Tuesday, October 28, 2008

'Nothing is inevitable here'

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. -- 6:30 p.m. -- The rally just ended, but not before a group of us reporters were hustled over to an adjacent building where Sarah and Todd Palin greeted the "overflow" crowd -- folks who had been too far back in line to make it into the rally. The fans were thrilled, and I was an arm's length away from the Palins as they signed autographs. Pretty cool.

5:30 p.m. -- The beginning of the event has been inexplicably delayed. She just took the stage, and the national press actually arrived after she did.

4:20 p.m. -- Walked down the line of people waiting to get inside Heiges Field House to see Sarah Palin. The line is at least a half-mile long, and it's about 35 degrees outside. Just ran into Byron York of National Review, who drove up from DC for the event.

4:50 p.m. -- Opening act for the rally is country singer Sarah Marince. She sounds good. She doesn't look bad, either.

5:10 p.m.: OK, now I'm totally embarrassed. Just briefly interviewed Sarah Marince, who is only 18 (younger than my eldest daughter). She is from Moon Township, Pa., near Pittsburgh, and was "discovered" by the McCain campaign Aug. 30 in Washington, Pa. The campaign held a rally there the day after Palin was announced as running mate, and the organizers asked if there was a local performer available for the event -- Sarah got the gig, and has since appeared at "like, 18 rallies," she says.

Is she a Republican? "Of course!" she says brightly. She's wearing big peace symbol earrings, and nobody seems to mind. She lives part-time in Nashville and her mother is her manager.

PREVIOUSLY: An icy rain didn't stop thousands from turning out for a McCain-Palin rally this morning in Hershey, Pa., and they were fired up by John McCain's never-say-die speech.

"Let me give you the state of the race today," the candidate said. "There's one week to go. We're a few points down. The pundits have written us off, just like they've done before." (Damn those pundits!)

Most polls show the Republican trailing by double digits in Pennsylvania, a statistic belied by the enthusiasm of the crowd inside the Giant Center at Hershey Park.

"My opponent is working out the details with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid of their plans to raise your taxes, increase spending, and concede defeat in Iraq," McCain said. "He's measuring the drapes, and he's planned his first address to the nation for before the election. I guess I'm old fashioned about these things I prefer to let the voters weigh in before presuming the outcome. . . . Nothing is inevitable here. We never give up. We never quit."

A planned outdoor rally in Quakerstown, Pa., was canceled due to the weather -- 43 degrees and rainy -- and McCain flew to Fayetteville, N.C., for an event, while Sarah Palin will come here to Shippensburg University for a 5 p.m. rally. A long line is already queued up outside the Heiges Field House. I'm temporarily filing from the Starbucks at the university library, where I just overheard a student on her cell phone: "Dude, Sarah Palin's here. . . . Yeah, I saw her and I was like, 'Wazzup?'" (She explained was just kidding with her brother.)

1 comment:

  1. I love my Diesel peace sign earrings. Peace through superior fire power!