Illinois GOP misses opportunity

From the diaries by Erick.

I live in southern Illinois (real southern Illinois, not just south of Chicago), but found myself near Springfield this weekend. I had some time, so I decided to head out to the State Fair and see what was going on. It was a beautiful day, and my husband and I went on a search for the Illinois GOP tent.

We found the tent for the Democrats first. There were workers outside the tent talking to people. They also had a large sign posted showing their support for Obama. We were pretty impressed with the organization and general set-up of the tent that the Dems had, and were hoping for big things from our party.

It took us a while to find, but we eventually spotted the tent for the Republican Party. What struck me right away was how cluttered it appeared. The area in front of the tent was filled with yard signs for many of the state’s GOP candidates, and buried somewhere in there was a sign for McCain’s campaign. Surely this was not a sign of things to come.As we entered the tent, nobody greeted us, in fact, there was only one person stationed at the tent. As we walked around, there were a few tables set up with signs and information for statewide candidates and a map explaining the state’s districting. The last table we came to was a table set up for John McCain’s campaign. Now my husband and I entered with every intention of buying some McCain merchandise, (t-shirt, bumper sticker, hat etc.) so imagine our surprise when the woman at the desk informed us that they didn’t have anything to give out. In fact, they weren’t expecting to receive any stickers or signs or anything at all for another 3 weeks! Surely the state party could have scrounged up some bumper stickers or something to put out on the McCain table. The state congressional candidate tables had more stuff available than the table for the Republican Presidential Candidate!

I understand that Illinois is a blue state, but it seemed as if the Illinois GOP gave up before they even started their booth at the fair. This was a great opportunity to get out the message of the McCain campaign and maybe change a few minds about the candidate, but unfortunately the party missed the boat.