Yes, we were at the McCain Town Hall Meeting at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. And yes, we had a great time.
We sat in the fourth row center so we were up-front view for the proceedings. Let's face it: McCain is a master of the Town Hall format and this is why the OH!man had been dragging his feet on the invitation to join McCain at Town Hall sessions across the country.
From the start we were impressed with the fact that there was no big buildup or fanfare for The Candidate Himself.
Instead, precisely at 11:30 AM McCain & Co. were announced and John and Cindy McCain walked right into the Town Hall "circle" with their guests and the session began.
Big Mac made news from the start when he said he doesn't agree that voters in Pennsylvania "cling to their religion and the Constitution because they are bitter. I am going to tell them that they have faith and they have trust and support the Constitution of the United States because they have optimism and hope and that is the strength of America."
And then McCain shifted to the economy. "Why in the world would anyone consider raising your taxes in difficult economic times? Sen. Obama wants to raise capital gains tax. My friends, there's a hundred million people who have some kind of investment that is affected by capital gains," he said. "Why would we want to take more of the people's money and send it to Washington to spend on a bridge in Alaska to an island with 50 people on it?"
McCain was quick, crisp, human and engaging. He seems to thrive on the interaction with his audience.
Of course, I wish he had hit harder at Obama. But McCain & Co. have their own pace and their own plan and I'm reasonably confident they will know when and how to move against their locquacious opponent.
BTW: We saw lots of friends at the NCC including Joe Torcella, Laura Linton and Wally Zimolong, among others.