YES DEAR PEOPLE-I SHOOK HANDS WITH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN! And as I did, a flood of emotions overtook me. As I held his right hand in mine, the scenes from videos taken during his imprisonment surfaced and brought tears to my eyes. I desired to have a minute with him to humbly try and express my gratitude to this great man.
Are you ready to know a secret about me? I must admit, I easily get star struck! I was as happy as a kid in a candy shop yesterday as I stood so very near Senators, Mayors, Governors, Congressmen and YESTHE FUTURE PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY OF THIS GREAT LAND! And to see my 10 year old son enjoying it 'almost' as much as I ---well it's priceless!
After some local entertainment, there was a trickle of speakers. Two of the gentlemen who spoke prior to the McCain's arrival, had been fellow P.O.W.s with John in the Hanoi Hilton. The Mayor of St. Petersberg spoke, and a congresswoman from the Bay Area. After she took leave of the podium, the music started. I could feel the energy build in the hall as we all turned our attention to the doorway and ramp which all the speakers had entered and descended from. I could literally FEEL the anticipation in the place. Then - the voice of the announcer over the PA-
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the next President of the United States, Senator John McCain with his lovely wife Cindy!"
And the cheers, oh the cheers! It was amazing to feel the hopes and support of all those around me! Accompanying the McCain's on stage were Jack Kemp who ran for Vice-President with Bob Dole. Also one of our state's former Governors, Bob Martinez and our state's current republican senator, Mel Martinez.
The rally was great and although sore and exhausted from standing for 6 hours, it was well worth it! My friend, Georgianne was with us and experienced her first political rally ever. She really enjoyed this new experience, but confessed, she was pooped afterwards! Photos below to prove just how pooped she was!
Shane and I in line waiting to enter the rally!
Shane was such a trooper and SO into the whole thing. Last night while cuddling together on the couch he said, "Man I had fun today. I'm just a political baby I guess!" I assume he meant he was born with the inclination to love politics!?
All during the evening, off and on, he would come to the room I was in and exclaim, "Wow I can't believe I shook both of their hands!" You see, he lucked out and got a handshake from Cindy McCain AND the Senator!
I hope as you look at the photos, you try to imagine my joy and excitement as I was taking them, standing in the midst of HUGE JOHN MCCAIN FANS! Realize there was much screaming and whooping and hollering, even some whistling. I was on cloud nine!
I took this right before I got my handshake!
The bright stage lights in my photos were a thorn in my flesh all afternoon.
Senator Mel Martinez stepping onto the stage.
A pooped Georgianne! After the rally, we grabbed a seat and rested awhile before walking the mile back to our parked vehicle! While waiting, I was able to visit with Senator Mel Martinez a bit and get a great photo of him just "hangin' with the folks!"
Senator Martinez in the concourse after the event.
It was a great honor for me to be able to chat with Mark Sharpe,whom I voted for several times over the years. He is now serving as a County Commissioner for Hillsborough County. Mark's last name fits him well! He is one "sharp" looking guy!
John McCain was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of more than 2,500 supporters at the Tampa Convention Center. In light of the nation's worsening financial crisis, Senator McCain gave a fiery speech vowing to reform Wall Street and make corporate executives more accountable. As someone who has taken on the pharmeceutical industry and the tobacco industry, John McCain seemed eager to take on the task of reforming America's broken financial system and putting an end to the excesses of corporate greed.
WFLA TV in Tampa had a one-on-one interview with John McCain on Monday. Senator McCain candidly addressed America's economic troubles and the importance of keeping taxes low in this economic environment.
More photos tomorrow! I want to share some of the posters and buttons seen at the rally. Oh and photos of some "other peopele" I ran into!