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McCain Leaves Them Wanting More

August 31, 2008 - Joselyn King
"That's all?" More than one person said as they left the John McCain rally Saturday in Washington, Pa. "Didn't they say all that yesterday?"

Most had sat outside in a hot sun since before 3 p.m. awaiting McCain's arrival. They learned after coming that McCain wouldn't be taking the stage until 6 p.m.

Of course, it was a pleasant place to wait. Consol Energy Park has ample shaded areas, restrooms and a concession area. Kids ran and played in the outfield area.

All the seats in the 5,000-square-foot facility were filled, and more persons crowded into the infield areas. The McCain campaign had hoped 7,500 to 8,000 would turn out, and attendance seem to hit that mark.

If the faithful came to hear McCain or his expected running mate -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin --discuss the issues, they didn't get what they came for.

The rally seemed more to introduce W.Va.-Pa.-Ohio Republicans to Palin, who commented that it was warm at the outside venue. "I'm not used to this," she added.

They were at Consol Energy Park, but didn't talk energy or the use of coal.

Alaska also has a coal industry, so Palin is presumably familiar with the issues.

* Musical Fashion . . . Showing up to keep the crowd entertained was John Rich of Big and Rich, who did an acoustic set of his signature song, "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy." He added in a new song he just wrote, "Raising McCain."

I'm a Big and Rich fan, so I liked it. The crowd seemed to enjoy it as well.

On the subject of country music, the song "Only in America" turned up again Saturday. It was played during the rally before McCain and crew took the stage.

The same song played Thursday night after Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama accepted the party's nomination.

But in 2004, B&D performed the song live at the Republican National Convention, and it was used throughout the Republican campaign and as Dick Cheney's campaign music.

The political parties fighting over a song? And it's not the only one.

The McCain campaign played Van Halen's "Right Here" during Saturday's rally. The same song was used extensively by John Kerry's people in 2004.

* There was a hope for the future expressed at Saturday's McCain rally, but it came from former Pittsburgh Steeler Lynn Swann -- who spoke prior to McCain.

Swann explained he would have to leave quickly -- that his young son was to have his first midget football game Saturday afternoon.

The proud papa said he didn't want to put any undue pressure on the youngster, but that he had scored six touchdowns in his first scrimmage earlier in the week.


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