From an AMERICAblog contributor, who went to a McCain-Palin event today, in Albuquerque:
Our family today had an interesting encounter that I wanted to share with you. We were eating at El Pinto restaurant in Albuquerque. It is the most popular New Mexican restaurant in town, a large sprawling compound with a number of dinning rooms and patio spaces.
We were eating outside in the patio closest to the main road and had just finishing lunch when I saw the McCain bus drive by! It was followed closely by a number of police motorcycles, secret service SUVS, and press vans. It was obvious they were coming to El Pinto!
We figured we'd head out and see if we could get a closer look. I decided this might be my one chance, to ask one question of each candidate. I carried Caterina (16 months) along with me to meet the candidates.
I worked my way through a number of other dinners and secret service and finally got to the patio on the other side of the restaurant. I could see John McCain ahead of me shaking hands with folks. Sorry the picture is so blurry. I had a baby in one arm and an iPhone in the other!
McCain worked his way up to me and Cat and as I shook his hand, I asked, "Sir, I respect your service but, why were you against the GI bill?" Senator McCain, paused, he looked a bit surprised at the question and then he said, "Nice to meet you." I repeated the question and he repeated his non-answer. He quickly worked his way down the line. So much for straight-talk!
I have been genuinely curious as to why he wouldn't support a bill so important to veterans (McCain opposed this bill from the beginning and then skipped the vote). Also, I was surprised at myself as I as I almost involuntarily prefaced my question with, "Sir, I respect your service but..." No wonder he's gotten a free ride by the press, I think this reaction is not unique and the press must feel the same pressure that I felt. Perhaps that explains why his poor support for veteran issues isn't well known.
Sarah Palin was next! I couldn't resist trying for a better photo. It is still blurry, but talk about a close encounter.
Sarah first looked at Caterina said hello, and I shook her hand. I asked, "Are supporting Ted Stevens this year?" She replied, "He's under indictment you know...his trial is in September." I replied, "But are you voting for him?" She walked away without answering.
I don't think this question will be answered until after Senator Stevens' trial in September and perhaps never. After all, Ted Stevens is still running for the Senate this year and a Republican vote, corrupt or not, is still a Republican vote. I was amazed that she offered up, "He's under indictment you know." She's going to need some serious handling before they let her into the wild!
I followed Governor Palin out and they stopped to purchase some salsa. This whole stop was just a photo-op and my questions, any questions were obviously not part of the script. No townhall meeting here.
After less than 15 minutes at the Restaurant the Straight-NoTalk Express headed out.