One of our neighbours, Carol (the one who adopted Cleo, the mother of the litter of kittens we temporarily fostered a while ago), is a mad keen volunteer for the Republican Party (at the state level).
I think Sarah mentioned I was interested in having a political discussion with her some time, so she invited us to come to a rally in Saratoga today and gave us free tickets (normally you'd have to pay at least $25 per person to do what we did).
So we went along to check it out. It started about 45 minutes late, and we'd arrived 30 minutes early. It was in a high-school auditorium that held about 400 people by our guestimations.
While we were waiting, it was interesting to do a bit of people-watching. The vast majority were Caucasian, and either young or elderly, not a lot in between. Those that were had children there as well. A few conversation snippets I overheard were people seeming to justify their opinions with themselves and each other, which was interesting.
First up was some sort of attempt at crowd warming for a couple of minutes, then I think it was the state leader of the Republican Party who had a few words, then Arnold himself came on.
He gave a pretty good spiel about how he'd unfucked the state since he took office, and how he needed to be returned for another 4 years, and rattled off a list of his accomplishments and what more he wanted to do. It was good to hear him talk about the environment, although in the next breath he went on to talk about "rebuilding California" and how there'd be cranes and concrete everywhere, with new roads and tunnels and whatnot, so you've got to wonder a little bit...
In the same vein, he went on about not raising taxes or increasing spending, yet had this whole "rebuilding California" thing going on. His speech was generally fairly light-on details and more of a rousing the party faithful, than a "vote for me", I think.
He wrapped up with an "I'll be back" and proceeded to throw some campaign swag into the audience, then came down off the stage to kiss hands and shake babies.
I got to shake his hand, so that was the highlight of the whole outing.
I certainly walked away from the rally thinking fairly highly of him as a candidate, even if he is a Republican. I'd be inclined to vote for him if I was entitled to.
For the sake of hearing both sides, I'd like to go and hear what Phil Angelides has to say for himself as well.