Exhibit A in the case of why even I can’t get too depressed about that anti-Palin focus group in Florida the ‘sphere was buzzing about yesterday. Granted, the event was held in a GOP stronghold; granted, Team Maverick’s crowd estimates have been “problematic” in the past, although this one comes from a fire chief on the scene, not the campaign; granted, 60,000 is probably a high-end figure, with another fire official and several reporters who were there pegging it as closer to 25,000. Even so, per the last link, consider this: As a sitting president, Dubya only managed to pull 15,000 when he showed up four years ago.
The Villages, a vast, upscale planned community north of Orlando, has about 70,000 mostly adult residents — many of them military retirees — who vote reliably Republican in statewide races. Tens of thousands inched along roads into the picturesque town square of the complex, where they stood in sweltering heat for about four hours as local GOP officials and a country band revved up the crowd.
“Sa-Rah! Sa-Rah!” they chanted at every mention of her name, applauding loudly and waiving tiny American flags that were distributed — along with free water bottles — by local volunteers. The fire chief estimated the crowd at 60,000.
Admiring throngs mobbed the Palin family’s arrival and departure, snapping souvenir pictures. Autograph seekers thrust campaign signs, caps with the McCain-Palin logo and copies of magazines with her face on their covers, and the Palins responded warmly.
Biden’s largest crowd among four stops in Florida earlier this month? 2,000. The excitement’s not over yet, either. Next up to be stricken with a scorching case of Palinmania? Bono. Click the image to watch.