Wednesday, October 29, 2008

what I thought of President Bush's campaign stop in 2004

I had written to this prompt four years ago and I thought that since the presidential elections are soon this one would be a good to post.
It was earlier this week that I saw on TV that President Bush was coming to town and there were tickets available. I thought of mentioning it to my husband, but by the time he woke up, I had forgotten it. It was a couple of days later that he asked me if I wanted to go to the rally. I told him, “sure if you would like to.” I had never been to something like that before. I thought about it each day until this Friday, September 3. I had seen parts of rallies before on TV but they really don’t show what a rally is really like. They capture some of the atmosphere and of course the words the candidate say, but they never show the before and after.
We would drive to the old grocery store parking lot and then walk the short way to the park. It seemed like a good idea until I heard that there were going to be bus rides there too. I thought it might be a good idea to ride the bus over instead of walking all that way. My husband kind of shrugged that idea away. I was like o.k. I really thought it was a good idea when we saw that we couldn’t walk straight to the entrance. We had to walk two to three blocks around, because of a security blockade. There were protestors close to the entrance. I was quite nervous since this was my first rally. I wanted the protestors to be peaceful. I have seen a lot on TV, which became violent. The police did arrest two teachers. I never did catch exactly why. They could only stand on the sidewalk and they may have been trespassing on someone’s lawn.
There were city dump trucks, garbage trucks, and water trucks parked inches apart, which I thought was for the trash. My husband said it was for security. They were the blockade against the protestors.
Getting through security was easy. All we did was show our ticket and id several times. I don’t think they even looked that closely. Getting through the metal detectors was easy too. In the airport, my shoes would have set the alarm off. Here they did not. I thought it was odd that security was a bit tighter.
We got through the gates at about 4:15 and then we found a place to stand/sit. We still had to wait until ~5:30. It took a long time too. We got some water to drink; because with the warm muggy weather I was very thirsty by the time we got done walking. I spent some time playing with our son. He had fun with the grass and the plastic drinking cups. My husband held him some too. There were some different politicians speaking and there was a band playing. I never did catch the name of the band. There was also a lady on the stage that was signing everything. That was the first time I had really seen a person doing that.
At certain times the crowd moved closer so we were able to stand a lot closer than we originally were. When the president first got there I couldn’t see anything. That was because I am short and people were waving their signs. It was nice once everybody put their signs down. In some spots where I was standing I was able to see the president pretty well. The speech lasted about 45 minutes. He said what people wanted to hear. I thought it was very good. He did make references to John Kerry and John Edwards. From what I could tell, it was factual. He focused on the idea that he was in our state. He made us seem like we were the most important people to him. I thought that was a very good tactic.
After the speech was done we waited for him to leave and then we walked back to the car. This time we didn’t have to take the detour. It was very nice. Some of the blockade trucks smelled terrible.
All in all I thought the opportunity to see the president was very interesting. It would be interesting to go to a campaign rally of John Kerry’s just to see what and how he talks about things.

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