Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Kirby Center Only 1/3 Full For McCain Visit

@anniepa (27238)
United States
July 23, 2008 7:44pm CST
This is pretty close to a first hand report of John McCain's visit to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., which is practically in my backyard. No, I wasn't there but I've heard a lot about it. http://pahomepage.com/content/fulltext/?cid=34051 About 600 people showed up at the Kirby Center, filling the hall about 1/3 full which I may be wrong but I don't think that's very impressive. Of course, I wondered about the wisdom of McCain coming here because Luzerne County is VERY heavily Democratic and always has been. He said the surge is working, "No Child Left Behind" needs to be fixed and pushed for a gas-tax holiday. See his landing at the AVP Airport here: http://www.timesleader.com/news/McCain_Lands_at_AVP.html Do you think this should be considered a good turnout for a town-hall meeting with a Presidential nominee? Since this is kind of a new thing for my area, I'm not quite sure but I guess I'd have expected him to fill a former movie theater. Annie
4 people like this
8 responses
@snowy22315 (51061)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I'm sure if Obama was there it would ahve been a mob scene. McCain just does not have the charisma of Obama and he is like a one issue candidate. I will be surprised if one third of the country votes for him come election day. Just my opinion. Dont shoot the messenger. I'm no the only one who feels this way.
4 people like this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Never fear, at least I have no intention in shooting the messenger. As you probably know there will be others here who probably will shoot some daggers or nasty comments at you however! Annie
3 people like this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I agree that it would have been a mob scene had it been Obama, but then he wouldn't have done it. He's afraid of town halls. He doesn't even have the guts to answer a single question from ordinary folks like us. It's hard to predict what the votes will be come November, but right now Obama's only ahead by 4% in the polls. Even weak candidates consistently get more than 40% of the votes based solely on being one of the two major parties.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I copied both on that one. The first link made it sound as if your area was well in favour of McCain. But, they sure played down the attendance by not drawing comparisions to it! I think a successful candidate would fill at least a former movie theatre. I didn't hear anything brilliant or even educated or smart in his remarks. I wonder why the news article got written up with such a positive slant?
3 people like this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
24 Jul 08
It's a very strange area, or at least it seems to be to me but I've always lived around here so I really don't know what it's like in other areas. The county is very Democratic and always has been but the local TV media are very Republican leaning, or they sure give that impression, as are most of the local newspapers. Our local news radio station is owned by Clear Channel, or I think that's the name, they're the ones that run Rush Limbaugh and others like him but the local radio show hosts are much more liberal or at least moderate. On the TV broadcast that I saw they didn't give a number at all and they said "Many local voters turned out..." or something to that effect and they talked to two previously undecided voters from out of the immediate area who are now leaning toward McCain. It's rather funny to watch because if someone came to visit our area and didn't know anyone here and watched the local news they'd think we were in the deep South or something. I heard on Hardball tonight that the hall was less than half filled so that's why I looked it up online and there it said 1/3. It said he spoke for 19 minutes. How did all those people stay awake through 19 minutes of him speaking? Annie
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
If the theatre was 1/3 full, 600 hundred people, and McCain talked for 19 minutes and you divide 600 by 19 it comes out to 0.03. That's how long each person paid attention. Someone got to the media and insisted on a Republican slant. It gets so confusing, no one knows what to believe. I think that's the whole idea. Divide and conquer. Okay, now I earned my 2 cents.
1 person likes this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Well I would love to hear what he has to say about fixing the NCLBA. I use to work in education as some may know and I also have children all 12 and under. I think that this bill was the worst step in the nation's history. Do you know that my 10 year old child that has ADHD and also autism has to take the state standarized test??? Now, the first time he took the test he had an IQ of 72 which is very low he didn't even know how to read, but through lots of hard work over the past 2 years he is now at an IQ of about 100 which is within the average range with "normal" children. He is on the high functioning end of autism. Now, some of you may not know that children are taught only to this stupid test. All the things we learned in school is out the window. No more extra stuff. I have been told that I don't like the NCLBA because a Republican came up with the bill/act that is further from the truth, I just don't like it because it is unfair to the children and also to the school district. Gas tax holiday, I could go for that but I kinda like the wheels on my car. I would hate to see the roads any worse then they currently are. Unless there is a plan to come up with a new way to pay for roads, I think I will continue to bite the bullet and pay the tax. What the government should be doing is trying to figure out how to stop the oil companies from making billions every year in profits. As for his turn out, hmmm that doesn't sound like very many people but how big is the county? If the area only has a population of 1,000 people then he had a good turn out, if the population is 50,000+ then he had a bad turn out. Thanks for the rant, had a rough day, now I feel better LOL
3 people like this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I think all he said about the NCLBA is that it needs fixing. Come on, you want him to tell you HOW to fix it, too...lol? I know a teacher who is also very fed up with the direction education is going since that was passed. She agrees that gearing everything toward these tests is ridiculous and doesn't measure a child's ability to learn at all. She says teachers have to go for additional credits, usually at their own expense, and it's all about test scores for them too. I agree totally about paying for our roads. Here in Pa. everyone was mad because there was talking about selling or leasing the turnpike. Then the talk turned to making part of I-80 a toll road, and nobody liked that either. You know what - I don't like either idea that much myself but there's not alternative that isn't going to involved someone paying to fix and maintain our roads and bridges. Luzerne County is one of the largest in Pennsylvania and Wilkes-Barre is a "small" city but there are two other small cities - Scranton and Hazleton - very close by and tons of small towns full of us bitter people...lol...within an hour or so. Bill Clinton was in much smaller Bloomsburg before the Pa. primary and there were twice as many people to see him and he wasn't even the candidate. I'm not sure of any of the exact figures but now I'm curious and will have to look it up; all of the Clintons made visits to several places in my area and Obama has been here a couple times and so has Michelle and it seems to me they all drew larger crowds but I don't want to make claims I can't back up. Like I said, it's a Democratic area with a Republican media. Annie
2 people like this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Well it's definitely a small city. The US census lists the population as 41,630 (2003 estimate). The city of Tampa where I live is 317,647 by comparison. 80% of the population is over 18 which means you have about 32,800 people that are old enough to vote. With an average voter turnout of 64% that leaves 19,680 voters to consider. Since this is a weekday many people were working and unable to attend such events. Obviously I can't provide any official statistic on how many people in your city work during the week. I'd say 600 is a pretty fair turnout with those factors taken into consideration. It's not a great turnout, that's for sure. I wouldn't expect him to have great turnouts at a heavily democratic city. I think it's good that he's not limiting himself to Republican strongholds like Texas and Alaska. We all know the tough questions come from the opposition, not from your own party. It sure would be nice though if Obama had the guts to do what McCain is doing. I'm not saying that just because I don't like him. I'm saying it because people deserve the chance to speak to their candidates.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Did you say that was a former movie theater and that it was only 1/3 full with 600 people in attendance? The Terminator theater at Universal Studios where I used to work was a massive theater and it seated a maximum of 708 people including those in wheelchairs.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Thank you for your information. About the Kirby Center - it was a movie theater for years but was converted into a concert hall years ago. I haven't been there since it changed so I really didn't know what the capacity was. All I know is they stated it was 1/3 full and there were about 600 people. On the local news you could see there were lots of empty seats in the part you could see and there were also people on the stage behind him. I have no idea who they were or how they were chosen to sit there. They looked like they were half asleep...lol! I honestly didn't say that just because I don't like McCain, they really did look that way. Annie
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Another note, the 600 people bit was false by every other account I've seen. I've checked multiple sources. 3 of them indicated 900 people, 1 of them said 800 people. The hall seats 1800. On the plus side every source I've checked had interviewed many people who had nothing but positive things to say about him.
1 person likes this
@skinnychick (6907)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I would think that he would have a better turnout even in a heavily populated Democratic county. The Democrats could have maybe challenged him. But then again who wants to sit and listen to his BS. Horrible turnout but maybe it's a sign of things to come.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
25 Jul 08
You can call it BS, but at least he gives people like you the opportunity to challenge him. Obama is a coward who hides behind invitation only events and never answers questions.
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
24 Jul 08
I'm surprised there weren't more people there. It sounds as though people have their minds made up, and don't really want to hear what he has to say. I hope people pay attention to any debates they may have.
1 person likes this
@clrumfelt (5424)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I think it very wise for McCain to visit heavily democratic areas and try to sway the undecided voters, as well as any voters that may be somewhat dissatisfied with the present democratic candidate. Obama is spending plenty of time visiting areas that have traditionally voted heavily republican. Both candidates are looking for voters in unlikely places. I think it is good campaigning.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
24 Jul 08
It is hard to get a town full of Democrats to turn up for a Republican candidate and I fear for the country if Obama who is more pro abortion than the Clintons and will appoint pro abortion judges to the senate, gets elected. Having charm and charisma is very dangerous. I remember our Trudeau had it and Hitler also had charm, and the German people fell for it because he told them what they wanted to hear and I also noticed that when McCain talked about getting rid of high gas prices by releasing more land for oil production, Obama took a turn around and said he would do that. I hope that the States does not go through what we are going through now. We now have a conservative government, but after so many years of liberals, it might be too late to make things right. I hope that in the future, there will not be posts here and letters saying, I wish we knew then what we knew now.