Give the Star Tribune credit; they actually report that “thousands” attended a rally in freezing weather today to demand an end to the ObamaCare effort. Minnesota Majority staged the rally on the state capital mall to hear Reps. John Kline and Michele Bachmann speak to the gathered opponents of the overhaul of the health-care system, as well as several other speakers — including me. The Strib did better than the Associated Press, which went with “at least hundreds” instead:
The message that echoed across the State Capitol grounds Saturday couldn’t have been simpler: “Kill the bill!”
A day after congressional Democratic leaders announced their final legislative push to enact a bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system, opponents rallied to send a noisy contrary message. Rally organizers said 4,000 people attended, but Capitol police estimated the crowd at 2,000 or less.
Dozens of times, the crowd members, a combination of Republicans, social conservatives and Tea Partiers, chanted, “Kill the bill! Kill the bill!,” urged on by a half-dozen speakers.
I’m not a crowd-estimate expert, but clearly we had more than 2,000 people at the rally. I spoke about halfway through the event and people were still walking up to the crowd after I finished. I’ve taken images from video shot immediately after I left the stage, and I’ll let people guess for themselves. These are taken from left to right of the crowd directly in front of the dais, which doesn’t capture at least a few hundred more on the wings and behind us:
I’d have put the crowd somewhere between three and four thousand. They were not just numerous — the largest rally I’ve personally attended at this venue — but also enthusiastic. Some got a little overly enthusiastic, such as the few who brought actual pitchforks. (They were asked to step to the back of the crowd.) Almost every sign carried to the rally was homemade, as you can see from the pictures. They all came out to the capital on a day where the temperature didn’t get above 40 degrees during the entire rally, and where a cold wind blew across the mall.
I’ll have video from the rally loaded soon and embedded here on the site, either later this evening or tomorrow.