Embedded with the Dems: Day 2
Written by Bwog Staff
Bwog editor Lydia DePillis is still in Kentucky, along with Brit Spec reporter Josh Chambers, who’s blogging here.
“Oh, yeah, eleven.”
Honks, that is. Such began the morning, at 8:00 AM, with the entire Columbia contingent lining S. Broadway St. shivering almost as violently as they were waving their signs–almost everyone had underdressed, and the mercury came up to a decidedly un-Kentuckyish 45 degrees.
Nancy Huemer, BC ’10, yelled gustily in her oversized Beshear t-shirt, fading back to avoid speeding cars. “A year ago, I never would have thought I would be here standing on a street corner at seven A.M.,” she said. “I’m in Kentucky, where none of my friends live. It’s kind of cool.”
The Dems had again roused themselves before dawn to get to campaign headquarters for a rally to launch the canvassing trips that would take up the rest of the morning. Their noise conveyed an outsized impression of their actual presence–at least a hundred other Beshear supporters came out for the rally, mostly well-dressed middle aged to elderly white people.
Milling around before the arrival of the candidate himself, I spoke with a couple young and bubbly campaign staffers, who were ranging around dragooning the rallyers into volunteer duty. They’ve been here for months registering voters, which is most of the work in an environment where your candidate has almost zero chance of losing. Not only Beshear, but the entire slate of Democratic candidates is leading in the polls, in an effect that staffer Travis Scott called ï¿½100 percent coattails.ï¿½
“Ernie Fletcher’s the best thing that’s happened to the Democrats,” he said.
The candidate arrived in time for everyone to get thoroughly frozen, glad handing his way through the crowd up to the makeshift podium. Beshear was, however, by no means the highlight of the event: that honor was reserved for Joe B. Hall, head coach of the University of Kentucky’s basketball team from 1972 – 1985. Sports are intimately involved with politics in Kentucky; a number of illustrious athletes have made the jump from court to office. By the end of Coach Hall’s speech, I bet half the crowd would have supported him in a run for Senate.
After warning the crowd not to get complacent, he began a long winded analogy involving horror movies. “When you’ve got him down, that’s when you want to take him out,” said the capacious Hall, referring to Governor Fletcher, complete with hand gestures (this blogger has only one official reason to dislike Fletcher–no wonder the media’s got a grudge). “Get a wooden stake, and drive it into his heart. Pound it in there!”
In his speech, Beshear thanked the Columbia kids for coming out, while the crowd seemed somewhat bemused by their presence. As they gathered for a group photo, a bystander quipped: “I have seen the future, and it’s scary-but pretty!”