Went to the Palin rally last night mainly because it was close. The logistics of the event almost made me want to stay home. The Roberts Trucking center is on the east side of I-71 and the convention center is on the west side. All westbound traffic was reduced down to one lane to allow Highway Patrol and Clinton County deputies to alternate the flow of traffic. Once you made it through this obstacle course, the Robert Centre security routed traffic all the way around the parking lot...to nowhere! It appears parking space had run out and the security people I saw didn't have a good solution. We ended-up parking at the new Clinton County motorcycle dealership. Then began the big snaking line to the doors. The only people providing any guidance were some volunteers that kept reminding everyone to fill in the back of their tickets. It was a pleasant day outside so it wasn't too bad milling around outside like some lost lemmings looking for the ledge. Around 6:30 some hotel staff herded those of us still meandering to the overflow area. Now this was really odd given the need to run everyone through security screening, those of us in the overflow area weren't screened at all. The Roberts Centre grand ball room was opened up completely and I would guess we filled about 80 to 90 percent of it. One thing that did impress me is rather than park the Straight Talk Express bus and escort the governor in, they chose to drive the bus into the convention center. This kept positive control of Governor Palin and got her right to the podium without delay.
Her speech wasn't anything new, you've heard it all on the news already. The one thing that did strike me was something just not covered on any of the news. We've heard about her lack of experience, her gaffs on interviews, and her seeming lack of experience in foreign policy. We've also heard about her charisma and being the first female VP candidate since Geraldine Ferraro. What all of these observations failed to mention, and what jumped out at me last night, was this lady is young and vibrant compared to McCain. Just as Barack Obama needs Joe Biden's age to balance his perceived lack of experience, McCain needs Palin's youth to balance concerns about his age. In that, she does bring an energy level and enthusiasm that I just don't see in McCain. The crowd was especially enthusiastic given Governor Palin's mention of the DHL situation. Even so, I can't really predict how the elections will go here in Ohio. It should be an interesting election.