2012 Presidential Race News Pensacola Politics State & National News

Mitt’s Pancake Pep Rally

January 28, 2012

Most of the folks attending this morning’s Mitt Romney rally in Pensacola seemed a lot like Romney. They were polished and sharp and dashing.

Flashing aggressively friendly smiles, the Saturday morning crowd flocked to the Fish House in their Sunday best. They brought signs and cameras and babies. Everyone jockeyed for a better view, or maybe another pancake.

America’s great tent revival—the political carnival that is the U.S. presidential campaign—had come to town, and people were ready for the gospel.

“It’s Mitt, he’s here!” said a young woman on the balcony, as she spied Romney’s bus pull into view.

The Fish House’s deck was packed with people awaiting Romney. Or, maybe they were waiting for Sen. John McCain. Or, maybe Jon Voight.

Regardless, soon everyone was bobbing to Kid Rock’s “Born Free,” as Romney made the rounds. Shaking hands. Waving. Thumbs-up to you—yeah, you—all the way in the back.

The governor of Virginia and Voight warmed the crowd up for McCain, who absolutely killed. The Arizona senator launched into a rough-around-the-edges routine that focused largely on his time spent locally in flight school.

“I donated my entire paycheck to cultural institutions here,” McCain laughed with the crowd.

Romney opened up by saying he couldn’t follow McCain’s bit, then proceeded to tell a joke.

“It may not be that funny, but I love it,” Romney said.

He rambled out something about a car not having a governor on it, the punch line was tough to hear. It didn’t matter. It probably wasn’t that funny. He’d already prepared everyone for that.

But Romney wasn’t here to joke around. He was here for the vote—the Big Win—and he headed straight for the red meat: God and guns. It’s a tough sell for a Mormon from Massachusetts, but Mitt was determined to pull it off.

“I really think this is a battle for the soul of America,” Romney said.

The crowd agreed. Vigorously. They didn’t want to live in a European social welfare state. They didn’t want any D.C. dingbat telling them where they could and couldn’t drill for oil. And, yeah, they’d bring a boot down on Iran and straighten out that mess, too.

Romney also said it would be a bad idea to cut back on the nation’s military, especially considering recent happenings, such as the Arab Spring, where dictators have been overthrown by uprisings aiming at democracy.

“The world is not a more safe place,” he told the crowd.

Romney began drawing his remarks to a close, by relaying a story of himself personally phoning spouses of service members. He interspersed verses of “America the Beautiful” into the story.

“We’re a patriotic people,” Romney said. “We love America.”

No one could disagree with the that. That’s the kind of closer you walk away on. Romney waved and smiled at the crowd. He seemed to know everyone understood—it was really his turn this time.

The man looked relieved. The kind of relief that comes with feeling like you’ve got the Panhandle—and probably the rest of Florida—sewn up tighter than Rick Santorum’s jaw.

You Might Also Like

  • steve January 30, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    LLaird…illiteracy rate high in this area, yes.

    What political party are the educators? Simply, the NEA is one of the most democrat groups in the country.

    Add to that the high poverty rate in Escambia county and the poor rankings can be understood. Go across either of two bridges and the schools are ranked # 2 of 67 counties. So people with kids and often money, move to Santa Rosa for the good schools, meaning one can surmise this area is not full of a bunch of uneducated people just because there are a large number of conservatives.

  • steve January 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Name calling and qusetioning one’s intelligence aside (LLaird), I ask Ms. Brown what is it that she loves about Pres. Obama. What has he done positive for the USA?
    A far as taxes go, Mr. Romney, I feel certain, complied with tax law. Can you really criticize one who pays his fair share when 48% of American taxpayers pay zero Fed income tax? Just wondering.
    Sorry you feel like this is right-winged hell, though many like myself like it here aside from the right-wingers on the extreme side, with abortion bombings etc.
    I would bet money the lion’s share of the revenue coming into Rick’s business, providing us this venue, are conservatives, excepting trial attorneys.
    Small to medium sized businesses, unless they receive gov’t funds, can not survive without implementing conservative principles.

  • LC January 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Chris- you watch way too much FOX News… They lie. A lot.
    Ames- I agree, let’s hear it.

  • L.Laird January 30, 2012 at 9:45 am

    2.L.Laird says:
    January 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm
    Florida Secretary of Education, last yr reported 27,000 Escambia County adults were functionally illiterate. Same department just reported Escambia Schools were rated 42 in the state out of 62::: I guess Cris Gray falls into one of the above???

  • Ames January 30, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Chris Grey-the claims you have made in your post are broad, non-specific generalizations. Could you please be specific about the policies of both Scott and Obama of which you speak, I truly am not familiar with the policies you are talking about.

  • Chris Grey January 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Marilyn, please feel free to move back up to Clinton MD and get out my right-winged hell. If you could take your friends and family that share your idea that my Pensacola is a hell, that would be great! We need positive thoughts, not comments like that.

    Even if Rick Scott was a Criminal, at least he is a US Citizen, has provided a balanced budget, served in the military, and has a solid plan for helping those in the projects who want to get ahead. I cannot say the same for Obama, talk to the black preachers in the area! They are not impressed with the message that Obama is sending with his strong hand of social welfare increases to the young men and women. We cannot promote a system that simply makes it a solution by putting our youth into federal systems before they are 12 years old!

  • Ames January 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I would like to see Mitt’s information sources on his comments about the military cuts in particular, do you have those references by any chance? His claims are inconsistent with the actual budget details and recent legislation.


  • L.Laird January 29, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Florida EPA issued a Toxic small alert Saturday morning blowing into downtown Pensacola from the Fish House.

  • Marilyn Brown January 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Rick…I cannot help myself. This guy is a joke. Full disclosure…I am an unabashed ObamaMama. I love my President.
    I realize I live in right-winged hell. But, the absolute mindless-ness of these people totally astounds me. How they can think that a person that makes 57 thousand dollars a day, and pays 14% tax on that can run this country makes me just want to cry. Of course…I live in a state that just voted in as Governor a criminal. I have no more words.

  • Conor January 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    So bummed I missed it! What’s the emoticon for sarcasm?

  • 1 2