Actually I think the opposite. It shows that McCain is not able to delegate and assume authority and lets himself be managed.

Obama has run a spectacular campaign and has more organization on the ground than most companies or governments will ever have. I think it shows what type of cabinet he will be able to form and how he will be able to manage things as President.

What’s most inspiring about McCain’s speaking, the sarcasm and air quotes, or the factual inaccuracies?

  I found myself flung into the black hole of my own cynicism by these particular statements- "I know how to get Bin Laden! I know how to win wars!" etc. Like, OK, why haven't you spread the wealth around so we can get this part over with?
 But when my cancer cure comes out, I'm not donating it to the masses. No socialist here.

You know, hyperbole like this doesn’t help you. Even Reagan wasn’t 20 points up on Mondale. If you seriously believe that “content” alone could put one candidate 20 points up the polls…well, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of your argument.

And people say the Right can’t do satire!


Not to mention the creepy grinning and chuckling he does whenever he talks about how Obama will fuck up America. If he really thinks Obama is so horrible, why does he find that funny?

I haven’t been to a McCain rally, but I can explain why I felt inspired at the OBama rally.

It had little to do with Obama. Yes, we were assembled together to see him and it would have sucked if he hadn’t shown up, but simply being in that arena with all those different types of people was inspiring enough to make the experience worthwhile.

It wasn’t just race. It was age and class as well. Suburbanites standing next to urban dwellers. College professors next to housewives next to bus drivers…and everyone feeling just as American as the other. While waiting for Obama to show up, we danced and sang along with the country, disco, and hip hop being piped in over the loud speakers. We playfully fought over the Obama/Biden signs and American flags that were distributed by the campaign. We groaned together good-naturedly when Obama was an hour late. At least where I stood, no one talked about McCain or the Republicans. It was all about us.

Watching the CSPAN coverage of the rally that night, I found my face in the crowd behind Obama. I used to think that campaign teams took great pains to assemble the “behind the podium” crowd you always see on the news. I figured they balanced the diversity to be just right so as to be as politically correct as possible. But there was no such manipulation at the rally I attended. They simply opened the gate and we all poured in. Black and white. Young and old. Professional and blue-collar. Rich and poor. Religious and atheist (as represented in my group).

Perhaps McCain inspires in a different way than Obama does. But I think there’s something to be said when a crowd inspires itself.

What does that say about how he would perform as president?

Huh. I’m interested in knowing what disaster this might be. I mean, disaster that compares with the current administration’s mishandling of, well just about everything. We’ve already got the hugely increased national debt/deficit, unwinnable wars, decreased national prestige, falling dollar, recession, increases in food and energy costs, calamities in the financial services sector, no national energy policy to speak of… Just what is it that you’re expecting Obama to do that will top this?
As for McCain’s inspirational speeches – frankly, all I’ve heard from him for the past two months is “Obama sucks”. Seriously, that Obama is a socialist, unpatriotic, hangs out with terrorists and angry black preachers. It’s one thing to disagree with your opponent on issues, but to slag the guy non-stop for months over stuff that you know is both non true and irrelevant means that you’re pandering to the not-so-smart part of your base.

Now I’m sure that McCain gives a good speech. Charisma is important for politicians and salespeople. But all that means is that you can convince people that you’re a great guy – it doesn’t mean that you’re not a schmuck. McCain’s campaign has convinced me that he is, in fact, a schmuck.