Monday, November 01, 2004

In Milwuakee: Bush 12,000, Kerry 2,000 at best.

The Power Line guys are reporting that the Kerry rally in Milwaukee was a bust. "A crowd of 20,000 was expected, but there ain't no one here -- maybe 1-2,000 -- at best."

Meanwhile, I received a note from a friend who attended the Bush rally in Milwaukee, also held today. She writes:

12,000 people all cheering and screaming. It must be wonderful to be in the middle of such a love fest! He just plunges into the crowd shaking hands, hugging people etc-- the Secret Service must be mighty nervous when he does that even tho the crowd is screened. They did eject one guy who heckled but I couldn't understand what he said.

I've written back and asked for a bit more about the event. I'll post it if I get the chance.

UPDATE: Here's the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel's report on the Bush rally: (They say 11,000.)

Bush entered a packed U.S. Cellular Arena amid rock concert trappings - house lights turned down, red, white and blue strobe lights flashing and thunderous music blaring. The partisan crowd responded in kind, erupting in screams and cheers.

Bush didn't disappoint the 11,000 or so supporters, many of whom stood in long lines in a cold rain before entering the arena and waited for a couple of hours or more before the president appeared.

Bush spoke on the economy, health care, taxes, terrorism - delivering his well-practiced lines. Every utterance was a huge applause line, including such mild crowd-warming openers as: "Sometimes I'm a little too blunt - I get that from my mom," Bush said. "Sometimes I mangle the English language - I get that from my father."

And here's the report on the Kerry rally:

"You are hearty, tough people," Kerry told the throngs gathered in the drizzle. He added later: "This is a kind of magical moment."

With one day until what the Democratic presidential candidate termed "The most important election of our lifetime," the excitement was palpable.

Kerry and incumbent President George W. Bush gave dueling speeches just blocks apart from one another, a first for Milwaukee. Attendees started lining up early in the morning, despite the overcast skies and chilly winds; police blocked off large parts of downtown streets for the two events.

Kerry, wearing his now trademark mustard barn coat and a Boston Red Sox cap, surfaced at the corner of Water and State streets around 1 p.m. (Bush spoke at the U.S. Cellular arena around 11:40 a.m.)

Kerry's 20-minute speech was full of now well-worn themes and phrases - changing the direction of the United States, bolstering the lagging economy, improving health care - yet they appeared to inspire his supporters, who kept shouting "One more day!"

["One more day" of John Kerry? I can agree with that!]

Those at the rally - who numbered in the thousands though it was unclear how many - responded enthusiastically throughout the event, waving soggy signs.


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