Monday, August 2, 2004

Albuquerque Turkey

The Cheney rally in New Mexico this past weekend had a little twist to it: you had to sign a pledge that you endorsed the re-election of the Bush/Cheney ticket or you couldn’t get in. This didn’t sit well with Democrat John Wade, so, in the manner of all disputes nowadays, he filed a lawsuit. As expected, it was promptly dismissed because Wade’s attorney failed to notify the Republican defendants, but he got his point across.

Wade, a 72-year-old retiree, said he was disappointed with the ruling but pleased by the publicity the court hearing produced. “Publicity,” he said, “is almost as good as a restraining order.”

And he got it. The flap became the subject of discussion among the talking heads and even earned a spot on the CNN crawl.

The rally went off as expected according to this piece in the Albuquerque Journal:

A plain-spoken Dick Cheney fired up an already hot crowd here Saturday afternoon, spelling out sharp differences between Republicans and Democrats as the presidential contest heads into its final three months.

The vice president, at the end of a four-day tour of the West, visited a school gym packed with supporters and was cheered on with shouts of “four more years.” The cheers were bolstered by loud boos when he described the Democrats’ agenda.

At one point, he stopped his speech for a moment, grinned his famous, sly grin and said, “I really like this crowd.”


Cheney’s speech was heard by a happy, homogeneous crowd by design. Republican organizers, who gave out about 2,000 tickets to the free event, tried to hand out passes only to registered Republicans or people who signed a pledge supporting Bush.

The approach was designed to keep protesters from disrupting the rally, organizers said, and it worked. Cheney spoke without interruption, and critics of the Bush administration never got closer than a half-mile from the event.

Next stop, Nuremberg.