We were running late, as we occasionally do. The rally speakers were to begin at 1 pm and we arrived at the hotel at 1:30. We rushed to check in so that we could get to our room, bundle up and get out there. Luckily, our hotel was across the street from the Capitol, so the commute was short.
Mahlon Mitchell is the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin and a Lieutenant in the Madison Fire Department. He is also considering a run for Governor after all the signatures are collected.
John Nichols is the Washington Correspondent for The Nation Magazine, a political blogger, book author and a man who has taken the Wisconsin plight under his wing since its inception. He has been one media participant who can be truly counted on to get the story out there without the usual conservative influence. I stick to my belief that the notion of “liberal media” is a myth.
I grabbed the camera bag and handed it to my husband, “Oh, we are getting a picture!”
We approached them and introduced ourselves. We politely asked for a photo and they seemed more than happy to oblige. I wanted to say something clever or memorable. I wanted to let them know that I appreciate their work and have a great respect. But sadly, my goofy nerves took over and I was unable to utter much more than a few giggles and thank yous. (sigh…what a dork).
We scooted away quickly to not bother them further and made our way to the elevator. While I was checking to see how the photo turned out, a familiar face approached from the corridor.
“Well, oh my goodness gracious.” Yes, I actually said those words. Out loud and akin to a 90-year-old grandmother. Liberal television and radio talk show host, Big Eddie Schultz, was right there – face-to-face. I stuck out my hand and said, “Very nice to meet you.” He smiled, graciously said the same and kept moving. My mind apparently wasn’t working properly and I forgot to ask for a picture (again…dork!).
It’s funny. Not so many years ago, I would have been all tongue tied had I met a rock star or television celebrity. Now, I feel gitty when meeting political figures and writers. What has become of me??
Honestly, though, what a remarkable beginning to a great day!!
Once we finally made it outside, it was as if we traveled back to Spring of 2011 when the streets were filled with fist signs held by mittens. It was a fabulous sight. Most reports have estimated between 20,000 to 40,000 people at the rally. I can imagine how many more there would be if it hadn’t been the first day of deer hunting season.
Musicians strumming various instruments, vendors selling (and giving away) “Recall Walker” t-shirts, hats, pins and other items and, of course, recall petitioners all in abundance. Ages 8 months to 80 years, the people were from all walks of life and cultures – the crowd was beautifully diverse.
Creative signs wallpapered the landscape mking us laugh throughout the day. As usual, the people were pleasant, in good spirits, friendly and considerate. I didn’t see any garbage anywhere! We walked to dinner a few hours after the event and the place was spotless. Again, remarkable.
Throughout the sea of Badger red and toothy smiles, I only witnessed good-hearted individuals who felt proud to stand up for their beliefs. With cheers and chants and reworded polka songs, their voices were indeed heard and will continue to echo through the rotunda for years to come.
There was nothing thuggish about the day. No malcontents or violent outbursts. It was simply a pep rally to invigorate those who believe in the goal of recalling Governor Scott Walker. It was a celebration of the successes the effort has already gained. And it was a coming to together of like minds, values and ideas.
By the way, United Wisconsin and friends were able to organize a wonderful Can Walker Food Driveon the day of the rally. In the end, they had received 2.5 tons of food for needy families. Just imagine how much more food there could have been had it not been left up to greedy, selfish, lazy thugs. (cough) Just sayin’.
You can see photos and video from Saturday’s rally HERE.
Click HERE to see the original article and reader comments