Sarah Palin Visits Southern California on October 4, 2008
On Saturday Oct. 4, 2008, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin was in southern California for a couple of campaign appearances. And so I thought I'd spend the day following her around. The first stop was at the Home Depot Center's tennis stadium in the city of Carson, not far from Long Beach. According to the ticket, which I received via email, the gates were to open at 11:30am and the event was to begin precisely at 2pm. I arrived at noon and found myself surrounded in traffic by more cars with Republican bumper-stickers than I'd ever seen in my entire life as a Californian. And as we slowly worked our way into the parking lot, we were greeted by a couple hundred anti-Palin and pro-Obama demonstrators who were lined up along the side walk in both directions and on both side of the street.
I parked my car and quickly walked back and took a stroll among the protestors.
Here are some pictures of what I saw…
The basic themes were clear: Sarah Palin is anti-woman, Sarah Palin is a blood-thirsty animal killer, and Sarah Palin is an idiot. The signs which referred to John McCain basically portrayed him as a war-monger and a crazy old geezer.
There were also, of course, the people who were there not to protest Palin and McCain so much as to support Barack Obama. These folks were a bit less venomous and were fond of chanting "OBAMA! OBAMA! OBAMA! OBAMA! OBAMA!" endlessly.
As the parking lot filled up, some of the demonstrators decided to venture in closer to the stadium which was fast filling up with thousands of scary Republicans.
This guy had on the worst Jesus costume I've ever seen…
This particular protester looked somewhat familiar…
As I got closer to the stadium, the tone of the signs and slogans seemed to change.
The queue to get in was quite long, stretching back as far as I could see.
Some nice people I asked, who were near the front, told me that they had been in line for over two hours… They were so nice, in fact, that I stayed and chatted with them until I reached the entrance.
Inside there was all sorts of Sarah Palin merchandise for sale, and people were buying it up fast!
This shirt was my favorite.
I also like these Sarah Palin "Flower Power" shirts.
There were John McCain shirts as well.
And other souvenirs.
You could even have you picture taken with life-sized cutouts of Sarah Palin and John McCain.
An airplane pulling a banner which read "Sarah Palin, Thanks But No Thanks: No on Prop 4!" circled endlessly around the arena. Prop 4, also known as "Sarah's Law", would require parents to be notified before their minor daughters undergo an abortion procedure. This sounds perfectly reasonable to me, but for some reason "progressives" find it to be a horrible idea and have been campaigning vigorously against it.
I missed most of the opening speeches, which included local politicians as well as actor John Voight, and by the time Palin's scheduled speech had arrived, the place was packed with more than 8,000 people.
To the surprise of everyone in attendance, Palin was introduced by the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women, Shelly Mandell!
She introduced Sarah Palin by saying, "This is what a feminist looks like. Like Governor Sarah Palin". The crowd went wild!
Palin made a great speech, at one point accusing Barack Obama of being someone who would "pal around with terrorists".
Before she had finished, I slipped out of the arena ahead of the crowds. Outside there were a few protesters left.
I got in my car, hopped onto the 405 Freeway and headed as quickly as I could to The Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, where Sarah Palin was slated to attend a "thousand dollar per plate" fundraiser a few hours later.
As I approached the Arts Center, at first I saw only one protester.
Then, a block further, I saw this giant banner.
And as I walked towards the hall where the fundraiser was to be held, the streets became more and more filled with protesters.
Until I reached a plaza directly across from the Segerstrom Concert Hall, which was filled with a mob of hundreds of angry, screaming, chanting, Palin-haters… mostly women.
Every time anyone wearing a suit and tie or a woman wearing what appeared to be semi-formal evening wear walked past, the crowd would go into a frenzy, chanting, "Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!" or "O-Bam-A!, O-Bam-A! O-Bam-A!"
These women seemed to go out of their way to walk right past the mob.
Some of the people being yelled at were very likely not even attending the McCain/Palin fundraiser, but the crowd really didn't care. If you looked respectable or conservative, the mob went wild. Occasionally, the targets of the chants would stand there laughing, some would even take out their cell-phone cameras and snap a picture of the raging mob of Palin-hating women and their metro-sexual male companions.
Two counter-protesters eventually showed up on the opposite corner.
I walked through the crowd again taking pictures of any signs I may have missed my first time through.
The Sarah Palin look-a-like from earlier event showed up.
This sign, which was lying on the grass, caught my eye. But I never saw anyone holding it.
There were a few black-clad anarchist types milling about.
And, of course, there were also a handful of 9/11 Twoofers who staked out their own spot a block away…
As well as the ever annoying Ron Paul cultists, still hoping for a REVOLUTION!
This girl had another type of revolution in mind.
But most of the raving Palin-haters knew that the only way to find true peace and love was through the new Messiah.
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