Or, as one of the gentlemen standing next to me put it best: “It’s hot as balls in here”. Yes, yes it was.
This was a pep rally of a different caliber than the other two candidates who I’ve seen on campus this year. I don’t know if it’s Romney’s stronger candidacy or the closeness of the primary upon us, but when you get the bumper sticker and button people hawking their wares it is clear we have moved up a notch. A big stage at the back of the crowd held an army of photographers and a/v guys and behind it was rows of tables for all the media. This was bigger than usual.
I know there was an overflow location with seats, but wanting to be right in the thick of the “action”, my dashing escort and I chose to get herded into the main event and stand around. Where it soon became clear that wearing a long sleeved wool dress was a very, very bad idea. Elbow to elbow with scary republicans, we ended up in front of a woman who loudly complained to all her friends that she had a great spot until all the tall guys (and me) stood in front of her. Of course, once the crowd shifted and she was able to stand next to one of the tall guys, they were suddenly best friends. It’s hilarious to watch the way Prescott can schmooze people, by the way. He also networked with a guy who was hoping to give his newly published book on politics to Romney. Not sure how that worked out because as soon as this was over I was trying to escape for any one of the six exits I knew existed to get some cool air.
To the event’s credit, the girl singing the national anthem was fantastic, and didn’t keel over in fright which is what it looked like she would do. To Romney’s credit, he didn’t come off the way I’ve read about him being – wooden, boring, lacking personality. Instead he and his wife were funny and he was very energetic. And he only said “Obamacare” twice (I think – I may have missed one while scoping my exits). He DID say something I disagree with (imagine that) that was really here nor there, but I realize people have very different opinions on the custom of putting your hand over your heart during the national anthem. I know there is a “flag code” that suggests you place your hand over your heart during the anthem. I don’t know how old this code is, but I was always taught you only put your hand over your heart for the Pledge of Allegiance. Anyway, Romney mentioned how FDR was the person who started that to show respect for the blood of our soldiers. Sounds good, but I don’t know if that’s accurate or playing to the crowd. BTW, the aforementioned tall guys around me didn’t know what Romney looked like but when he came out they said “oh yeah, he looks like a president”. This crowd had the largest number of students I’ve seen at one of these, but it still wasn’t a lot. My tall guys were not Scary Republicans – they were Keg Stand Republicans. They were a nice shield from the SRs.
I always go to these things hoping someone will talk about higher edcation. The candidates are, after all, on a university campus. But no dice. They never do. It’s always 95% a rant about how Obama is awful, which is such a shame because telling me how bad someone else is DOES NOT translate into how awesome you are. It still leaves me wondering who you are and what you stand for. I want to hear a candidate talk about themself and as usual, that wasn’t the case here.
So in short:
- Great singing
- The Romneys have 16 grandkids
- Hot as balls