Last night I attended my first political rally.
Democratic Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards was holding a rally at the North Carolina State fairgrounds with Jon Bon Jovi. The arena was filled almost to capacity–five or six thousand people.
The candidate’s daughter, Cate Edwards, introduced the singer, who performed a few acoustic numbers, then the candidate’s wife, Elizabeth Edwards came on stage and gave a short speech on the differences between the Democratic and Republican tickets. She opened her speech by saying, “President Bush says we need responsible leadership. I couldn’t agree more.” The audience got into the speech, booing as appropriate, clapping as appropriate, sometimes chanting “Shame on Bush!” or “Four more days!” or “Trade ’em in! Trade ’em in!” Bon Jovi came out for a few more songs, accompanied by a violinist, and then Bon Jovi introduced John Edwards.
He came on stage, holding the hands of his two young children. His speech wasn’t a political speech. Rather, he spoke of growing up in North Carolina, of working in a mill alongside his father where he learned his values, values he said that the Republican candidates didn’t share. He came out to say “Thank you.” Speech finished, the confetti cannons fired, and Edwards worked the crowed around the podium. Shuffled out, Jon Bon Jovi came out for one more song, a cover of Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down,” and the rally was over.