Since Day One of the 2008 Presidential Primary Campaign, all you heard in the tanked media was that McCain was going to lose. For a time, the conventional wisdom was that he had lost already. So much for the conventional wisdom.
McCain's still standing, and while he's behind in the polls, he's not so far behind that the Obamanites can breathe easy. First of all, the Obama camp knows they've got a slight lead based not so much on the strength of their candidate, but simply because of the economy and because the mainstream media is in the tank with Obama. The economy also is in the tank with Democrats like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, irresponsible engineers of the Fanny Mae-Freddy Mac disaster. It's really a hoot to hear Democrats criticizing McCain on the economy. Obama advisors Jim Johnson, Jamie Gorelick, and Franklin Raines walked away with millions of no-money-down-pay-what-if-and-when mortgage debt bonuses while they ran the GSEs into the ground.
Anyway, if there's ever been an election year when things may not be what they seem or are said to be, this is it. Don't trust the polls this year unless you understand you may be looking at the part of an iceberg which rises out of the ocean. John McCain is still there, still strong, and stronger yet with his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Consider the barrage of smears aimed at the Barracuda by the mainstream press before she rolled up on Biden in the VP debate and took a good slice out of his hide. But it's the same old story. Should the mainstream media find some good news about McCain-Palin, they ignore it and bury it.
But don't forget that there's more to the iceberg than the part sticking out of the sea. If you're tired of hearing it from me, you can read the report filed by crack reporter Laura Conway as she attended a McCain-Palin rally in Lebanon Ohio. This is not how CNN or MSNBC or the New York Times feels about the race--this story is about how real people see McCain-Palin.
Laura is not only a writer-reporter--she's also served in executive positions with some of America's leading corporations. This is Laura's account of the McCain-Palin rally in Lebanon, Ohio.... :
<Lebanon, Ohio, Tuesday, September 9th, 2008. It is an unseasonably cool, overcast, and humid day in Southwest Ohio but it does not matter, everyone is anticipating the opportunity to witness history. No matter what happens in the general election in November, I want to say that I was here and took part in the political process among average citizens.
My neighbor and I decided to make the drive from Cincinnati north to Lebanon, OH, historically a farm community and a Republican stronghold. Lebanon has developed and grown over the years but still represents small town Americana with history intertwined all around you. The “Golden Lame” restaurant has played an integral role in history with 12 Republican Presidents making an appearance at this very spot; the likes of Garfield, McKinley, Adams, Harding, Taft, Grant, and Reagan to new a few.
After finding a parking place, we walked what seemed like a mile to the end of the very long line which wound around the main town square. Everyone was ready to face the elements; equipped with rain gear, umbrellas, parkas, (you get the general idea). Citizens followed the rules, despite the crowds and elements, people quietly and systematically waited patiently and moved through the process. There was quiet conversation and occasional jokes shared by complete strangers.
Amidst the rain and wind, there were people selling tee shirts and campaign pins with slogans from “No Bama” to “Making History, McCain & Palin”, “Moms for Palin” and people were buying pins and shirts by the dozen. There were also some bright local business owners selling warm bread, cinnamon rolls, and hot coffee while intermittent rain fell hard at times splashing off thousands of umbrellas, trees, and rooftops.
Outside of the “Golden Lame” restaurant and hotel, the grand stand stage was set up. Looking across and down the wide main street, buildings had a small American flag sitting in each window sill with local townspeople looking out and watching the event unfold. The band is playing background music that flows through the streets of Lebanon and the rain periodically pelts down but it does not matter. Everyone is focused on the final goal; getting through security and into the main stage area to witness history, to be part of it. And before passing through security, everyone had to surrender their umbrellas. What happens if there is a downpour? Oh well, it was worth it to the crowd to get cold and soaking wet. It was all worth it. These same umbrellas would be stacked up on the side of the streets creating a “ sea of umbrellas” like I have never seen before.
Downtown Lebanon was completely overtaken by the rally. All businesses and schools were closed for the day in anticipation of this historic event. Security was on high alert with sharp shooters on every rooftop, right in front of you. The keynote speakers were scheduled to start talking @ 10:00 AM, however, they were running late. The band played several Ohio state fight songs to keep the crowd going. Everyone really got into the music and was shooting, singing, and dancing in whatever space they could find to move. They were expecting 5,000 people and 10,000 showed up.
You could sense and feel the excitement in the air, it was flowing out of the music, movement, and psychic of the crowd. What really struck me about the people in attendance was the number of youth; there were so many young children, teens, 20’s, 30’s, etc. They were so excited to witness the same history. At different points, the crowd would just start chanting, “Sarah, Sarah, Sarah” and “USA, USA, USA”.
There were several guest speakers that did a very good job, however, when Sarah Palin and John McCain finally took the stage, the air was electrifying. In-person, Sarah is “lightening in a bottle”. She has something that is very rare with a politician, the ability to come across as “real and accessible”. Right away, you feel and sense that you know her, who she is, what she stands for, and people automatically are drawn to her because they can relate to her on some many different levels. I personally was pleased that she spent 5-7 minutes talking specifically about her record of executive experience in Alaska which built her credibility as a leader. She discussed that she “lowered property taxes, income taxes, and cut unnecessary expenses which resulted in budget surplus. She gave the excess money back to the good people of Alaska”. The crowd went crazy.
John McCain was right on stage with Palin the whole time she was speaking and the dynamics and synergy of them together really works well. McCain is comfortable with the star charisma of Palin but he holds himself as the strong Commander and Chief. The two mavericks set the audience on their feet. There is true excitement and energy behind this Republican ticket. They talked a lot about what they will do as change agents and fighting pork-barrel spending and not allowing ear marks was strongly communicated.