Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
The phrase so close, yet so far away was never more true for me than yesterday. A friend asked on Thursday night if I was interested in going to Cedarburg Friday, That was just the nudge I needed. I said, yes!
Neither of us had ever gone to one of these campaign stops before, so we were greenhorns. We did manage to get there by 8am, but we could see by the crowd, that was not nearly early enough.
After waiting for a long time to get through security, something I should have anticipated, we finally were allowed through. Unfortunately, we were on the north side of the podium--the wrong side of town. We did have an excellent view of the backside of the press bleachers though! (Photo courtesy of another attendee.)
From JSOnline: Police said there were at least 12,500 who were admitted to the secure area and another 5,000 who did not fit.
The rumor was that when this Cedarburg stop was originally set up, they were expecting a crowd of 2,000. I think there is little doubt about what Palin and the convention has done for the ticket. (I think many people saw a new side to John McCain through his convention speech.)
Whitney Clapper sang the National Anthem and did an outstanding job. Dr. Ferry from Concorida University provided the invocation--not just some wimpy little generic prayer, this was a meaty prayer. (I should have taken notes but my eyes were closed.)
We could hear the speakers fine; we just could not see a thing. While Congressman Sensenbrenner was speaking, the guards permitted a crowd of attendees to flood the street, allowing them to get much closer to the bleachers, while we were kept back on the sidewalks. Many started booing near me. Poor Sensenbrenner! The boos quickly died down when the sidewalk crowd realized the street group could see no better.
We decided that we might as well leave our spot to see if we could get a better glimpse on the south side of the crowd. The guard informed us we would have to go through security on the other end of main street if we left, but we really did not care. It was pretty worthless where we were.
It was an interesting walk down the alley to the east of the main street.We could see the news vans,.sign distribution area (picked up a few), campaign "stuff" vendors, and of course...protesters.
I purchased a fabulous pin, featuring Lincoln (birth of the Republican party), Reagan, and now McCain.
We then headed to Tomasos Pizza where we could watch the coverage on the TV screen. There we met William, who told us he was right up front! He showed us some of his pictures on his camera and promised to email. (Many on the slideshow are courtesy of Bill and another friend.)
Other people on the street had various signs, McCain face cut-outs, and some had elephant shaped auction paddle style signs. The paddles we learned were courtesy of John Murphy (left) of Mequon's BetterBidders auction paddle company. We met up with him later and he told us a similar pair, from the 2004 election, now resides in the Smithsonian!
The crowd was very up-beat, despite 1,000s being turned away. People were friendly and ready to share or trade their McCain/Palin goodies. Even though we were not able to see the candidates for ourself, it still was a fun experience. The weather was great and the mood even better.
No doubt about it, the Republicans are energized!
Bits and pieces
A funny tid-bit:
"After speaking, McCain and Palin ducked into The Chocolate Factory to greet people. "I've got to get the moose tracks, please," said Palin at the counter. "Moose tracks, you know, near and dear to my heart. I can't go wrong with it." She was given a waffle cone with a giant scoop. McCain ordered sorbet; Cindy McCain ordered a brownie.
Interesting note: When an important person is in town, such as the president of the United States or presidential candidate, don't count on going to Froedert hospital's emergency room without calling first. Friday they diverted patients to other hospitals while the VIP were in town. (Learned this by experience.)
What to, and not to bring: My advice is that it is best to think of these events in terms of airport security. While waiting in line to pass through security, we heard you needed ID (didn't.) Also heard umbrellas were a no-no, so were American flags if the stick was too long. I think beverages were out too. Weapons of course are verboten and I think a scissors, letter opener, pocket knife, or anything else the guard might think could be used to hurt someone. The guard next to us was ripping the flags off the sticks and keeping the sticks, but my guard let me take mine in. My very short collapsible umbrella was OK (they did feel it though.)
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Links: Lots more pictures on my McCain Slideshow