Observations on the world today.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Which Steubenville Rally Was That? 

Blogs for Bush: Ohio Bucks John Kerry

Blogs for Bush is repeating a post from another blog about the Steubenville rally which I attended. It is an email from a Franciscan University alum.
The Kerry campaign first scheduled a visit to Steubenville two weeks ago but "scheduling conflicts" came up at the last minute. Oh, and did I mention that Kerry wanted to use a local gun range as a campaign stop, but the owner turned him down?
Not exactly true. The owner said that Kerry could use the gun range, but that he could not use it as a photo op as the owner was a Bush supporter. Kerry then got permission to use the private property of a supporter since he didn't want to inconvenience the range owner. I know this for a fact because I spoke with the niece of the person who owns the property. He also decided not to use it as a photo op.
And that the Fire Department Union President told the Kerry campaign that not only would he not organize the union to support Kerry at the rally, but that he was supporting President Bush!
And yet several of them were there anyway.
The Kerry campaign took for granted that this area was sown up. Mistake number one. So they rescheduled the campaign trip when Franciscan University was back in session. Mistake number two.

Before Kerry arrived there was a huge pro-life march led by Franciscan University students, 500 strong. "You can't be Catholic and pro-abortion", read some of their signs. Students and members of local Catholic parishes were full of energy and FoxNews reported that this was the largest protest against Kerry outside of the Democratic Convention. Just picture 500 pro-lifers marching from their college campus to meet Kerry. Where else but in Steubenville, Ohio!
First, I don't think they took for granted that the area was "sown up." (Incidentally, I think she means "sewn up," unless she's making some obscure farming reference that I am not aware of. A wonderful thing that Franciscan education.) I think both Kerry and Bush realize that this is an area at the juncture of three toss-up states. That's why Bush came to Wheeling last week.

As for the march, I doubt that there were 500 of them, and I know that they were not all Franciscan students. Many of them were from nearby Wheeling Jesuit and some came from Columbus. Also the paper reports that the march was only 400 strong, and I doubt even that number.

Also, if this was the largest protest outside the DNCC, Kerry has had it pretty easy compared to Bush. Except that Bush remains insulated against the protests.
….The Kerry campaign not only made a mistake in their timing, but they also chose to hold the rally in a public park which should be open to all the public. Mistake number three. The police chief, sheriff, and mayor all agreed with me that protesters and their signs would be allowed inside the Kerry rally site. Freedom of speech is alive and well here in Ohio. The Kerry campaign flipped out!
Huh? Was there another Kerry rally in Steubenville on Saturday that I wasn't told about? It's true that the protesters were allowed in the park, but they were also corralled at the back. Furthermore, how does this writer know that the Kerry campaign staff "flipped out?" Perhaps the secret service people were a little more guarded, but the "reported in the paper was that the local authorities wanted the people to be allowed to bring in their own signs and the Kerry camp wanted only their signs - which they freely distributed. They reached a compromise, and as a result, I could have brought in an anti-Bush sign. Something which normally would not be allowed at a Kerry rally, and certainly would not be allowed at a Bush rally.
So, now add another 500 local Bush supporters to the Kerry rally.
Yes, because for sure they were all Kerry supporters before. Give me a break.
They tried to turn up the music but they could not drown us out.
Ahh, so that's why the rally had music which is otherwise unheard of at a rally. Sheesh!
According to the Herald Star (local press), "The crowd, estimated by officials as 3,500 strong, was almost split in half with people for and against the Massachusetts senator." John Kerry must know he has a problem when over 15% of his audience was booing him.
I think the paper was being somewhat hyperbolic in their assertion that the audience was split 50/50. Consider, they broke us into three sections based on the color of ticket we held. The blue and red tickets were all pro-Kerry as they had been given to friends of the local democratic committee chair. And the white ticket line (which I was originally in) was also spilt, and it seemed to be to be predominantly pro-Kerry as well.

Furthermore, once inside, it was obvious that most of the people there, were eager to cheer for Kerry.
Kerry was visibly shaken when he received boos from the audience. You may not see this outside of FoxNews, and the AP is falsely reporting that only a few dozen protesters met Kerry.
I never saw Kerry visibly shaken at all. Quite the contrary, when one protester (not a Franciscan student) flipped him the bird, Kerry waved to him and told the crowd that the young man had gestured to him and he wanted to acknowledge it.


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