7:00 a.m
I’ve just arrived. They have to bus everyone in from a couple of miles away because of the parking situation. Its kind of spooky to see the Secret Service everywhere, fortunately they did not take away my lap top or any of my cameras.

7:30 a.m.
I finally got my seat. I was standing in line with the schlubs until I realized that there was a second line for the VIPs with virtually no wait. Membership has its priviliges. So, I schlupped right down and made my way to the seating area.

8:25
It’s good to be around so many other Republicans. I’ve had some great conversations already this morning with the folks.

7:45
My seats are great! I’m going to be in the seats right behind where Sen. McCain is going to be speaking. So, if you watch the event live on TV, you’ll probably see me. I’ll be the guy with the black jacket and devilish good looks :P
I hope to have some pictures shortly, but not much going on yet, they are still setting up and getting people in. The “program” isn’t scheduled to start until 9:00, so that could mean McCain won’t show until 10:00 or so (CST).

8:45 Here are some pics, I’ll try to get more when McCain comes out.

1:30

Okay, here is my wrap-up of the event. Over all it was very fun and enjoyable. I’ve never been to a big rally like this (I’ve been to a John Edwards and Mitt Romney event, but they were small). There were thousands of people and everyone was having fun and smiling. When someone in a military uniform would walk through the crowd, there were spontaneous eruptions of clapping, which was really cool. I can say this about most Republicans (and probably many Democrats too), there is a genuine respect and love for those who serve in the military, you can feel it in the air.

It was also cool sitting so close to the stage. I was literally 4 rows back and could see McCain and the other speakers quite clearly, it was cool. Sens. Danforth and Bond also spoke, they hit Obama really hard, calling him a socialist and speaking out against ACORN. In reference to ACORN, Sen. Bond said “At least now we know what a community organizer does.” The crowd really liked that one.

McCain was his usual self. It was pretty much his typical stump speech, so I had heard most of what he had to say before. It is clear that he is taking this Joe the Plumber thing and running with it. Clearly his new message is that we are all Joes and that Obama’s tax plan is going to hurt middle-class America the most. All in all a very fun event, I enjoyed it immensly.

I’ve included a few pictures I was able to snap here as well.

Snipers on the Roof: I don’t know why, I just thought this was cool: