You really can’t get the idea of the kind of Draw Sarah Palin is until you actually see it.

The first thing that you note is the people come from everywhere:

And that it comes in two waves, the true believers first and then the others later

The first person I ran into was Doreen:

She was in the second row so I next talked to Eddie who was front row center:

I ventured next to the Sarah Palin 2012 booth and interviewed Steve

There was a freelance reporter who wanted to interview me. I wanted to interview him but he at first declined. So we compromised, both of us had the Camera running and we interviewed each other

He was hoping to be there when Palin announced but thought that it was the spontaneity is what really drives the coverage.

The last people I talked to was the greater Waltham Tea Party, I was having a problem with my camera so I couldn’t see what I was filming.

They loved Palin but were of the people I talked to (other than those from existing campaigns) the most indifferent to a run one way or the other.

The most interesting thing I noticed is that people generally thought she would run and wanted her to announce but Now when the speech actual was taking place and the subject came up the crowed chimed in:

.

Alas, they did not hear the words hey were dying to.

Will they hear those words in the future? Several months ago I thought so, but now I as I told Boots, I have no idea.

If she runs I’ll be happy to support her, if she doesn’t I have a lot of good choices available, but either way, my advice to the media, the democrats and the field should act like she is not running while wargaming as if she was.

As for her supporters I really don’t know what to say. I know that if she announces they will mobilize strongly. If she doesn’t, I have absolutely no idea what they will do.

And neither does anyone else

Update; Dave Weigel needs to take my act/wargaming advice

Stacy and I got here around 10:15 (passing a large group of Santorum signs to the delight of Lisa Graas I’m sure) and I dropped Mr. McCain off as I looked for a parking place, the first thing I noticed was the number of plates from other states

As normal there was a contingent that got there early to get a front row seat to see Sarah Palin, several who spoke to me about why Palin was the right choice.

Sarah and Todd Palin

The Palin fans were convinced that she IS running but are not sure when she will be announcing.

The initial crowd was small but as we got closer to the start of the program there was crowd burst that filled up the park rather quickly.

Much to my surprise the Governor was put on early in the program, while Dan Collins was aside of the stage I got behind the stage to get a different angle on the action

More to come

Update: Although the Palin fan contingent was large they were not the only campaigns represented, Ron Paul had a large group, Rick Santorum had a table, Buddy Roemer was there to speak in person as was a new local candidate. Signs and buttons for Herman Cain, Mitt Romney and Thad McCotter were in evidence in the group.

As you might expect the entire crowd wanted to get close the Governor Palin but what I found most interesting is the number of Pols for all different offices who wanted a piece of her or a photo with her.

Considering the demands the fact that she handles them with such grace is a real testament to her. I really don’t know how she puts up with it.

Update 2: Some more video now that I’m home with a good upload location: Here is a shot just before she takes the stage:

I have a short clip of the speech but I didn’t worry about getting it all because: 1. I was behind the stage and the folk in front were in a better position to film it and 2. The more interesting thing was the reactions of people to it and around her. But here is a short clip from it:

This is the first time I’ve been behind the stage during a Palin appearance considering how she produces obsessive behavior both from those who hate her and from those who love her it must be a nightmare for those whose job it is to keep her safe. Particularly when you add Stacy McCain into the mix:

The amount of time she gave people who wanted a picture or a handshake was really astounding,

I can’t imagine what it must be like for her every day of her life.

It seemed that everyone but me was dying to get a picture or a handshake with Governor Palin, what I really wanted was to ask a question tried a couple of times without success.

I was viewed with a bit of suspicion by some of Palin’s people even though the Tea Party express folks all knew me but after what I saw today I can’t really blame them.

The fact that she and Todd Palin (who I talked to a bit without knowing who he was) remain as normal as they are given people’s reaction to them is incredible. They have to be two of the most well grounded people I’ve ever seen. If the people who have fallen for the media’s caricature saw what I did today, they would abandon that nonsense in a heartbeat.

Final thought: After seeing what I saw I’m still convinced that Governor Palin would be the best choice for President this time or any time around, but if my choice was to have the Palin’s as the first couple or as friends or neighbors I’d take the latter. Leaders come and go but these are exactly the type of people who want to have your back in a family crisis.

Update again: Stacy McCain:

Congratulations, therefore, to Sarah Boxer of CBS News for this insightful headline:

Palin, not even in the race, draws
double the size crowd as Romney

Darn it, why didn’t I think of that first? I was at Mitt’s rally Sunday in Concord and the CBS reporter is exactly right: Palin drew at least twice the crowd as the supposed New Hampshire front-runner, which rather tends to contradict the “experts” quoted on the front page of Sunday’s Manchester Union Leader:

The twitter haters are out in full force, when they cover her in person and close up as I did then I’ll give their words some credence until then, they are best ignored.

Here is the speech if you want it in full via the Right Scoop:

Libertarian leanings just missed her but got a great shot of the three not so wise men and Wizbang has some great coverage too.

On of the advantages of age combined with Wealth is you tend not to care what other people think.

So I’m sure that John Cleese is not going to lose any sleep over this:

Cleese, who is performing in Sydney, was asked on Australian TV what he thought of last month’s riots around the UK.

He replied: “I’m not sure what’s going on in Britain. Let me say this, I don’t know what’s going on in London because London is no longer an English city.

“That’s how they got the Olympics. They said, ‘We’re the most cosmopolitan city on Earth’, but it doesn’t feel English.

“I had a Californian friend come over two months ago, walk down the King’s Road and say to me, ‘Well, where are all the English people?’

“I love having different cultures around but when the parent culture kind of dissipates, you’re left thinking, ‘What’s going on?’ ”

Even more ironic the people who rightly celebrate Cleese as a comic genius who mocked English culture for decades seem to be less tolerant of his words today.

It’s a sad statement on England but at least it’s an excuse to embed Python.