Showing us the way
I took a bunch of pictures yesterday at the Bush rally in Lee's Summit but nothing came out well enough to post here...
Mark Wills, the country music guy (And The Crowd Goes Wild, 1970something, I'm not too familiar but he was pretty good) opened up and then there were some speeches by Jim Talent and Kit Bond. Then the president's motorcade showed up and there was some great intro music that really went well (It was a tad bit WWE but then again, this is Lee's Summit, Misery) with the crowds anticipation. Kit Bond came back out with Bush and introduced him proper. I got a lot of pictures at this point, one with Bush at least seemingly looking at me. Too bad there is nothing even close to amateur journalist standards, but ah well...
President Bush did well with the crowd, and basically gave a folksy version of his acceptance speech. It was well received and Bush seemed comfortable with the people. I was surprised to note that the issue of marriage (Misery recently passed a law banning gay marriage) garnered the loudest applause whenever it was mentioned. More applause than fighting terrorism or protecting small businesses. Interesting...
I was just happy to be seeing a sitting president and from no more than 20 feet away at one point. The 3 hours of crowd bullshit that was put up with was worth it in the end, though there was a lot more organization before Bush arrived than after he left. I won't rant about Lee's Summit cops but they seemed not to get the finer points of crowd control when it came time to bus everyone back to the parking. Suffice it to say that by the time Nawtin and I got home and turned on the television the President was already in Sedalia, having stopped in Warrensburg for hamburgers.
So the President is a real guy, and not just that, he seems even more likable than on TV. He just seems much more like a regular guy who is telling you what he *thinks and believes* instead of telling you what he thinks you want to hear (I'm looking at you, John Kerry).
We were standing about 40 or 50 feet from the podium from behind W, off his right shoulder. It was the closest view we could get for the speech but the entrance/exit, the "handshake gauntlet" was just a few paces away. If I had been willing to push and shove just a couple people I could have been close enough for a handshake but as it was he looked what seemed directly at me a couple of times when I had the camera up. Stupid camera ran out of batteries just at this moment and the two shots that I got were both botched. But oh well...I intend to remember.
The best thing I think Bush did was expand on his reasoning for going in to Iraq, and domestic issues like taxes and faith-based initiatives. The two things everyone wanted to hear more of at the RNC were spoken of without the need to boil it down to just the applause line. I am even more confident in this man after seeing this rally because he was speaking to people as if government and citizens are a team and not a nanny and its charge. This man is a leader, make no mistake. I know some of you would just love to keep believing he is a chimpy moron but you do yourself a disservice because the one thing I took away from this (again) is that Bush *gets* it. Not just the WoT, but America. He gets how Americans feel and he gets that Americans, especially people in the Midwest, don't like to be spoon fed what they should think. They want someone like Bush in the office who reflects what they already think. They don't want to have a president who finds out what the people most want to hear, trial and error style. They want a president who comes out and tells it like he sees it and why. They want leadership, the kind that speaks its mind and not a bunch of focus-group hocus-pocus manufactured by the ever expanding team of Kerry magicians who seem to be better at leading Kerry than Kerry is at leading them. The president has people helping him accentuate his message while Kerry is out there trying to convince you that he shoots guns regularly, that he likes and follows your local sports, that he intends to eat at your local restaurant, that he is behind the ever-changing message du jour despite 7 instances of contradiction in previous messages. The contrast is night and day between Bush and Kerry here. Bush is a leader, Kerry is frantically trying to pose as one and it shows.
I loved the applause lines pointing this out, even though most of them I've heard or read enough times to lip sync along. There were a few attacks on Kerry that really resonated, especially in contrast with what Bush just said and got applauded for. Special thanks to Team Kerry for stealing Howard Dean's line from the primaries (at the time, Kerry scoffed and attacked Dean for saying it, in rapid response mode) and giving the now familiar flip-flop portion of the speech a little new juice. Bush added it on to the end and it resonated very well, I thought. In my opinion Bush has no reason to worry about this Kerry line of "wrong blah blah blah" because Bush can easily give A, B, and C (and remind us that the UN and Kerry/Edwards were right there with him) and the people *get* it. Just like Bush. Kerry has trouble explaining what was going through his head during all this, much less what was coming out of his mouth as recently as yesterday.
I will close by repeating a line from my buddy, the Perfesser. He says, and I can't agree more,
"I am voting SO hard for George Bush this year!"
posted by M@ at 1:02 PM