The scene as portrayed by Elaine F. Miller, Poet
On Sunday, October 7, I drove to Port St. Lucie, FL, forty-seven miles north of my home in West Palm Beach to attend a Mitt Romney rally.
The weather was threatening.
Rumbling, darkening clouds followed me along I-95.
I had my doubts.
I don’t like crowds, rain or getting lost.
I got lost (turned east at the exit instead of west).
The crowds were enormous.
Sitting aimlessly in traffic, I looked at the cars, mostly late models Japanese cars. There were few bumper stickers. “WHAT JOBS PROGRAM?” was painted on the window of a truck.
The county sheriffs, local police and volunteers directed the vehicles.
Once we entered the shopping center complex, where the rally was to be held, I realized that all the parking lots were full. I drove and drove. Soon cars were mounting the curbs and parking in empty fields.
I finally found a parking spot in the lot in front of BED, BATH AND BEYOND.
I then started walking.
In the rain.
I joined a middle aged couple and asked them if they knew where the Romney rally was located.
They thought it was” over there” so we walked together.
They had once been Democrats.
They were now Republicans.
She was from Queens, NY. He was from Pittsburgh, PA.
We found a large crowd and joined the line.
A few people carrying Obama signs stood to the side.
Someone in a Big Bird costume waved at us.
“That’s a pretty short Big Bird,” I thought.
A bearded man, looking like a ZZ Top band member, sat on a barrel and hawked Romney buttons. People lined up to buy his wares.
We walked through scanners.
We were wanded.
When I entered the rally area, people were standing shoulder to shoulder.
I spoke to a couple beside me.
They were of Iranian descent.
They had come to the United States in 1979.
They had made their lives in Florida, raised their children here.
“Will the people overthrow the Iranian government?” I asked the woman.
“Yes, it will come. People are protesting all the time, For now, what can they do? The government has the guns.”
It started to rain again.
The ground began to turn soft beneath our feet.
I observed those around me.
There were Hispanic, Indian, African American, Jamaican, Irish, English, and Italian.
They stood patiently, waiting.
Suddenly, we heard a fanfare, electronic music and looked up.
Romney had arrived.
He was as handsome as a matinee idol, beautifully groomed. He wore a checked navy blue and white shirt. He was energetic, smiling from ear to ear.
Ann Romney in a summery dress, radiated as well.
Florida Congressman Allen West and Florida Attorney General Pam Biondi accompanied them.
Congressman West opened the rally with a rousing address of support and then Ann Romney spoke, followed by Pam Bondi.
Then, it was Romney’s turn.
Romney stirred the crowd with his vision of a better future, job creation, health care, the re-establishment of American values on a global stage.
And, he said it all, in a reasoned yet inspired manner,
He sounded like a cross between Andy Griffith and General George Patton.
It struck me that Romney, despite his record ability in the business and political world, was at his core, a compassionate pastor.
For all his success, as a son, student, husband, father, businessman and elected official, he was a modest man.
His faith and values were the center of his being.
In speaking to members of the crowd and overhearing their comments, it became clear they were uniformly expressing the same thought. They longed to return to the confidence and pride of being an American and they desired a leader who believed the same thing.
After Romney finished speaking, people refused to leave, so he remained. He stood in the rain and shook hands.
Shortly, surrounded by security, he started to make his way towards his bus.
It began to rain more heavily.
I looked down.
Our feet were sinking in the mud.
I looked up.
Sharpshooters stood on the roofs of the neighboring buildings.
Soon, the crowd began to thin and I turned to leave.
I heard a roar.
Romney had come back.
He shook hands again, patted people on their backs.
I trudged back to my car.
I passed the couple from Queens and Pittsburgh.
We smiled at each other.
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