This weekend was the annual Irish migration to NEPA. Those who are and those who want to be Irish came to celebrate St Patty’s day in Scranton on Saturday and Wilkes-Barre on Sunday. Sen Clinton was one of those wanting to be Irish, marching in the parade on Saturday and shaking as many hands and holding as many babies as possible. Sen Obama’s supporters were chanting loudly and registering voters for the April 22 primary. Sen Obama was absent from the festivities but opened HQ in both cities on parade day. But where was Sen McCain’s support?
As I walked the parade on Sunday in Wilkes-Barre, I wore a McCain campaign button ( I was with another group so a larger sign of support was not appropriate). Out of the 15,000 reported people attending the parade, I saw only one person make an attempt to show support for McCain. The local Republicans were not out signing voters up for the primary nor were they passing out any signs,stickers or buttons for support. Senators Obama and Clinton made strong showings at both events and, in the case of Sen Obama, had loud chanting supporters. Voter registration drives were happening from both of the Democratic camps and, again most visibly, Obama was leading the effort for registration.
While Sen McCain has wrapped up the nomination ahead of the 4/22 primary in PA, supporters in NEPA and across PA must get out in any way possible to show support for Sen McCain’s message. Senators Obama and Clinton have a tough six week fight ahead of them in PA and will undoubtedly get most of the media coverage. (Sen Clinton, I predict will still win PA by a large margin.) However, it is equally important that Sen McCain’s supporters are visible during this time to remind voters that there is a candidate with a solid record of leadership both in his party and across party lines.
The lack of a Republican voice during the parades this weekend was troublesome. Again, where were the Republicans? I will continue to do my small part and can only encourage others to start showing their support in PA, and NEPA specifically. Let’s not let our voices be drowned out in the tidal wave of support being shown for both Senators Obama and Clinton.