Well, by all accounts, yesterday was less than overwhelming for the Republican faithful who still think Bill Sali is a swell candidate for Idaho's 1st Congressional District.
Those who paid the big bucks to attend Sali's fundraiser with Dick Cheney heard little more than a canned speech from the veep, full of fearmongering and Dem-bashing, with only a few nods to Sali. Cheney didn't even stick around to shake hands with the gathering, nor did he spend any time with military personnel at Gowen Field before leaving town well ahead of schedule. As Alan wrote at Idablue, "The Idaho Guard just returned a few months ago from an Iraq deployment. Would it have been too much to ask to take a few minutes and meet some Guardsmen and women, maybe thank them?"
The protesters outside the Grove outnumbered those who attended the Sali event, possibly by close to a two-to-one margin. That's notable, and not just because Idaho is the second most-red state in the nation. Jill at New West does a good job of explaining how the local media underplayed the story. (To be fair, though, the AP and the Statesman both had pretty big stories on the action outside.) Tom at Fort Boise gives a well-written, personal look at the day's events. Special thanks to Tom, Jeanette, and everyone else who joined us to have a little fun at Cheney's expense. And to Tim Johnstone, who took the stage as MC for Alive After Five wearing an orange vest ("I'm not taking any chances," he deadpanned), I say: You rock!
Perhaps most telling of all, only three of Bill Sali's 104 fellow Idaho State Legislature members showed up for his big day with Dick, reports Gregory Hahn in the Idaho Statesman. Whether that's because the no-shows wanted to avoid Sali or Cheney or both of 'em, who knows? The point is, they stayed away, and who can blame them? Bill Sali is a plague on our state and their party, and many Republicans are starting to say so.