Some scoff at the idea that Mitt Romney might carry Minnesota, but actions speak louder than words. Both Bill Clinton and Paul Ryan campaigned in Minnesota today. This morning, I put out a call to Power Line readers who attended the Ryan event to send me photos and accounts of the rally. The results were overwhelming; I can post only a tiny fraction of the photos we got, but thanks to all who responded; all of you contributed to what follows.
The event took place at a Sun Country hangar near the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. The crowd started to gather hours before the rally was scheduled to begin. This photo shows a few of the thousands of people who were backed up trying to get into the airplane hangar:
Here is another one: the crush to get in was remarkable:
The hangar filled up long before Ryan was scheduled to arrive, and after 9,000 or so people had packed the hangar, the fire marshal or some such authority insisted that they stop letting people in. You can see how crowded the hangar was, long before Ryan arrived or anyone else started speaking:
These guys had the right idea:
The most remarkable thing to me is that after they closed the event because the hangar was full, thousands of people refused to leave, but waited outside for Ryan’s arrival:
While the crowd inside waited for Ryan, all four Minnesota Republican Congressmen–John Kline, Michele Bachmann, Erik Paulsen and Chip Cravaack–warmed up the crowd. Bill Clinton made a small-bore appearance today in St. Cloud, which is in Michele’s district, ostensibly campaigning for her opponent. But Michele knew where the action was. Our readers say she was great:
When Ryan’s airplane landed, the crowd went nuts:
Here are some of the thousands of people who couldn’t get in, but waited outside the hangar to cheer Ryan’s arrival:
One of our correspondents must have had special access to get this cute shot of two of the Ryan children exiting the airplane:
Ryan paused to give Michele a hug on the way in to the hangar; my friend and Congressman John Kline is on the left:
Paul and Janna Ryan took the stage:
Here is Ryan speaking:
Another, from farther back in the crowd:
Ryan’s message was essentially the same one we have been hearing from Mitt Romney: optimistic themes of change, inclusion, and confidence that with the right leadership, America can escape from the disaster of the Obama years. Barack Obama can’t put on this kind of rally, and his supporters can’t match this level of enthusiasm, because they know his administration is a failure. Obama desperately tries to hang on to power with a petty, small-minded campaign. Trillions of dollars in federal spending will buy a lot of votes, but, let’s hope, not enough to overcome the idealism and energy of the Romney-Ryan campaign.
Finally, I was pretty much worn out from going through all of the emails and photos and putting this post together. So I was stunned to hear from a reader in Colorado, who is waiting for Ryan to appear there, at a rally in Castle Rock, where he will do it all over again. Ryan was only half-way through his day when he left the rally here in Minnesota. Here are Republicans in Colorado waiting expectantly for him to appear:
If you sent photos that you think are better than the ones I posted, you may well be right. Thanks to all who contributed!