Wednesday, February 20

McCain in Columbus

I've been requested to post about my attendance at the McCain rally held in Columbus earlier this evening.

McCain is not a rock star, so by no means did he give a a "throw your panties on the stage" sort of performance. But it was definitely a solid speech laying out the issues that are on his radar. Mostly he talked about foreign policy and national defense, and in that respect his hawkish, Vietnam War-era mentality is certainly evident. As McCain himself has said, he would sooner lose the election than lose the war in Iraq. At the same time, I was also impressed by how wide-ranging his "Wisconsin Primary Victory Speech" was. He touted his experience, of course, especially in the context of his capacity to respond to today's global events such as Castro's resignation and Musharraf's party's thrashing in the Pakistani parliamentary elections. But he also talked about plenty of other issues such as alternative energy sources, balancing the budget, and health care(!).

Most of McCain's rhetorical saber-rattling was directed at an (unnamed) opponent who just might be "deceiving us with empty rhetoric" rather than promulgating substantive policies. Which tells me he's mostly written off Clinton in favor of taking early swipes at Obama. That certainly seems to be how the election is trending right now, but it is a tad premature prior to Clinton's "firewall" states of Texas and Ohio actually voting. If anybody should know from political resurrections, it's McCain.

Apart from listening to The Mac hinself, it was interesting spending the hour and a half standing around ;-( prior to McCain's speech talking with other people in the crowd. Most everyone that I ran into was fairly rabidly partisan--your typical "Yellow Dog Republicans". But they were also relatively astute when it came to analysis of the issues, even if their electoral priorities were quite divergent from mine (at one point, the giant TV screens behind the podium were tuned to Fox News, where Political Analyst Karl Rove was pontificating about the Wisconsin results; I received a number of hurt looks when I ended up being the only person in the room booing Rove.) To be honest, at least part of the time I was testing the crowd to see what sort of people Republicans are nowadays, and I have to say that they were a smidge less narrow-minded than the Democratic partisans I've met of late--though (sad to say) the campus of Ohio State University is maybe not the best place to try to find "reasonable" supporters of the Democratic Party.

I took a few videos of McCain's speech which I may upload later, but if you really want to see them you're probably better off just going to CNN.com and getting the professional recordings. About the only moments I recorded that you won't see elsewhere online is McCain's ascending to the podium to the strains of "Taking Care of Business", and working the crowd after his speech to the tune of "Johnny B. Goode".

Go, Johnny, Go! Go!

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2 Comments:

Blogger R said...

I wonder how much of your opinion on Democrats at OSU is biased by one in particular and how much you see of him?

February 21, 2008 4:19 PM  
Blogger bl said...

thanks for posting this. it was really interesting.

February 22, 2008 11:01 AM  

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