Monday, November 05, 2012

Election Day is Tomorrow

I try not to get too political on this blog but I have decided to share my impressions and photos from a political rally I attended a few days ago.

It's probably not too difficult to figure out that I do not support Obama's policies.  I am pro-life and a big advocate for Israel, want better jobs for the poor (and everyone), and do not support 'redistribution of wealth.'

A friend called me the other day to see if I wanted to accompany her to a Romney/Ryan rally in New Hampshire.  Truth be told, I had already decided not to go because it started at 8:30AM, with gates opening at 6:30AM, and the rally was several hours away.  That was just waaaay too early for this girl to get out of bed.  However, my friend had the idea to go up the night before, split the cost of a hotel room, and take a few of our girls.  How could I say no?

We crawled out of bed at 5AM.  I don't do that for just anyone, ya'll.

When we arrived, there was a looong line of people who had obviously gotten up earlier than we had.
It was cold and we all stood there shivering but full of excitement to see the crowd was so large.  New England isn't exactly a bastion of Republican turnout.

Once we got in...we saw the Romney plane and lined up for a photo.

And then we played and the crowd got bigger.  And bigger...  And it helped to keep all of us warm as we stood there looking out over the tarmac.

I digress a minute to say that I wasn't a Romney fan at the beginning of his race.  It wasn't a matter of dislike, I just didn't think he was charismatic enough to go up against Obama.  As the race has gone on, I have come to respect him.  But after being at the rally, I am very impressed.  He was humble, genuine, and there is a kindness that emanates from his eyes.

Back to the rally....

We scored a spot about 15-20 feet from the podium!!  I couldn't believe it!

After an hour and a half or so, the Romney/Ryan bus pulled up to loud cheering from the crowd.  Out stepped Bobby Jindal, John Thune, Kelly Ayotte, and Marcia Blackburn.  Woohoo...BONUS!
I really wish I was taller so I could have gotten up above the crown for a better picture. I was in the middle, so behind me and to the left of me, the crowd was just as large.

Flag waving Patriots

Marcia Blackburn was the first to address the crowd.  She is a senator from TN and was warmly welcomed.

 Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana gave a great speech

 I don't know who this was.  

 John Thune, from South Dakota - another great speech

Kelly Ayotte, senator from New Hampshire introduced Mitt Romney.

Chloe stood on the metal fence--craning for a better view of Mitt.

Lo, and behold...ANN ROMNEY was there, too!  Double Bonus!!  She is truly a sweet, gracious woman.  She thanked the crowd for coming and said she knew that most late autumn Saturday mornings in New England were spent raking leaves, and she knew we all had important things to do that we set aside to come out and support Mitt.

I totally love this picture because it clearly shows the genuine love between these two.

Ann bragged on Mitt a bit and he lowered his head, seemingly embarrassed by the praise.

Crowd response to Ann was VERY enthusiastic.
When Mitt stepped up to the microphone, he suddenly was overcome with emotion as he thanked the crowd for turning out on a cold, early morning in New Hampshire.  I was very moved to see how kind his eyes he seemed to really connect with everyone as he promised to create more jobs for those hurting in the current economy.  I got the distinct impression that he is running for this office for one thing...not to be powerful...not to be successful...not to be adored, but rather because he feels in his core that he can help his beloved America.  He could retire and spend the rest of his life leisurely enjoying what he has worked for.  But instead, he wants to serve a nation that needs his help.  He is trading his freedom for a life lived in the shadow of body guards and swat teams (they were on the roof of the airport building behind us).  It was also clear that the responsibility of the Office weighs on him and he takes it very seriously.  He struck me as a humble man, who was truly moved that he might be trusted with this important job.  Absent was the arrogance that is sometimes seen in candidates. 

"Don't vote for Revenge.  Vote for LOVE OF COUNTRY!" he announced, which brought a HUGE ROAR from the crowd.
"America is about to come roaring back!"  brought another enthusiastic, cheering response.

After a brief speech, they left the stage to start shaking hands with people.  I thought they might just shake a few hands and leave, but no...they stayed for a long time, making their way from one end of the fence to the other.  The crowd was holding up three fingers to indicate, "Three more days."

The crowd continued to follow them and take pictures.

Ann graciously spoke to supporters and shook hands.

At that point, I thought we were probably done and could start for home, since we weren't that close to either of them, and I couldn't get very good pictures.  But then my girls decided they wanted to try to shake Mitt's hand and headed into the crowd.  
I couldn't let them go alone, so I started in after them as they wiggled and squirmed their way to the fence.
I'm so glad I did.

Because we got this close!  He was signing autographs, which kind of astonished me.   I did not use a telephoto lens for this shot...we were about 3-5 feet away from him.

I tried to get a shot of him signing this but couldn't get far enough back to get the book into the frame.

He started to move away from us so I was able to get some shots of what he was signing.  He patiently signed one book after another.  There was an air about of caring and patience, not one of manic, "OK--let's get a few books signed for a photo-op and then get on to the next event."  I wish I could more adequately describe this man.  His body language was steady, unhurried, calm, kind, and reassuring.  I felt I could trust him.  That he wasn't trying to impress me, but was just being himself and letting me decide if I was okay with that.

My girls REALLY wanted to shake his hand but were pretty shy about sticking their hands out.  He signed autographs for what seemed like forever (which astonished me all the more) and then just as he looked like he would start shaking hands again, the Secret Service came and took him off to an interview.  

Molly said later, "When we got that close to him, I was shaking with excitement."
I was surprised and delighted that my girls were so engaged in the process.

The girls wanted to follow him to the other end of the fence area to watch the interview, so off we went.  We got up to the fence again--but were pretty far away from the action.  The girls decided we needed to be closer.   
Slave drivers, those two. 

We got a bit closer.  While I lingered to get a few shots, the girls disappeared. 

And then turned up in my next shot!

I turned around to see if the crowds had thinned behind me.
Again...wish I could have been taller to get a better shot of how many were there.
I realize it's not as BLUE as Massachusetts or New York but still...

And then it was time for Mitt to board the plane and go to the next rally.
Good-bye, sir.  Thank you for your willingness to serve this country.
I hope you will be given the job.

The crowd cheers and waves good-bye

On our way out to the car, we stopped for a photo-op with Mr. Ovide who is running for governor in New Hampshire.

Molly and Chloe snagged this sign which they planted in our front yard the minute we arrived home.

Much to my amusement, there was an "Occupy Wall Street" rally on site as we walked out to the car.
They managed to attract a huge crowd of FOUR to attend.
I couldn't resist calling out to them as I walked by, "NICE TURNOUT!"  
To which the person in the green coat gave me the stink eye.  haha 

All in all...I'm very glad I made the effort to attend the rally. 
It was definitely worth getting up at 5AM.


Lori said...

I love this so much!!

REALLY great photos. And an experience that you'll not soon forget.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Mom Of Many said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you so much for chronicling it for all of us out here in blogland. I kept starting to cry as I read it...Mitt looks genuine and I loved these lines you wrote:

"I wish I could more adequately describe this man. His body language was steady, unhurried, calm, kind, and reassuring. I felt I could trust him. That he wasn't trying to impress me, but was just being himself and letting me decide if I was okay with that."

I am so glad you went so we could 'be there' as well. I hope it's okay, but I'm going to post a link on FB to your blog post.

And thanks for the final laugh, "Nice turn out" and the stink eye comment. Still giggling about that one! Bless you my friend for your courageous stand for the man representing Biblical values.

Susan said...

Thank you thank you for sharing this!

Stacey said...

Thank you for this! Linny shared on facebook, so I did too. I could feel MY roar rise up in me when I read his statements. Glory to God! America is about to come roaring back!

sierrasmom said...

Thank you for this post. I am NOT voting for Obama..the right to life being my biggest issue, but I have not warmed up to Romney as a speaker or as a person. But you have given me hope that maybe someday I will see him the way you did on that cold Nov. morning!!

Waitingfaithfully said...

Thank you Karin! Amazing--the next best thing to being there! One more day . . .



Shonni said...

What an awesome experience for ya’ll. The pictures are really wonderful. It made me wish that I was there!!!
Yes, 3 more days...

Lori Poppinga said...

Wonderful post! How exciting to be in such a great crowd and to get to experience Mitt Romney for yourself. It is hard to believe anything written or said in the media these days so seeing him yourself...and forming your own opionion is great!
Keep up the God work.

Project Barbie said...

beautifully said....what great pictures and memories...God Bless!

Marmee said...

How exciting! I agree with you that his eyes are kind! I pray that we have this man in the White House come January!

Charissa said...

Thank you for this post! I agree with the others that it was great to "be there" with you. I am excited to vote for this man tomorrow! Thanks again!

James, Dawn and Family said...

Luv it! You can truely see the sincerty in his eyes!

Tami said...

really nice job karin! can't wait ot vote for love of country tomorrow;-). praying he will be our next president!

thecountlessconklins said...

What an awesome experience to take your girls to. Made me wish I had been there with my kids. Thanks for sharing.

Sammy said...

You got some great pictures! Oh how I wish Romney had won!!