Sarah's crowd was about half union people and union families, including many children who were very excited to see the irrepressible Piper (and Willow) Palin. In this Democratic, union-intensive county, McCain-Palin won by 4,000 votes. They also won ALL the small counties in western PA!!!! How would Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee have done? Don't make me laugh.
I've been saying, "The Republican Party used to be the fat cats. Now, we're the alley cats." How do we get the Wal-Mart voters? As even Rush admitted, "We've already got them" Sarah, running against the candidate of "hope," gave something to the people they needed ... . hope for a better future, hope that their normal, middle class lives had meaning, hope that they really did have a woman who cared about them.
I was a "greeter" at the event. I got to the 7 p.m. event at 3:30 p.m., accompanied by two terrific young HBO people from San Francisco. who were doing a series on "America." I met them while I was wearing my Sarah tee-shirt ("Guns and God"). I told them people in SF and Beaver County did not "hate" each other.
I noted we had a lot more in common than either group wanted to admit, as illustrated by the outpouring of support for the supposedly "hated" New York when 9/11 occurred. We had discovered that we, too, were "New Yorkers," and many EMTs, police, and fire fighters had gone to Manhattan to help out.
They had both decided, "Yeah, Sarah is the real deal." The young woman from HBO (Alexandra) was getting ready to take the red-eye back to SF, where she had waiting for her two little boys, ages two and one. She liked Sarah because she (like Alexandra) wanted to "have it all." I told her husband, Will, also young, how lucky he was to be married to Alex. He said, "Don't I know it. Don't I know it."
I was a greeter at the rally. I must have talked to and shaken hands with 500 people. It was an exhilarating trip into the Real America. These were good people. They loved their country, and they knew in their hearts that Sarah did also. When Sarah hit the stage (right on time), I learned the meaning of the word "pandemonium." She had a dark blue top and black slacks (see above).
One of the best days of my life. Come back again in 2010 and 2012, Sarah.