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Kerry in Scranton (Report & Pictures)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
As most of you know from my previous thread, John Kerry began his post-convention campaign right in my hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. I took many pictures, but here are some of my favorites.



Scranton is an economically distressed city. It's been steadily losing people for the last 50 years. Close to 200,000 people lived here during the great Anthracite coal boom of the past century. Now, only 80,000 or so remain. I thought this shot was good because it juxtaposes a bit of blight with a bit of new development (the mall at steamtown).



Palpable media presence...



...and police presence at the event. Suspicious men in green shirts!



So we got there at 11:30, 2.5 hours before Kerry was scheduled to speak. That was what the line looked like getting into the event itself. What we didn't know was that organizers gave out three different tickets: red for a large area directly in front of the stage, blue and yellow for an area offset from the stage, and white for a section nearly 100 yards from the stage. We ended up with blue tickets after meeting some friends and working the crowd for a bit.

Ask about this if you want to attend a campaign event near your home!



Federal Courthouse



I love this shot. I decided not to crop the photo because it really captures how small and isolated protesters were at the event. More on protesters in a bit.



We finally got in-- only to be packed like Sardines next to each other. This shot kind of captures the size and scope of the crowd, but it's impossible to fully represent the number of people from my position on the ground. Well over 10,000 people came to the event.

The stage is to the left by the trees. No sign of Kerry, yet!



So my dad knew this guy-- they exchanged friendly hellos and talked for a bit. A few minutes later... the guy whips out the sign. Oh boy. He took a lot of flak for that one, but no one physically messed with him because of his size. A few other ladies sporting rosary beads tried the same stunt on several occasions, only to have their signs ripped off them.



Well, it's not oceanfront, but who's to complain?



Vanessa Kerry liked that one.



Kerry/ Edwards bus rolls in-- 90 minutes late. "We're gonna change America, but sometimes you gotta swelter to do it" - Kerry via conference telephone a few minutes before arriving. It was *HOT* and humid. Most of us had already been standing in such weather for 4 hours.



Another shot of the bus entourage.



Ben Affleck! He's articulate, charismatic, and a great public speaker. But my main thought was: "whoa. he dated j.lo!"



My favorite shot! The Cate Edwards ass shot.



Everyone was there except the young Edwards children. JFK, THK, Vanessa and Alexandra Kerry, the Heinz brothers, John Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards, Cate Edwards, ED RENDELL, Senate hopeful Joe Hoeffel... Ben Affleck.



Nice shot of THK speaking...



and Elizabeth Edwards as well.



Concluding with a good amount of confetti. There's certainly a celebratory and confident post-convention attitude.

Edit: Damn, I can't get the images to show up in the post. Mods?
post #2 of 8
Very cool, ShawnJ! Neat that you got to see the whole extended family. I guess I shouldn't hold my breath for the bus to hit Seattle. We're not exactly a swing area. The Pres/VP seem to like visiting the rural parts of Washington, but they've never set foot inside the city.
Quote:
A few minutes later... the guy whips out the sign. Oh boy.

You know, as a Catholic, there are few issues that get my goat quite like this presumption that the only way to be a "good" Catholic is to live in a Catholic theocracy. I'm an American first, goddamit.
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally posted by ShawnJ
Edit: Damn, I can't get the images to show up in the post. Mods?

Fixed
post #4 of 8
Boy? SPJ is just about as gah gah over kerry and entourage as he is over hillary.

Ben Affleck
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Was that you holding up the Bush sign, Scott?

Thanks, Jambo.
post #6 of 8
I was in PA that week but left before that event. I hope to never have to share the same state as Kedwards.
post #7 of 8
Thanks for posting the pictures and the tale of your town. I am very interested in hearing about your city, its hardships, and what is being done to change its direction going forward. It sounds like your problems are not recent but also shared by many other cities in some manner. How long has it been like you describe?

I live in Berkeley, CA which is a completely different place for many reasons. While the political and social climate is very liberal here, we all agree that an open dialog and discussion is the best path. We are the bastion of free speech, if nothing else. (Don't get me wrong, we have are own problems and issues which I'm happy to discuss.)

How is your town trying to reinvent and revitalize itself? If the coal industry is in decline, there must be some plan in place to keep the place relevant? What have previous administrations and the current administration done to help alleviate the problems? What do you think the Kerry administration will do to help or hinder progress?

Also, with regards to your comment of being packed in like sardines... I attended Clinton's second inauguration in Washington. It was the same type of affair just with tons more people. While we were crammed in, nothing really compares to a recent New Year's event in San Francisco. That year people were so crammed in that my girlfriend was essentially lifted off her feet, carried by all the people pushing against her from all sides. It was actually very scary and I'm amazed nobody was hurt that night. If some sort of disaster happened it would have been catastrophic! That experience has changed my future New Year's plans more than any other event.

Anyhow, sorry for going off topic for a bit.
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally posted by Towel
You know, as a Catholic, there are few issues that get my goat quite like this presumption that the only way to be a "good" Catholic is to live in a Catholic theocracy. I'm an American first, goddamit.

Being Evangelical, I'd be the last person to defend Catholic doctrine.

Evangelicals/Protestants broke away from Catholicism because we didn't agree with their doctrine, which is rightly defined by their leadership - from the local Diocese all the way to the Vatican.

It's a free country. If you don't like the doctrines they teach, leave. Or start your own brand of catholic church unaffiliated with the Vatican.

But I find it very hard to find any sympathy for losers who continually whine about the rules while willingly playing somebody else's game.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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