McCain Rallies Illinois Troops – 1

Not once, but twice late Friday afternoon Arizona’s United States Senator John McCain asked all of the veterans in the audience at DuPage County’s Odeum to stand.

They did, the ones with McCain signs waving them.

And, what did he have to say to the veterans besides,

”We will never surrender”

to the “evil” that would strap bombs to retarded women and blow them up, as the news reported today in Iraq?

And, yes, he said “evil.”

Remind you of what President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union?

A plastic card which veterans needing ordinary medial care could use at local doctor’s offices.

McCain read a quote from George Washington saying that the prospect of future soldiers serving our country was dependent on how we treated our veterans.

Clearly, McCain thinks that treatment has not been adequate, mentioning specifically that there would be a lot of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome cases from this war.

From complaints I heard when I was state rep. that would be so much better than the standing in line to get an appointment, as McCain put it, then, standing in line again for the appointment (and I think he had a third line that veterans had to stand in line before seeing a doctor at facilities run by the Veterans Department).

I’m not sure it was before or after a couple with a child in the back of the room supporting Ron Paul for president started yelling their support for their candidate, but McCain answered the illegal alien question by saying that he understood that the borders had to be secured first.

He said that each border state governor would have to certify that the borders were secure. It was the first time I had heard that proposal, but I haven’t watched any of the debates, so maybe he has said it before.

Before McCain took the stage, State Rep. Jim Durkin, McCain’s 2002 Illinois chairman and heading it up again in 2008, gave his reasons for supporting the Senator and made introductions. He mentioned supporters, such as McCain’s Illinois co-chairman Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson, who had been at a rally with McCain in the St. Louis media market earlier Friday, as well as the mid-state honcho, State Rep. Dan Brady, plus others.

The only mistake I noticed was his saying that Antioch’s State Rep. JoAnn Osmond was from McHenry County. (Her late husband Tim used to sit next to me on the Illinois House floor. You’re welcome anytime in McHenry County, JoAnn.)

Then, the microphone went dead.

Durkin tried it the old fashioned way…the way that U.S. Senator Carl Curtis explained it was done in Nebraska before amplification systems when he spoke to Kane County Republicans in the 1970’s.

Durbin’s deputy Illinois chairman Julie Brady of St. Charles spoke second. She started without a mike, but soon someone figured out how to make one work and Durkin handed it to her.

If this woman ever decides to run for public office, her opponents better hope there are not a lot of candidates’ nights.

Should the Democrats pick off former House Speaker Denny Hastert’s 14th congressional district seat this fall as a result of the incredibly bitter primary election, whatever Democrat wins better watch his back if she decides to run.

This mother of four is one effective speaker.

Brady told of her 4-year olds’ asking, “Mommy, do we have to buy guns?” after the second tower collapsed on 9-11.

This is a “security mom” to the max.

Her husband Pat had earlier asked me to take some pictures of her. I was happy to do so.

She and her husband met at the Justice Department in Washington and now live in St. Charles. Her efforts of McCain’s behalf were featured on the front page of Elgin’s Courier-News Thursday. Husband Pat was clearly surprised I had seen the article.

Illinois Republican State Chairman Andy McKenna was in attendance. When he spoke to the crowd, he did not endorse McCain.

But McKenna said, “Illinois would respond a hero like McCain” as the party’s presidential candidate.

Mary Jo Arndt, the party’s National Committeewoman, was also in attendance. National Committeeman Bob Kjellander is supporting Mitt Romney for president.

Congressman Mark Kirk, who works on military intelligence in the Pentagon for his Reserve duty, told of one day of his military training, a day in which he was put in a simulated prisoner of war camp.

He said he thought of how McCain, one of his heroes, had already having been under the kind of pressure that a president faces…while he was prisoner of war.

I found that to be an interesting analogy.

I was standing next to the parents of a Glenview teen who volunteered two nights a week making phone calls for Kirk’s campaign.

He also had made 5,000 calls for his first choice for president, Rudy Giuliani.

5,000 calls!

He’s a junior in high school and wants to go to college in Washington, D.C.

And speaking of converts, former State Senator Roger Keats was at the rally representing the Fred Thompson campaign.

It’s my guess that all legislators attending were introduced. I know I talked to Bloomington’s Dan Brady earlier. There were others and I would insert their names here, if I had Durkin’s list in front of me.

First term Congressman Peter Roskam looked at the audience and proclaimed,

“The DuPage County Republican Party is back.”

Let’s hope he is right, but having three DuPage County state senators vote for a one-half cent sales tax might prove an impediment to recovery.

told me that she didn’t think Romney was representing Mormon principles properly.

All pictures can be enlarge by clicking on them.

More on Sunday.

Here’s where you can find more McHenry County Blog.

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