Sunday, September 13, 2009

9/12 Tea Party Rally in Quincy, Illinois

We had a great time at the 9/12 Tea Party in Quincy on Saturday which was held in their Washington Park, site of the sixth Lincoln-Douglas debate. Interestingly, the Lincoln debate in 1858 was said to have 12,000 in attendance, which was also the estimate of the Tea Party crowd. OK, so the "numbers guy" who attended the event with me says "No way" about the 12,000 number, but he didn't take a walk around the park until late in the afternoon. Others estimated the crowd at 2,000. When I took a spin around the park at about 3:00 with my video camera, the whole park was filled. I don't want to lose my credibility here, so I say split the difference and call it 5,000. Regardless of the number attending, it was a gorgeous early fall day, sunny but not too humid or hot; the people were upbeat, happy to be there, and everyone was just plain salt-of-the-earth nice.

I heard Glenn Beck interview Andrew Breitbart, one of the speakers at the event. Breitbart lives near L.A., and was invited to speak at the Tea Party in Washington, D.C., but chose Quincy instead because he wanted to meet some "flyover country" people. He jokingly told Beck that he didn't know how to behave around such nice people--"I just don't know what to do with them." I accidently caught one of those nice people in this shot, above--notice the smiling older gentleman on the right, flashing a peace sign. We talked to this man later when he asked us about the significance of the yellow (Gadsden) flags that were being flown all through the crowd. What a nice man, as it's plain to see by his smiling face; he said he lived "just four miles down the road."

We had lots of great speakers today. A few were local politicians, but they didn't dominate the event, and they were far from the most interesting in the group. Along with Andrew Breitbart, we also had "Instapundit" (Glenn Reynolds), "Gateway Pundit" (Jim Hoft), Bill Hennessey, a St. Louis Tea Party original organizer, Dana Loesch, a firery young St. Louis radio personality, and Kevin Jackson, author of The Big Black Lie, a very funny guy. What a great day. If you couldn't be in Washington, D.C. with the 2 million-or-so souls who showed up for that Tea Party event (and again, maybe my numbers are off for that one, but so are everyone else's--see the above post), then Quincy was the place to be.

Some of the Tea Party organizers were sort of quietly talking about what's next? Well, stay tuned. What they plan is smaller than the Tea Parties, but it will have a big effect. Their newest plans are straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook.This is great stuff and WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED.

Update: Here is Bill Hennessey at the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition, thanking the people of Quincy, Illinois.

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