I had a nice post typed out for this, but due to a computer error, I lost it during the saving.  So, I’ll hit the high points for now.  If you are interested in purchasing a photo set from the rally, please send me an e-mail.

My place was a few feet to the right of the stage behind the gates.  When she came down the line shaking hands and signing things, she shook my hand.  I mumbled something about her giving ’em Hell, and she stopped, grabbed my forearm, looked me straight in the eye and with a twinkle in her own eyes said, “I’m not gonna stop!” 

A few minutes later, Senator Evan Bayh came down the line.  He was the perfect gentleman.  Everyone was “Sir” or “Ma’am”.  Sometimes you meet someone and you instantly know they are a good, honest decent human being – I felt that instantly about Senator Bayh.  (I know, that may be perceived by some as naive, but it’s my blog and I’m entitled to my own opinions.)  He was talking to the boys next to me, telling them about his own sons.  When he shook my hand, he commented that he wished he had my hat.  I told him I would gladly let him have it, but he declined saying he didn’t think messing up his hair would be appreciated.  We all had a laugh about that.

For those keeping track of shoes, here’s what Clinton was wearing:

I didn’t notice what Henry or Bayh were wearing, and even if I did, I wouldn’t report it.  Ok, my poor attempt at humor.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, read this post on Fort Wayne Observed.

The only other thing to report is a confrontation between abortion protesters and pro-choicers.  In fact, one of the women upset with the pro-lifers physically pushed one of the protesters.  Their leader quickly stepped in and sent the young man to the other side of the street. I didn’t capture a photo of the pushing because it happened so fast.  I am also not identifying which of the women assaulted the young man.

From Ben Lanka in Sunday’s Journal Gazette:

Published: April 27, 2008 6:00 a.m.

Notebook
Henry teeters on endorsement fence

The mayor was given a special honor as Sen. Evan Bayh introduced Henry, who then got to introduce the presidential candidate.

When introducing Clinton, Henry spoke about his time as a Boy Scout and then began asking the crowd whether Clinton exuded the qualities important to Scouts. When Henry asked whether she would be loyal, kind and other traits, the crowd shouted “Yes!”

Henry joked that the crowd could have been wrong when saying she would be obedient, but Clinton stepped in to say it meant she would be responsive to taxpayers.

Henry said if she has those qualities “you have no choice but to vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton.”

But later Saturday, Henry qualified his statement, saying he was not picking sides in the campaign. He said he even had to catch himself to make sure his statements didn’t seem like an endorsement.

Outside security

Saturday’s cooler temperature wasn’t the only challenge to holding the campaign rally outside, as security was higher than at other Clinton campaign events in the area.

Attendees were directed through one of six metal detectors staffed by more than a dozen employees of the Transportation Security Administration.

Of course, the park venue accommodated significantly more people than crammed into Sara’s Family Restaurant at Clinton’s last appearance.

Also, part of Headwaters Park was cordoned off to guests, including the restroom facilities.

Three portable toilets were made available to the crowd.

Paddock’s present

Geoff Paddock, director of Headwaters Park, was understandably excited to host such a prominent political rally. He even brought Clinton a gift, the book he compiled about the history of Headwaters. Clinton was good enough to mention it at the beginning of her speech.

Of course, Paddock also was hoping to get something for himself: an autograph. He brought a picture from 1993 of him with the Clintons and Jill Long Thompson at a White House Christmas party. He said then-Rep. Jill Long invited him to the gala.

VIP seating

Local volunteers for the Clinton campaign were able to secure special seating just to the east of the stage where Clinton spoke. Dozens of people showed up with their blue VIP tickets to gain access to the area.

Deb McMillan drove to Fort Wayne from her hometown of Hamilton after making phone calls for the campaign in Auburn and from her home. She said this was the first campaign she’s assisted, but it was well worth it because of the ideas Clinton has to revive the economy.

As for the seats behind Clinton, they were filled with several local politicos, including Fort Wayne City Clerk Sandy Kennedy. But the campaign also let in regular attendees with one catch: Security would not let them leave before the event ended, even if Clinton was hours late.

Fortunately for them, she took the stage just after her 10 a.m. scheduled start.

Road signs

If people didn’t know Clinton was to speak at Headwaters Park on Saturday morning, motorists along Clinton Street learned quickly of the visit. More than 10 campaign signs for Clinton were posted along the thoroughfare.

The only problem: Those signs are technically illegal because they are in the state’s right of way.

No word yet on whether Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels plans to crack down on this offense.

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