The news banner on the TV screen under John McCain said; McCain speaks to thousands, but that was simply not the case. The room at the Duke Energy Center was not filled, according to my friends who were inside, and the number of McCain backers who showed up on Fountain Square could be counted on both hands and both feet, but there were less than a 100, with Obama supporters, vote canvassers and the curious outnumbering them 2 to 1.
At no time did Channel Five pan the square during the 30 minute talk. It would have proved to be an embarrassment considering the turnout for Obama, Monday night. Those of us on the Square had to strain in order to hear McCain, unlike Monday when you could’ve heard an ant walking on cotton when Obama spoke. No one seemed to care that McCain was talking. I did listen or tried to over the noise of other conversations, cell phones and general disinterest from the crowd.
The speech was a formality...a bit too condescending for my tastes. You can find it elsewhere. I won’t rehash here.
I went downtown early for McCain’s speech. The sun just barely kissing the east side of the square, the lady of the waters still shrouded in morning shade. It was early. The vendors hadn’t yet set up shop. I assumed they would hawk wares supporting McCain. I later found out that was not the case. When the vendors showed, it was still Obamaville. No McCain hats, shirts, banners or bumper stickers in evidence for sale.
The feeling was subdued, tight, nothing like the festive atmosphere of two days prior. Very few kids, hardly any young people at all.
A gathering of strangers...no village...no comraderie...no feelings of anticipation or optimism. Everyone that I spoke with said they were there to give McCain a chance. They were trying to be fair before making a choice.
I wanted McCain to challenge me. Instead, he lived down to my expectation. When his supporters did show up, they stood in a group, did not mingle, speaking only to each other, visitors to the real world of the Square, uncomfortable.
I realize it was a brunch situation as opposed to Obama’s prime time appearance. I realize that there are many, many more McCain supporters living, working and breathing in GOP dominated Cincinnati Ohio.
I guess what surprised me most of all was the haphazard organization and lack of concern for the McCain appearance.
Don’t they care or are they really that arrogant to think that all the newly registered, all the young and the rest of us really won’t show up in November?