It was billed as a McCain-Palin rally, but the candidates were elsewhere, the featured speaker was in Florida and the name Obama was used at least as frequently as that of the crowd’s candidate.
None of that mattered to the approximately 150 Republican loyalists who turned out at Spencer Park in downtown Commerce last Thursday evening. Part pep-rally, part Obama critique and part tent revival, the crowd roared its delight at every slight of the Democratic ticket and all but genuflected at the mention of the GOP nominees.
Commerce native Leon F. Ellis Jr., who, like McCain, was shot down over North Vietnam during the Vietnam Conflict, was to be the featured speaker. Ellis had to talk to the crowd via telephone because he’d been reassigned to Florida, which not only has more Electoral College votes than Georgia, but is also a battleground state.
Ellis was one of the few speakers who focused on McCain, rather than Obama.
Shot down 11 days after McCain, Ellis said he was at the infamous Hanoi Hilton POW camp with McCain, but seldom saw him. He recalled that McCain, who had been seriously wounded, was offered release in what was widely held to be a propaganda ploy.
“He refused,” said Ellis. “For that he was tortured and put in solitary confinement for 18 months.
That, said Ellis, demonstrates the candidate’s character.
“Even then, he put his country first,” Ellis declared.
He also credited McCain with the ability to make the “tough decisions” that will be required of the next president.
As for Obama, Ellis called him the “most liberal” member of the U.S. Senate and “virtually a socialist.” He said Obama had friends who were “people of ill repute.”
Gov. Sonny Perdue and Secretary of State Karen Handel both addressed the rally via telephone, praising McCain and damning Obama. Comments by phone from State Sen. Ralph Hudgens were lost due to technical difficulties.
Local Republicans also spoke.
Rep. Tommy Benton told the crowd that “Our country is not going to be better off if we share the wealth,” a reference to the GOP interpretation of Obama’s tax proposal.
GOP county chairman David Oppenheimer presided over a pair of skits designed to show the superiority of the Republican ticket. One featured four volunteers from the audience, in which “Sarah Palin,” chased Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Obama out of Washington. The other featured “Joe the Plumber” and “Obama” fighting over Joe’s money, with “Obama” gathering the most.
Gary Black, head of the McCain-Palin Farm Team, told the crowd that Obama could not pass the background check required to be a Commerce police officer. Sen. Paul Broun, like Ellis, characterized Obama as the “most liberal” member of the Senate, with Joe Biden “number three in the Senate in liberalism and socialism.”
“Are y’all as excited about Sarah Palin as I am?” he shouted, garnering enthusiastic cheers from the partisan crowd.
Steven V. Davis
10/30/08 at 11:27 AM
Your enthusiastic cheers will probably dwindle when Senato McCain looses the election due to nature of Governor Palin's dirty ,mud slinging politics.....and then there is that matter before the ethics panel,,,abouts trips for her un-invited children, luxury lodging,first class air fare,,,along with trooper gate,,,with a good mix of no-bid-Canidian oil/gas pipeline....not to mention her ambition to censor the operations for her local library...WOW just think what she could do if she had any real power!!!!
What's sad is that all of this pales in comparison to the issues with Obama the media isn't reporting with the same enthusiasm as the dirt on Palin.
Just an FYI, the LA Times is still protecting their boy by not releasing the tape proving Obama pals around with terrorists. We'll just have to settle for these earth shattering horrendous scandals from Palin.