The crowd applauded Sen Grassley for merely walking into the room in Pocahontas today. They were clearly his fans, and they filled a good part of the Expo Center on the fairgrounds.
The very first man railed against too much government using the mandated EXIT signs above all the doors as his example. Anybody too stupid to know the way out of the building would likely not be smart enough read the sign, he said. This drew another round of applause and laughter.
No guns were in evidence, but I imagine the four sheriff deputies may have had theirs. I wasn’t close enough to them to notice. One elderly voter who got the microphone stood right next to the Senator, accused Obama of “acting like a little Hitler, ” (more applause) and said he was ready to take his gun to Washington.
Senator Grassley did not rebuke the man for his threat or his characterization of Obama, but he tepidly said he did not ascribe any ulterior motive to Obama and said he agrees with Obama on some things. But he also told the man “you are right” to be concerned about Obama’s goals.
The man ended by asking if the government would bail him out if he went broke farming. Grassley said “No” and the crowd applauded again, apparently forgetting that Pocahontas county routinely drew many millions of dollars in annual farm subsidies under the last farm program.
Lots of people didn’t get called on as the hour ended. The news here was the large turnout and the partisanship of the group. Obama opponents were the biggest part of the crowd and the most vocal. Although MoveOn called or emailed its members urging their participation, they did not carry the day.