How to Fit In as an Obama Supporter at a Sarah Palin Rally: Step 1. Wear a Ridiculous American Flag Hat. :)
Attending the Sarah Palin rally in Colorado Springs -- yes, the one at which Hank Williams Jr. asserted that "Obama's not real crazy about" the national anthem (I have video) -- was certainly a memorable way to spend the evening before the election. I may not like Palin, nor support her runningmate, but the event definitely got me jazzed up about democracy, corny as that may sound. Election Day!! Woo!!!
The warm-up music for Palin was excellent (rarely has "Don't Stop Believin'" seemed more appropriate), the open-airport-hangar-at-dusk setting was neat, the arrival of the McCain-Palin plane was suitably dramatic, and the crowd was plenty enthusiastic. Indeed, while there were fewer people there than at Obama's rally in Pueblo on Saturday, I'd say the Palin crowd may have beaten the Obama crowd in terms of how loudly and frequently they cheered. These people were pumped.
The mood reminded me of a Notre Dame pep rally the day before a game against a superior USC team that even the most die-hard Irish fans know, in their hearts, is probably going to beat ND. The attitude, I think, is: so what if it's probably a lost cause? It's the day before the big game, you're playing your archrival, and this is your last chance to bask in the hypothetical glory of a potential victory that will probably never come. So cheer like hell, and if you don't believe, pretend you do. "What though the odds be great or small," right? Same thing here for the Republicans, I guess. Goooo McCain, Beeeeat Hussein, eh? (Just kidding. In all seriousness and fairness, I heard no "Husseins" or other such nonsense, whatsoever.)
Unfortunately, the setting was not ideal for photography because of a giant, enormously bright light directly behind the podium. (See photo below.) I'm sure that monstrosity provided good lighting for the liberal elite media cameras off to the (appropriately enough) left-hand side of the hangar, but for those of us Joe Sixpack photographers in the crowd, it was awful. I took over 200 photos at the rally, and although I haven't yet looked at most of 'em, I suspect they're largely crap. *sigh*
That said, you gotta love the guy with the Obama-Biden sign, pictured above. We saw him on our way out (we left a couple minutes early, to beat traffic, and because Loyette was getting fussy), and as far as we could tell, nobody was giving him any trouble. Good for him, for expressing his views and having the cojones to do it in such a hostile setting. And good for the McCain supporters, for not overly harassing him.
Anyway... I'll post more photos a bit later, once I've had time to sort through 'em all.
UPDATE: As promised, I've added a bunch of photos from the McCain-Palin rally to my Election 2008 gallery (currently on Page 1, Page 2 and Page 3), and I've scattered a few links to those photos into the post above, as well as adding a new top photo of Becky wearing the ridiculous American flag hat. True story: I found that hat in a box while packing up our Knoxville apartment, and decided to bring it with us (instead of sending it with the movers) because I figured it might find some good use before Election Day. I was right!
Anyway, here are some more photos from the rally:
I have no idea what this guy's deal is, but he was greeting rallygoers as we arrived in the parking lot.
Directing traffic with a toilet plunger: a Joe the Plumber reference? (Another photo here.)
Seen in the parking lot: "If You Don't Love U.S., You Can't Lead U.S." I'm Hank Williams Jr. and I approved this message?
Homemade signs were not allowed through security, so various attempts were left lying around outside. (See also here.)
The McCain campaign, however, had a clever solution to the homemade-sign ban: they handed out fake homemade signs before Palin arrived, thus creating the false appearance of folksiness, down-homey-ness, maverickness and such. LOL!
Another look at the fake homemade signs, during the rally.
In the foreground, real Americans wait for Palin, while in the background, the liberal elite media plots its next move.
Like I said, there are more photos (sans snarky captions) here, or more specifically, here, here and here.