TAMPA, Fla. — Reporters awoke on Monday after three hours of sleep to schlep out for the first of seven — seven! — events of the day. But the schedule was promising: First up, a campaign rally at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Bucaneers — capacity: 65,700.
Maybe, just maybe, Sen. John McCain, with just one day to go until Election Day, would jam a stadium full of screaming and weeping McCainiacs, put that upstart first-term senator on notice that he, too, can draw a mob.
But as the press corps walked along a muddy path, Secret Service agents leading the pack turned right, away from the stadium, into a muddy little field. On hand, maybe 500 McCain supporters. To make things worse, the giant empty stadium was in the shot from the cuts platform, where TV cameras set up.
“You know,” one reporter said without irony, “Barack Obama would be INSIDE the stadium.”
— Joseph Curl, senior White House correspondent, The Washington Times