So John McCain made his big art-house debut here yesterday morning. He attracted about a half-full house in the 1,800-seat venue that both Bush and Kerry jammed full in 2004. A blogger for one of our local papers sets the tone of the gathering:
A funny thing took place about 25 minutes ago as the crowd was filing into the Kirby Center. Two young women - who are apparently going to sing the national anthem and God Bless America - were on stage to perform a microphone check. One of the young ladies began singing the first few words of the national anthem and members of the crowd began to stand. Those who knew it was a microphone check stayed in their seats, drawing evil stares from a few of those who were standing. The same thing happened when the other lady began singing God Bless America.More...
Welcome to downtown Appalachia, folks, where the men is men, the ladies ladies and you better goddam well stand up for your nation when you might possibly be expected to.
In other coverage of the event, the Philly Inquirer reports that John McCain made some news:
The Republican candidate, who was making his fourth visit to Pennsylvania in the last six weeks, also said that as president he would open to instituting something akin to "question time" - as practiced in the British House of Commons.McCain then slipped out a side door to avoid the protesters he'd had kept out of this "Straight Talk Town Hall."
In Britain, the prime minister periodically engages in a spirited back-and-forth with legislators from his own party and the opposition.
"I think it'd be fun," McCain said, who raised the idea himself. "Anything that gets more Americans interested and involved in the process - I like it."