My Report on McCain/Palin at the Colorado Springs Rally

As I've mentioned, I covered the McCain/Palin rally in Colorado Springs yesterday for Salon.com. My report is now up on their site, McCain and Palin Go to Dobsonville. The gist:

Fresh from the GOP convention, John McCain brings his Christian fundamentalist running mate to Christian fundamentalist headquarters –- but doesn't mention abortion or gay marriage.

Not surprisingly, it focuses on aspects much of the mainstream media coverage missed or ignored. Until I saw this CBS report, I was beginning to wonder whether I had attended a different event.

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    Obviously the Republicans are soft-pedaling (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by Don in Seattle on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:27:18 AM EST
    Palin's extreme-right views on social issues, secure in the knowledge that the evangelical right-wing grapevine will get the good news out to all the faithful.

    If the McCain/Palin ticket is to be defeated, it is essential that her positions be well understood by the whole electorate. Thank you, Jeralyn, for doing your part.

    Obama would surrender (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:29:00 AM EST
    That is such a wretched, filthy, disgusting lie it makes me want to punch something.  Obama ain't perfect, but the entire context of this continuing attack on his is what evangelical's would call the devil's work.  Evil to the core.  McCain lives in a deluded world inside his own addled head.  Iraq is a done deal.  Iran is her partner now, and always was going to be.  Only worthless phucking fools like these two sacks of horse manure could keep telling such Orwellian lies with a str8 face.  No matter how far Obama has fallen short on certain things, he has the human decency to not tell this kind of lie about something that has resulted in the murderous deaths of over a million Iraqis and four thousand Americans.  My contempt for these two people could not be higher.  They would lie about anything if they will lie about something so soaked in the blood of innocents.

    Stinking, fetid garbage.  That is all they are.

    it wasn't McCain or Palin who said that (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:32:27 AM EST
    It was their surrogate speakers who preceded them at the event.

    Among the speakers were right wing radio host Dan Caplis, Bob Schaffer (who is running for the Senate against Mark Udall) and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.


    Interesting (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:48:46 AM EST
    I live here in Colorado Springs. I live in the downtown area which tends to be where most of the democratic folks live.  YES, there are some of us here.  I can tell you this.  Despite the heavy presence of evangelicals, Colorado Springs is MORE than just them.  Even the mainstream republicans here are tired of them being the face of the city.

    During a Congressional contest in 2006 (which we lost despite raising more money than any dem candidate had in 30 years), I learned a lot working for the democratic candidate.  The mainstream republicans were disgusted enough with the evangelicals that a few actually did fundraisers for the democratic candidate.

    During the causcuses this year, I was a precinct chair.  The last few caucuses I ran had four people.  This past one, had over fifty.  Despite being a Hillary supporter, I will give the Obama campaign credit for activating a hidden group of dems.  During the 2006 campaign, I literally had people tell me they were AFRAID to put democratic signs on their lawns.  Now there are/were a surprising amount of Obama or Hillary signs quite visible.

    I hope the activism of the primaries remain.  I think that this city and this county could surprise people.  At least I hope so.....


    you are always so colorful dadler (none / 0) (#6)
    by bjorn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:36:16 AM EST
    Nice report, and (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:26:59 AM EST
    you hit the key point:  they don't have to mention their obeisance to the evangelicals, because the evangelicals know.  And, because they don't have to mention it, they won't because they know it will alienate the rest of the electorate.

    Question:  you mentioned the military presence in the crowd.  Any in uniform?

    Also, I suspect the response by the military in the crowd to a McSame speech might be just a bit different if he went to, say Killeen, Texas or Manhattan, Kansas to give it.  Or, for that matter, Fort Carson, Colorado.  No hit on the Air Force, but they have not done a lot of the fighting and dying in the wars where Bush and Cheney are carrying out the McCain/Lieberman policy.  It's a lot easier to be for a war (especially if you're in uniform and everyone's kissing every camo-covered butt in sight) when you're not the ones doing the fighting and dying.

    I didn't see anyone in uniform (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:30:55 AM EST
    except an older gentleman who looked like he was dressed in a VFW uniform. (Not an insult, just a description.)

    Fort Carson is right outside (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:51:33 AM EST
    Colorado Springs. Yes, quite a number of soldiers from Fort Carson died in Iraq.

    I just gotta wonder how many (none / 0) (#13)
    by scribe on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:58:29 AM EST
    came over from Carson to the rally.

    Thanks for your work, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#7)
    by glanton on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:47:14 AM EST
    BTW, it doesn't bode well for their attempt to make Social Issues the "Sleeper" factor of this campaign, that even Fox seems unwilling to let the nature of her views stay underground.

    You pose the question (none / 0) (#8)
    by gentlyweepingguitar on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:48:22 AM EST
    Are mainstream Americans ready to vote for another family values ticket?

    How much longer can Republicans push the "family values" angle. In their families they've got the very same adultery, drug addiction, teen pregnancy, homosexuality issues going on that Democrats do.

    I don't get it. I don't.

    Crazy like a Fox (none / 0) (#10)
    by barryluda on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:51:20 AM EST
    I was hopeful in choosing Palin that McCain was making the mistake of pandering to the extreme christian conservative right.  Instead, as you make clear in your Salon article, McCain's strategy was to smartly choose a VP candidate who has surface appeal to everyone -- I even find it hard to not like her, even as I disagree with virtually all of her stated policies -- but she deeply appeals so much to the far-right constituency that McCain can now stay focused on the middle.

    It's getting scary that McCain/Palin might end up winning this thing.  I hope it's scary to enough to those who are lukewarm to Obama that he is able to pull this out.  I guess I no longer agree with BTD that Obama has this all but wrapped up.

    watch this video of her (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:54:36 AM EST
    speaking at her church and see how vice-presidential she sounds to you. I sure wouldn't want her speaking for the country. She actually was Governor at the time.

    That's The Reason Why... (none / 0) (#14)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:04:28 PM EST
    It's getting scary that McCain/Palin might end up winning this thing.

    ...the Left-wing blogs and some in the media are running around like chickens with their heads chopped off, trying to dig up whatever dirt they can, and cook up whatever smears they can think of to sling at her.

    I think the "slinging the kitchen sink" could be more appropriately used to describe these last 10 days than it was used to describe Hillary's campaign in the Primaries.

    I guess I no longer agree with BTD that Obama has this all but wrapped up.

    He never did. And neither did McCain. This election will be down to the wire, and I fear a reprise of 2000 over a dispute of vote counting.

    I urge everyone to watch the Sarah Palin special on FOX News tonight, hosted by Greta VanSustern. I watched it yesterday when it premiered, and tonight's a rebroadcast of it. It features interviews with family and friends, her opponents and never-before-seen video of Palin at home with her family (all filmed much before she was announced VP).

    CNN will be airing similar biographical features about Palin and Biden next weekend.


    The Sarah Palin you see now (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:22:49 PM EST
    has already undergone a media makeover. I'd recommend watching past clips for a more accurate picture.

    Question about the event: (none / 0) (#16)
    by txpolitico67 on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:55:14 PM EST
    My friend that works for the Westword emailed me a clip depicting the crowds there in CO Springs holding flags that were allegedly found in dumpsters left by the DNC.  The McCain campaign passed them out telling the attendees about these discarded flags.

    Do you think that this may have any kind of impact outside of CO Springs?

    as I said in the article, that report has been (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:57:23 PM EST
    hotly denied by the Democratic party. The flags were being collected to be passed out at other events. (link in my Salon article.)

    No, this will only resonate with right wing conservatives who already are voting for McCain/Palin.


    I just read (none / 0) (#18)
    by txpolitico67 on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:24:04 PM EST
    the entire article.  Nice work btw.  I followed your link to TMP.  Actually the link in the TMP story going to HuffPo actually had more meat on the bone about the flag story (seems like TPM used the link as well for more foundation).

    From what I can gather, the flags may have been "swiped" by the RNC and ginned up the story.  

    Quote from the WorldNetDaily.com"

    Damon Jones, spokesman for the Democratic National Convention Committee, released a statement claiming that McCain supporters has swiped leftover bundles of flags from the stadium "to play out a cheap political stunt" calling into question Democrat patriotism.

    Sounds about par for the RNC.


    Wow, Salon changed my link (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:30:32 PM EST
    My article had the link to the HuffPo article in it when I sent it to them. They changed it. I did give them editing permission.

    I just went back (none / 0) (#20)
    by txpolitico67 on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:35:47 PM EST
    to your article and the link was the same for me (even after I did an F5).  



    Mainstream America wants change they say (none / 0) (#21)
    by bridget on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:38:54 PM EST
    because of the "wrong direction" argument we have been hearing from people - from both parties - but then when it gets right down to the nitty gritty it will still be all about "National Security." There was never a qs about that. So Do the Republican voters demand an end to the terrible wars? Seems the opposite is the case here and they picked the man who has war in his mind first and foremost.

    National Security  remains the number one campaign strategy for the McCain campaign. And To Start the campaign with Colorado Springs, home of the Air Force Academy, military base, evangelical churches was a smart move. Nobody worries about the evangelical agenda here. It is now taken for granted thanks to Palin's presence on the ticket.

    I expect the same stuff until November : National Security, WAR, Victory, USA USA, ... with same variations taylored to the place. A little bit more economy talk there, a little less/more  environment there, but lots of patriotism all around. Whatever their change theme is, the less detailed and vague the better. Then off to the next town.

    To hear the chanting of "Drill Now" must be like a knife in the heart of any environmentalists. We'll have to see if Repubs are taking up this particular call all over the country.

    P.S. It only took the selection of VP Palin for Dobson to want to pull the lever for McCain? Just one example. But It sure doesn't take much to satisfy some people.

    Scary GOP ticket all around.

    P.S. Jeralyn, thanks for writing this article (none / 0) (#22)
    by bridget on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:49:44 PM EST
    it was really interesting to read about this campaign visit by McCain/Palin to Dobsonville so fresh from the GOP convention.

    Will all crowds be that pumped up? Hero talk and lots of flags may insure that it will be the case until the election.