Is It McCain/Palin Or Palin/McCain?

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- The banners, buttons and signs say McCain-Palin, but the crowds say something else.

"Sa-rah! Pa-lin!" came the chant at a Colorado Springs rally on Saturday moments before Republican nominee John McCain took the stage with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a woman who was virtually unknown to the nation just a week earlier. The day before, thousands screamed "Sa-rah! Sa-rah! Sa-rah!" at an amphitheater outside Detroit.

"Real change with a real woman," read one sign at a Wisconsin rally. "Hurricane Sarah leaves liberals spinning," cried another.

In the short time since McCain spirited the 44-year-old first-term governor out of Alaska and onto a national stage as his running mate, Palin has become an instant celebrity. And since her speech at the Republican National Convention, watched by more than 40 million Americans, she is emerging as the main attraction for many voters at their campaign appearances.

"She's the draw for a lot of people," said Marilyn Ryman, who came to see her at the Colorado rally inside an airport hangar. "The fact that she's someone new, not the old everything we've seen before."

McCain has sought to portray Palin as a bulldog who will help him "shake things up" on Capitol Hill.

Washington, he said Saturday, is "going to get to know her, but I can't guarantee you they'll love her."

"We do!" came a cry from the crowd.

At a rally in Albuquerque later, McCain acknowledged the juice she has injected into his campaign.

"The response to her has been overwhelming, it's been incredible," he said.

Perhaps recognizing the excitement she is generating, the McCain campaign was planning to keep Palin with McCain for several more days, rather than dispatch her to campaign by herself, as had initially been discussed.

On Saturday, McCain and Palin rode their post-convention wave into the competitive West, where Democrats have made recent gains in traditional Republican strongholds.

After a day of talking up economic themes in the Midwest, the pair attracted thousands at a rally in Colorado Springs, a city at the foot of Pike's Peak that is home to many conservatives and military families.

It was McCain's first appearance in Colorado since the Democrats had their convention in Denver last month.

Both campaigns consider the battleground state in play with the election less than two months away.

"Colorado, it's going to be a hard-fought battle here," Palin said. As soon as she began speaking, a group of supporters interrupted her with a cheer of "Sa-rah! Sa-rah!"

Palin is even getting the star treatment from celebrity magazines, Web sites and television programs, which have played up her personal story as a mother of five children, one of whom is 17 years old, unmarried and pregnant.

The excitement with which people are turning out to see Palin could complicate a key line of attack that the McCain campaign has been building against Democrat Barack Obama for months.

Republicans have sought to cast Obama's support as nothing more than shallow adoration and hype befitting a movie star. They have mocked his appeal among Hollywood types and compared his star status to that of lightweights like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. They say there is nothing of substance to back up the candidacy of the Illinois senator.

Palin herself asked in her convention speech what happens "when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan?"

Obama has been careful in his comments about her, saying Saturday that she has flip-flopped on spending earmarks, but also calling her a "skillful politician."

While campaigning in New Mexico, which is shaping up to be another competitive state, Palin and McCain staged their own Hollywood-like entrance at a rally.

After a rousing introduction by actor Robert Duvall, McCain and Palin made their entrance by bounding off a "Straight Talk Express" bus that drove straight into the rally's convention hall, underneath a giant America flag that was raised like a curtain.

As a delighted crowd screamed its approval, the rally was clouded by either exhaust or stage smoke.

Voters interviewed at rallies said their support for McCain has been cemented with his pick of Palin, who is a social conservative and reassures many who were wary about McCain on those issues.

Patricia Hoskins said she was already backing McCain but that Palin "really lit the fire under me."

And in the brief time that McCain and Palin have been campaigning since she introduced herself to the nation, many women at their events have said they identify with her personal struggles.

"She's every mom," said Lindsey Denny, a mother of 7, including a set of quintuplets, two of whom have special needs like Palin's infant son with Down syndrome. Denny said Palin's inclusion on the ticket was "110 percent" the reason why she went to see her Saturday.

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  • by Anonymous on Sep 8, 2008 at 05:50 AM
    Once again. McCain hasn't made any changes in 30 years. You people seems to believe he is now.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 7, 2008 at 08:34 PM
    I agree Mr Bob Mccain/Palin 08
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Sep 7, 2008 at 07:09 PM
    Blog Refuter; I don't have any problem with politicians being exposed, I was just making a long term observation. As far as pictures of the future husband, That really doesn't have much to do with Palin. The last time I checked we in this country don't have much to do with the choices our children make when they decide to marry. Is it a tragedy that this 17 year old girl is pregnant? Yes. It is a tragedy when any child is pregnant. Children having children is why there are 36 year old grandmothers. It takes more than just 'talking' with your kids to prevent this sort of thing. If this kid is really a drop out with some simple minded trashy web page, this girl is most likely in for a hard road, on the other hand the Palin family may have some positive influence on him. Maybe he will turn out OK in the long run. Time will tell. In the end, I think this is an issue that should be left alone. It happens to Democrats and Republicans. It really isn't a party issue.
  • by Vote Mccain 08 Location: Supporting Mccain on Sep 7, 2008 at 06:33 PM
    Mr. Bob, you are exactly. We need to get America back to the way George Washington and Old Abe started it. We need to get all these Democrats who are themselves first, then America out of Washington. God Bless you all. Go Mccain/Palin!
  • by Mr. Bob on Sep 7, 2008 at 04:23 PM
    The McCain/Palin will be the true change America has waited for. This will set the liberal welfare cry babies back about 100 years.
  • by Blog Refuter Location: NC on Sep 7, 2008 at 12:49 PM
    What's the big deal, people? Do not you want these things exposed? We need to be well-informed of our candidates, right?
  • by Anonymous on Sep 7, 2008 at 12:01 PM
    VBush. I didn't go to myspace or facebook, I just googled him. Some of the stuff I found did say it came off of his myspace page. And you are right kids today are going to come to regret it. I just think it was really stupid of her to think she could bring him up with her family and act like they are just a big happy family. My guess is if they marry it will be a shot gun wedding. But that's not my business. Whatever. I just would hate to see her head of this country. I don't trust her at all.
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Sep 7, 2008 at 10:16 AM
    The advent of the internet, and most recently web pages like 'My Space' and 'Face Book' will undoubtedly have a vast effect on our politicians in 20 or so years. These young kids today that think they are being 'cute' and 'expressing themselves' are going to come into a rude awakening when they come to a point in their lives that they want grow up, do something with themselves and be somebody, and these web pages will haunt them for the rest of their lives in so many ways. What does this have to do with this article you ask? People are digging just as hard and furiously as they can to find something that will put an end to the Sara Palin fire. Fortunately she is just old enough that she never dabbled in this crap. But 20 OR LESS years from now, it will probably be difficult to find people that don't have incriminating information, self created mind you, all over the place that will damn them forever. I am assuming the pictures 'Anonymous' is referring to are on one of these web pages?
  • by McCain/Palin 08 Location: Williamston on Sep 7, 2008 at 09:44 AM
    Palin is more qualified to be VP more so than Obam is Qualified to be President! At least she has some experience behid her while the only experience Obama has is voting "PRESENT" which amounts to nothing more than cowardly votes.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 7, 2008 at 08:57 AM
    Most people ranting and raving over her had never even heard of her until last week. Now everybody is saying she will make a good VP. Well how in the H do you know that? Do you research or you'll be sorry. Not VP material. I can't beleive how she cleaned up her daughters boyfriend to stand on stage with them. What a joke. Has anyone googled this guy? Seen the pictures of him drunk, flashing the finger, describing himself ast a F---ing Redneck, High School dropout. And this woman wants her daughter to marry him. Oh my God.
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