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McCain/Palin Fairfax, VA Rally

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This morning Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin attended a raucous rally at Van Dyke Park in Fairfax, VA. Attendance, as at their other recent campaign stops, was massive and enthusiastic. Former Rep. Tom Davis, and Former Sen. Fred Thompson introduced them.

The rally was moved from a local high school which only had capacity for 6,500. In the park there were easily 15,000 people crammed into the natural amphitheater setting and police were estimating the the crowd could have approached 25,000***. I didn't have a good vantage point to get a picture of the entire crowd (I would have needed to be in a helicopter or overhead crane for such a shot), but these side by side photos capture much (but not all) of the crowd.


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You can view the rest of the photos on our Flickr photo page. Here's my favorite...


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For a more detailed report on the rally, check out Byron York's article at National Review Online.


*** Well at least that's the estimate I got. Elizabeth Bumiller of The New York Times got a "15,000 to 16,000" estimate from fire department officials. I'd say that's about right. Regardless, it was noted that it may be the biggest crowd yet for McCain.

Update: In case you're wondering, in 2004 John Kerry won Fairfax County 53% to 45% but lost Virginia overwhelmingly. Democrats Jim Webb, Mark Warner, and Tim Kaine won their statewide races by clobbering their Republican opponents in Fairfax (and Arlington and Richmond) and by keeping it close in the rest of the state. To win Virginia Obama needs to win over 60% of the vote in Fairfax. This showing of support for McCain in the spot Obama needs badly to compete for Virginia is a real good sign for McCain taking Virginia.

Update 2: The estimates seem to have centered around 23,000 (everyone had to have tickets to get in) thus we witnessed one of the largest political rallies in Virginia history today, bigger even that Barack Obama's biggest crowd in Virginia during the Democratic primaries.


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Comments (12)

You know it's funny. For m... (Below threshold)

You know it's funny. For months Obama has tried to make this election a referendum on George Bush. The mere act of adding the woman pictured above to the ticket has done in a week the one thing Obama desperately needed the campaign to NOT be about...a referendum on Barack Obama.

Just saw this from CNSNews:... (Below threshold)

Just saw this from CNSNews:

"On Tuesday, the DNC relauched its TheNextCheney Web site, part of an effort to link the Palin, a relative newcomer, to a vice president who's been a Washington insider for years."

Hey, calling McCain 'George Bush' didn't do it, why not keep beating the dead horse by calling Gov. Palin 'Dick Cheney'? Nothing succeeds like utter failure!

Somehow I doubt we'll be seeing McCain and Palin in NY...Obama's going to have to sink a lot lower to lose the NY vote and put us in play.

"On Tuesday, the DNC relauc... (Below threshold)

"On Tuesday, the DNC relauched its TheNextCheney Web site, part of an effort to link Palin, a relative newcomer, to a vice president who's been a Washington insider for years."

Isn't it great to see the DNC continue to blow money on such things?

Obambi has money problems t... (Below threshold)
Modean:

Obambi has money problems true enough. He's underperformed on fund raising (target was $100 million a month for June, July, and August - he's yet to get more than $70 million in any one month). He's got 40 fund raisers scheduled this month alone and this late in the race that's not a good sign. 40 fundraisers means 40 stops where he won't be getting his message out to the undecided voters who'll make the difference this election. If his folks want to waste resources on something like this, more power to 'em. It's that much less money they have for adds and GOTV.

Thanks for posting photos. ... (Below threshold)
Jon:

Thanks for posting photos. In a dark red state like Texas, its doubtful will get any Thrillah from Wassila visits.

Interesting that the rally ... (Below threshold)
JimPatrick:

Interesting that the rally got booted out of it's original venue, the Fairfax High School Fieldhouse. The Fairfax School Board (D) overruled their superintendent and said McCain could not use school property, after Obama and Hillary Clinton both previously used Fairfax schools. Obama was in Lebanon High School Tuesday, and at Granby High School in Norfolk today.

Blessings come unexpectedly. The school's fieldhouse holds up to 6,500 people. At today's rally CNN reports over '20,000' and McCain's campaign estimates 23,000.

Also apparent to political veterans was the Fairfax rally was a rally of life; if food had been served it would have been a picmic. The natural ampitheater was crowded with families, small groups from churches, friends, babies, children, and oh-so-many others who you never saw at political events before. Palin resonates.

"He's got 40 fund raiser... (Below threshold)

"He's got 40 fund raisers scheduled this month alone and this late in the race that's not a good sign."

He can always put that fancy plane on Ebay.

Obama would have insisted o... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Obama would have insisted on a Greek temple.

Kevin, first, it's "Van Dyc... (Below threshold)
Jess:

Kevin, first, it's "Van Dyck" park - and yes, even the Fairfax City website misspells it...

It's funny, really - all the kevetching about using FHS, but moving it all but shut down Daniels Run Elementary.

It was a big turnout, to be sure. I wound up parking on Rebel Run just off 50, and took a shortcut across CC Hills, maybe 1/2 mile or so.

I've been to Van Dyck many times, and it was packed. There was some fencing near the tent, and up along the hill towards the police station, but from the top of the hill down, it was a solid sea of humanity.

I did note a lack of media - and almost none of the obligitory DC media helecopter fleet, though Fox 5 was hovering over Fairfax City...

Anyway - amazing turnout. What you won't hear is that, by my guess, better than half the crowd was women.

J (from Fairfax)

Note that in the first phot... (Below threshold)

Note that in the first photo, there are quite a lot of young people. I think that young people are beginning to pay attention and they are not impressed by the Chosen One. The Chosen One and his minions have tried to sell the people that they will win on the votes of 18-30 year olds. Right. It is a lot like Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984. Young people looked to Mr. Reagan as the grandfatherly type and someone a lot like their grandparents. And in a positive way. We shall see, but I am not convinced that the Chosen One will get millions of new, young voters.

Looks like those kids have ... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Looks like those kids have been brought up right they have been kept away from the tree huggers,bunny huggers,granola munchers,gun banners, AND ARE ALL PROBIBLY HOME SCHOOLED

I was there. I was very imp... (Below threshold)

I was there. I was very impressed with the range of ages of the people that attended, strollers to walkers. There were reporters in the crowd, one in particular from the New York Times, that was focusing her interview on the women in attendance, no doubt seeking for the Palin link.
I even saw one poster stating "Pistol Packing Mamas for Palin"




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