Sarah Palin drew a crowd of 60,000 people to a rally in Florida, where she delivered her first stump speech in support of the Republican Presidential ticket.
If we’re just looking at the numbers, it’s impressive. 60,000 people coming out to see a political figure reveals just how sick and tired Americans are of the current administration. Obama’s grass-roots support system (the best in political history by a wide margin) was built on the backs of rallies such as this one, with people stacked as far as the eye can see.
This is the first time Palin (or McCain) have drawn these kinds of numbers. Obama has been doing it for over a year. I like to refer to it as Spectacle Politics, where the stunning visual of all those people standing around in the sun just to hear a vice presidential nominee, or close to 90,000 people in Denver’s football stadium to see Obama accept his nomination.
Spectacle alone isn’t enough to convince voters that we should vote for either of these guys. Once again, it comes down to your platform and policies, and in that regard Obama is still the big winner for me. I still believe that McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin is going to come back and bite him on election day, but for now she has definitely “energized the base”, whatever that means.
Many of my Republican friends are thrilled about the choice, but they literally know nothing about her. The American people don’t know anything about her, other than what can be gleaned from the small amount of press that she does. She won’t consent to interviews from anyone except hand-picked journalists, because she’s not ready to do that yet.
I have no doubt that within 2 years, she’ll be ready, but she certainly is not right now. Otherwise, McCain would have set her loose and let the media inquire about her in person. If McCain loses this election, I am positive that we’ll see Palin make a run for the Presidency in 2012.
John McCain is truly an American hero. As someone who served in the Army in Iraq, I can tell you with no reservation that McCain is a hero, and his service should be honored. And personally, I like the guy. He comes across as down to earth, human and funny, and he probably is. But George W. Bush came across as likeable and affable, and he got elected. Twice.
It all comes back to policy: I’m a registed Democrat, but I’m not voting for Obama because of that. I’m voting for Obama because I believe in him and his vision, no matter if 90% of the things he promises come true or not. He may be able to draw gigantic crowds such as the ones he did in Austin, Portland and Denver, but just like Palin’s rally today, we need to be able to overlook these things, to ignore them, because they aren’t important. I loved Obama’s acceptance speech and I think it will go down in political history, but that can’t be the sole reason I vote for him. Just as Republicans cannot vote for McCain just because Palin is a woman.