By Daniel Heimpel
Saturday was a little weird. First, I was in Carson. Second, I was eating a chicken sandwich from KFC. And third, Sarah Palin was coming to town. Seated at a concrete table in front of the fast food restaurant, I had a good view of the action. A large group of predominantly black Obama supporters crowded the corners of the road. In varying ferocity they chanted: “Obama!” and “No Palin!”
A long line of cars had to pass this rowdy crowd, the majority of which bore McCain Palin stickers. In one car, a blonde woman peered out, displaying a mocking smile. The crowd broke into a frenzy. “Obama! Obama!” “No Palin! No Palin!”
A big bear of a woman rose from the table next to me. Maybe it was my short-cropped hair or my clean, tucked shirt, but she thought I’d be sympathetic. “Those guys are just crazy,” she said of the Obama supporters, and – uninvited – sat across from me. She didn’t wear her age well: her shoulder length hair gray and unkempt. She told me – unasked – how Palin had cleaned up corruption in Wasilla and was doing it as Alaska’s governor. She said we were only eight years away from socialism if Obama was voted in.
Palin faithful streamed toward the protest from innumerable parking lots. They were met by a battalion of Obama faithful. A chorus of “Palin! Palin!” rose from the incoming human river. The Obamites replied to each shout with “Sucks!” The result a very rhythmic “Palin!…Sucks!, Palin!…Sucks!” It was the most inventive chanting I would hear.
An old lady with a sign reading “No Bullsh…t” – a poor play on Bush and shit and bull – stood in the way of the incoming Palin fans. A Scottish man aligned with Palin started chanting “Real Classy Lady! Real Classy Lady!” A chorus of others quickly joined in repeating the inane phrase.
A college girl from Cal State Long Beach toting a plastic rifle and dressed in glasses and a skirt-suit to mimic Palin chased one of her classmates wearing a faux fur coat and rabbit ears, a poor attempt at a polar bear.
A blonde, Real-Housewives-of-Orange-County-looking woman walked by and, maybe confused by the outfit, started chanting “Sheeple!” a contraction of sheep and people and an allusion to the blind following of the Obama supporters.
I had to attend an event on the opposite side of the 405 and wasn’t able to stick around to hear Palin. But seeing either Palin or Obama or McCain or Biden wouldn’t have really mattered. The Sheeple would lap it up on both sides.