Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sarah Palin Rally - Springfield

Apple Studios covered the Sarah Palin Rally for the Missouri Republican Party. The Palin campaign granted us complete press access to the event. Owen and I got there early and staked out our position in the press bleachers. It was a cold, windy, miserable morning. We were dressed for it! Ann arrived later.

The national media gets prime seating and only arrives a few minutes before the event starts, so we hunkered down next to KOLR 10. Just before the event, McCain's national media coordinator came down the press line and asked, "Who wants in the buffer, I can take five?" Not being shy, I screamed, "I do!". "Come on," he said. So away we went. The buffer is an area between the crowd and the stage where the Secret Service stand. I got a Secret Service briefing about not getting close enough to touch a Secret Service Agent and keeping the stairs clear. Surprisingly, that's all the rules there are. You can stand up, sit down, move around, sit at Sarah's feet (which I did). It was a blast! We got 2,500 images of the event. Owen hung back and shot from the bleachers and did a terriffic job.

The rally was kicked off by the group "Pierce Arrow". US Congressman Roy Blunt and others spoke. Sarah was introduced by Naomi Judd, so we got some great images of Naomi and Sarah's youngest daughter Piper, who was signing autographs after the event and handing out stickers that read, "Vote for Piper's Mom". Pretty cute. Afterwards, the media coordinator had me climb a 20' ladder up behind the bleachers to get face shots of the candidate working the rope line and signing autographs and shaking hands (I set my fear of heights aside temporarily to get the job done). Whatever you political persuasion happens to be, this was a high energy event that was a pleasure to cover. Of note: Sarah Palin is far more attractive in person than on TV! Enjoy!

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