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Taking a page outta Hollywood…

Snipers. SWAT. Secret Service. Security detail. Sanchez. Spresident. So many S’s to describe today’s experience. By the way, folks, Spresident is a made up word.

For those of you who aren’t aware, I’m currently an intern for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. I work as part of her re-election campaign. If you follow California politics, there was a rally at the Santa Ana Courthouse today.

This morning, I arrived on time to the Anaheim campaign office. Upon entering the building, my lead coordinator immediately said to me, “You’re going to the rally today. You’re on the VIP list.” The DC and Federal Office folks at the office had been talking about this rally for the entire week, but I hadn’t anticipated on going. Moreover, I hadn’t expected to be put on the VIP list. This was news to me, and I surprisingly became anxious for the event.

The two field coordinators and I decided to carpool together. I offered to take my car, and we first drove to the Labor Union to pick up some Loretta Sanchez signs. We then proceeded to the rally point and met up with the Santa Ana campaign team. The next hour was spent in downtown Santa Ana passing out fliers informing the townspeople of the rally. There was to be an expected 500 participants for the event.

Once we finished our errands, we walked towards the courthouse. All the roads were sealed off by motorcops, cruisers, and blockades.

The courthouse.

The media, including ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox.

Because we were all grouped up and wearing the same “Loretta Sanchez – Fighting for us!” t-shirts, we received quite a bit of publicity. I personally did not wish to have this sort of exposure, but the cameras’ film captured their fair share of us. There were also a ton of several important-looking-people (in terms of attire) trying to look very-important (in terms of physical display). It was quite funny observing their body language and facial expressions; with politics must come with some pretentious attitudes.

Soon afterward, we spotted a sniper on an adjacent roof. After curiously glancing around, we spotted the other three. Apparently, there are supposed to be four snipers in presidential movements. We found another one across the courthouse; this one was on the second floor of the facade. The third was on the roof of a sectioned-off parking structure, and the fourth one was on the second floor of another adjacent building. Jack Bauer was on my mind for most of the the duration.

Start of the rally:
Ten minutes before the rally started, we got cleared into the VIP section. Three of us was lucky enough to get into the front row; we were less than ten feet away from the podium.

I don’t want to bore you with political poppycock, so I’ll skip right to it: the speakers gradually hyped up Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and Bill Clinton. When they finally appeared, the crowd went wild.

Loretta Sanchez, Bill Clinton, and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido

Loretta spoke for a number of minutes, and passed the baton to Clinton. For the next half hour, Clinton enthralled the audience with his charisma, confidence, and brilliant words. He is widely regarded as the top speaker as a president, and I saw firsthand why the polls say so. The Van Tran supporters on the corner “were doing a mediocre job up until Clinton took the stand. Then they lowered their signs, like a domino effect. They should get fired for failing to do their job.” – cannot mention who said this.

Clinton was very much different than every other speaker from both the Democrats and Republicans. I don’t want to misquote any of his statements, but his delivery was successful and won my appraisal. He even addressed Sanchez’s opposition in an extremely fair and respectful manner, and asked the crowd to refrain from belittling them.

After his fantastic speech, I had the pleasure of shaking his hand.

The Secret Service agents got a great workout. Frowning uses a lot of muscles, and holding it for 1.5 hours takes great endurance.

Some people wanted us (volunteers, interns, campaign people) to take pictures with the Vietnam War veterans, so we got behind them and did the standard procedure of smile-until-you-tire. The press joined in and recorded us as well. Afterward, we were told to surround Loretta as her security detail to shield her from unwanted press and Van Tran supporters. That turned out to be quite exhilarating, for I ended up blocking off a man recording her while spewing questions at her.

In total, there was more than 1,000 people in attendance. It was 6:00pm at this time. I was extremely exhausted, for I had been out and about since 11:00am.

Thoughts on today’s experience:

Reflecting on the entire experience as a whole gave me the title of tonight’s post, “Taking a page outta Hollywood…” What I saw today was virtually identical to the movies.

When I came home and told my family the details, my sister asked, “So are you all political now?” Her derogatory tone bothered me a bit. I used to have an egalitarian mentality. I still do, actually. However, I understand that such ideals are not realistic, and that the inequality we have in this capitalistic and democratic society is the best solution Americans have come up with. I am just a kid who lacks the power/influence to change that, so I’ll have to live with what this country gives me.

I saw a lot of political poppycock today. Be it from the mass media, the Van Tran supporters, the pretentious gentlemen in suits and ties, and of course, the fully-dressed women from the Democratic office. However, I also witnessed first-hand the reality of today’s world.

Am I “all political” now? I must disagree, for I am casting very, very few votes in this upcoming November election. For the record, I’d like to reveal that I will NOT vote on Prop 19 (I’m sure that surprises some of you). On the other hand, was today a good experience? Was it worth the sore legs and back? I am fully inclined to agree.

Thanks for reading, folks.


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