Seeing and hearing Dennis Prager (along with Joe Lieberman, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt) was a real treat. I'm hoping that one of our members who attended the VIP dinner beforehand will share the experience with the rest of us.
I could close my eyes while Dennis was talking last night and it was the same Dennis we hear on the radio, same vitality, humor, passion - it was all there. It was a truly unique opportunity for which I will always be grateful.
Speaking of passion, I felt that kindred spirit of Americans really united in a desperate cause, further inspired and buoyed by an intelligent and articulate and thoughtful panel.
Personally, I couldn't help feeling proud to be surrounded by other conservatives (and I'm sure there might have a few liberal-conservatives in the mix, too) who made the commitment to travel - one even from Michigan! - to share the experience. It's these shared and uplifting experiences that gird us, fortify us, for the day-to-day grind and the battles that we face now at this election time, and in the future.
Dennis Prager does that well: He makes us feel we are not alone in our concerns about everything from politics to relationships; nothing that concerns a human being is off the table, out of bounds or too risky to bring up. Alan Estrin was there but I never did get to speak to him and thank him for all he does to keep Dennis on the straight and narrow.
Hugh and Michael specifically reminded the crowd that it was also important to support candidates Jim Trakas and Josh Mandel. Hugh spent time earlier in the day with Josh and, like many of you who know him, Hugh was really impressed with this young man. Jim Trakas, of course, is running against Dennis Kucinich.
Senator Joe Lieberman was the primary point man last night to deliver the message about the threat of Islamic radical jihadists. Each of the speakers, if I recall correctly, reiterated the global threat that this evil movement poses to Jews and Christians everywhere in the world.
Boiling down the evening to a few short paragraphs doesn't do it justice, but it's the best I can do. Again, any of you who can share with the e-group what you experienced during the VIP dinner we would welcome it. We're due to get photos in from group members and will post them on the blog site.
Earlier in the day (from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.) I was there at LaCentre had the opportunity to watch Michael Medved get ready to do his show live from the lobby. To say that there were technical problems getting Michael on the air would be the grossest understatement in broadcast history. If Michael couldn't hear Jeremy in Seattle, he was on a cell phone with dwindling battery trying to find out if he was even on the air.
Taking phone calls from listeners was impossible until the last hour of the program. Each time there was a cut to commercial, there was frantic running, cables and switches pulled and twisted to try and make everything work like a radio studio should work. (Even remote broadcasts are so standard nowadays that it's a fantastic mystery what could have kept going wrong, time-and-time again.)
Michael started his remote out the lobby at the WHK radio set-up and when that wasn't working, he was then moved to a spot at the rear, inside the huge conference room hall, and finally ended up in a little space that looked like small coat room that could double as a bar.
Michael's laptop and microphone and all his newspaper items and printouts were indelicately but carefully strewn on the countertop. Each of Michael's moves - from one location to another - had to take place within the span of time that commercials were running, not a very big window, three minutes at most.
I was first in the lobby, then in the hall, sitting as quietly as I could, trying to be unobtrusive, actually wishing I had the cloak of invisibility and yet, like people fascinated by car accidents and train wrecks, I was frozen in my chair. I tried to make myself useful by sending "good vibrations" to the technical guys and if Michael needed anything fetched I could do that, too. I wanted to hear Michael's show and my chair was only the place that would allow me that.
Fortunately, I had my cell phone solitaire game to help me stay still and as "small" as possible.
Michael was getting more apoplectic with each electronic failure, his frustration palpable. At at least one point he threw his hands up in the air, "... never in the twelve years of doing radio...."
You get the picture. I was amazed that in spite of the chaos Michael was a professional on the air.
I heard him keep apologizing to listeners for the technical difficulties but later, in the "coatroom" studio he talked to callers (or argued with them) all the while more cables were being run, people were passing him by, waving and smiling, Townhall guests were beginning to arrive; it was a dizzying circus and Michael kept talking. That was cool.
There was some discussion about having Hugh Hewitt go the WHK Independence studio and do his show from there, but at the last minute, when it appeared that Michael was going to be able to finally take phone calls from listeners, Hugh was brought to LaCentre and set up out in the lobby.
Hugh was very gracious but said he was little nervous, not because he was doing a remote but he still had the big evening townhall event coming up later on. Just like Michael, Hugh was talking on the air while people were passing by looking for the meeting room, chatting with our friends, stopping to wave at him. How these guys focus amid all this chaos is a mystery to me.
Since his show comes on live a 6 p.m. I asked Hugh about missing the VIP dinner; he implied that Dennis Prager wouldn't even pack him a doggie bag, that this was typical Prager. (Of course the respect that each of these three men have for each other is obvious and only guys seem to be good at poking fun at one another; I think it's how they show how much they care.)
It was very important to all these guys that they do the job they volunteered to do, to show their support for John McCain and let us all know that there could be no coasting, that we had to make every attempt to contact and convince people that America is standing at a precipice, poised for the kind of change that will make it harder for all Americans to succeed and in some cases to just get by.
Near the end of the Q&A a woman named Andrea reminded us that these guys on stage couldn't do it alone, that we all had to get out and make phone calls from the Victory Centers, the headquarter offices all around us, we had to walk the neighborhoods, talk to our friends and acquaintances, and make them understand
Andrea made one of the best points of the entire evening. November 4 isn't that far off and we have work to do.Some of us got to shake Dennis' hand after the townhall meeting. I just wanted Dennis (and all of the guys) to know that they weren't just "preaching to the choir," that we would be taking these messages out the field to help convince people to vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin. Dennis responded,
"We know!! That's why we're here!!! That's why we're doing this! "
Think good thoughts, People!