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The Roundup: The Kerry Rally
The Roundup

The Kerry Rally

Senator John Kerry paid another visit to Milwaukee on Monday, August 2nd at a public rally in Pere Marquette Park. Gates to the park opened at 4:30 p.m. while the presidential candidate was still racing across Lake Michigan on the Lake Express ferry. Access to Kerry these days requires a thorough screening by security personnel, so by 6 p.m. a line stretched from Plankinton and Kilbourn, the park’s entrance, across the river to the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, at which point it headed north, wrapped itself around the building, headed east on E. State Street and finally tapered off at N. Edison Street. For pictures click here. The line moved slowly as security guards checked the attendees, emptied pockets, etc. Once inside the secure enclosure, the crowd was able to buy bottled water and pizza from Amazon Pizza, a fun new spot on W. Wells St. However, many people never made it to the security screening, and they simply camped out along the riverfront, enjoying the event from the Marcus Center riverwalk. It made for a nice sight for cameras, since Candidate Kerry, speaking from a raised platform on the north end of the park, would gesture from time to time toward those on the distant shore. Alas, milwaukeeworld had almost resigned itself to distant coverage of the event, but as it turns out there was a special entrance to the event, and we designed to make it ours. Joe Klein and I headed to Kilbourn and N. Third Street where an officer was in place to tell us that we could not advance to the press table set up in our sight, but out of our reach. Meanwhile, he waved in such prominent figures as Sen. Herb Kohl, Rep. Sheldon Wasserman, Steve Marcus and others, all of whom had red tickets, while we had none. Providentially, Margaret Henningsen showed up on the scene with an extra red ticket, which we begged for and received. The red ticket made us legit for the officer, and we proceeded through our screening, after watching several of the people mentioned above get screened themselves. (Steve Marcus does not look like a guy who gets frisked a lot.) Inside the gates of the special section, where the red-ticketed people go, we were treated to a fascinating caste system in which our “Kerry Edwards From Sea to Shining Sea Believe in America Tour” Press pass marked us as scum. The real media stars, and there were dozens of them, were members of the “Traveling Press.” The Traveling Press spends its time apart from the regular press, and they dine together in a fancy tent. The food was from Chef Pat’s catering. Pat Houlihan said the campaign kept changing its meal plans, but he settled on roast pork sandwiches, a couple of salads, pretzels, soft drinks and Miller Beer. The Traveling Press drinks very little beer, which in the end turned out to be a blessing for Chef Pat’s weary and thirsty crew. The […]