(Facebook peeps - If the pictures and video don't come through on this note, go to the source at http://cjsnotebook5.blogspot.com/2010/04/conservative-epic-win.html. You can click on the thumbnails to see the larger versions - I had the larger versions here and they took up the whole screen, so thumbnails it is!)
With all due respect, "Victory" almost doesn't do it justice ^_^
Okay, so I mentioned in my last post that I had a big surprise in store. Well, last night Sean Hannity was in Salt Lake City on the "Conservative Victory" book tour. And yours truly got to go and meet the #1 Great American.
(Pardon the SQUEE-fest - I'm still in giddy fangirl-glee mode! ^_^)
I have pictures and even a video to share and plenty of details, so this will be long. But it's soooo worth it.
I grew up in a very conservative home (though now, even my family thinks I'm a little too hardcore, so I don't think I grew up being brainwashed ^_^) When I was little, I was very much aware that the media was not a big fan of George Bush (41). So, when Clinton was elected, I thought, "Well, maybe they'll treat him the same way," but they never did and that bugged me. I would go out on the farm with my dad all the time. When his show was on, we would listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. But there were a few times that Sean Hannity was filling-in for Rush. I was about 10 or 11 when I first heard Sean on Rush's show and I remember thinking, "Wow - there's another guy out there that's saying the same things I believe." And I was thrilled beyond reason when Salt Lake picked up Sean's show. I listened to Sean all through college and I at least partially credit Sean with saving my sanity when I came home ticked off with all the liberal tripe I had to deal with.
Sean Hannity is one of those people that you can just tell is being sincere. And I love that he believes what he believes and no way is he going to back down from it - no matter who's coming against him. That's something I admire in anyone - doesn't matter who it is. And when it's someone that I agree with most of the time, it's money. I always wanted to meet Sean Hannity in person and tell him how great I thought he was, so when I found out he was going to be in Salt Lake, I made definitive plans to be there.
The sign outside Borders advertising the "Conservative Victory" book signing.
I was staying in Salt Lake with a friend who'd agreed to come with me. We got to Borders at 2:30 (I was listening to the radio and found out that they were giving out wristbands to get in line and insisted we'd better get our butts down there). The girl at the front was really nice when we told her we were there about the Sean Hannity book signing. She told us that they were going to be taping his TV show at 4:45, but those seats were full. BUT - there would be standing room and they'd have TV screens set up so we could watch on that while we waited in line for the book signing. We got our blue wristbands and left to get something to eat and do a few other things.
The "Hannity" set upstairs in Borders. The nice girl at the front told us that we could go up and see it before everyone came and everything went nuts. I wish I got her name - I'd call her manager and recommend her for a raise.
We came back at 4:30 (like the girl told us to) and there was already a line to go upstairs. I was a little panicked because they said they weren't letting people upstairs - BUT - they said they'd take people with blue wristbands! We waved our blue wristbands and went upstairs to the "Blue Line." Holy cow - it was PACKED! The Blue Line was in the back of the store. We couldn't see the set from where we were because the elevator was in the way, but there were screens that we could see.
Blue wristband of joy! And I'm still wearing it. I'm such a groupie :)
"The Blue Line" waiting for the taping of "Hannity" to begin. We were at the beginning of the second group that would get to meet Sean (that guy with white hair was the start of our group). You can see the TV screens that we'd be watching during the show. Everything was happening on the other side of that elevator off to the right.
Dude, I want that shirt!
There were a few minutes before the show started, so I took some pictures and talked to people around us in line. There was one lady, who I have to call Big Blonde Hair because I can't remember her name (my bad... I was so nervous and excited about this that I was just... oh my gosh - I was crazy). And there was a guy behind her that I have to call Cute Red Shirt because - he was really, really cute and he had a red shirt on (Big Blonde Hair was trying to set him up with her niece. In any case, I was not in any state to flirt or get his phone number or anything else like that). Big Blonde Hair was HILARIOUS!! We had so much to talk about and all the way through the show, she was making great comments and we were talking about politics and current events. I just had so much fun with her.
Some big political names made their way in our general area. Attorney General Mark Shurtleff actually came to the back to talk to people and shake our hands, which was really cool. Orrin Hatch came around - he didn't quite make it to where I was, but he came close. Jason Chaffetz (who is my congressman - really cool guy) came by and we saw Congressman Bob Bishop.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz heading back to the green room. All the show's guests came out of here. The line of people wound around that corner and the Borders employees told these lucky ducks that there had to be a space for people to come in and out - but they got to talk to EVERYONE coming through there.
(Side note - I'm sorry these are so blurry. My friend and I had to zoom our cameras in pretty close and I at least was shaking so bad from being nervous that they didn't turn out real great :/)
Oh yeah, Sean Hannity came by there! We were among the first to see him make his entrance (with a host of security guys). When he came out of the green room, the whole room erupted in cheers. Sean stopped to shake hands and give high fives to people along the way to the set (jealous...)
The best shot I got of Sean coming out for the taping. Yeah, my pictures stunk...
Michelle Malkin was on the show and she was also part of the book signing. Man, she is really tiny!
Oh - and after one of the commercial breaks, a cameraman came back to where we were to film us as a "commercial bump." I stood up on my toes and cheered from the back. I was right before the last segment - you could see the top of my head and my eyes and I was waving my book back and forth. Man, I was on Fox News - that's kind of a big deal. ^_^
This one has a great story behind it. There was going to be a 15 minute break between the show taping and the book signing, so Sean headed back to the green room while they set up for the signing (high fiving the people as he went). Big Blonde Hair told us to go up there close and take a picture of him as he came back out and she'd save our places in line. So, we went all paparazzi and camped out for ten minutes waiting for Sean to come out for the signing. This was my picture.
The ladies standing by the green room entrance had these awesome buttons that I wish I got a picture of. They were of a martini glass with a tea bag in it - meaning "Tea Partiers." That was made of win.
I started talking to one of the tour guys helping the line along. I asked him where we could get those awesome shirts. He said that they were so popular that they might make up more and sell them online. *squee*
omigosh-omigosh-omigosh - It's the end of the line!!! It's freaking Sean Hannity! It's almost my turn! (my friend got so much better pictures at this point - I had pretty much put my camera away)
Funny story time: Remember Cute Red Shirt guy? Somehow, he ended up right behind me, so when we got up to where Sean was, Sean asked us if we were together. Like, dating together. It was kind of funny when I had to tell him no, we weren't.
My turn! (I'm in the purple sweater. Hope I don't screw this up ^_^) Man, I was so nervous, but I was so excited. Sean asked me my name and shook my hand. I told him that I'd been listening to him since he used to sub for Rush. He got this amazed look on his face (I can't describe it any other way) and said "Wow! Thanks for your support!" and he gave me a high-five (ha! I got one too!) As he was signing my book, he asked me what I was doing with my life (like he asks so many people on his radio show - but he was asking me! In person! I was a little star-struck at this point). I told him I was getting my masters degree and he wished me luck in my career, thanked me again for my support and shook my hand again. And I might have said a couple of "You're awesome - I love you - thanks for what you do!" but I can't remember exactly.
The signature! Enough said ^_^
It was surreal - meeting someone I've followed and admired for so long. And it was so cool - Sean was genuine and real and just a regular guy. There was a little boy a little way ahead of me and Sean stopped to talk to this kid and thank him for coming. It was just - wonderful. I really can't describe it because it's something you have to be there to see.
By the way - this was when we came back (in my case, skipping) downstairs. Holy crap - if we thought that upstairs was packed - that was nothing. So many people showed up and I think Borders actually sold out of copies of "Conservative Victory" and Michelle Malkin's books too.
Outside after we got out - since I didn't get an actual photo with Sean (that would have been EPIC BEYOND EPIC!) I settled for a picture with my signed copy of the book by the Borders advertisement. I was just plain giddy - it was ridiculous ^_^
I haven't gotten all the way through the book yet, but I've flipped through and picked out some good parts. It's outlined in three parts - the first part outlines Barack Obama's past and where he came from and why we should take notice of these things and why it's a problem. A lot of people actually do that in spades. But what Hannity does is in parts two and three - part two recalls the Reagan years and why Reagan was the best president in the 20th century (shut up, he was). Part three outlines what conservatives can do and what the Republicans had better do to win the day from this craptastic radical progressive junk these guys are pushing.
Republicans have this funny thing about being in power - if they're in charge, they still think that they have to get all the Democrats to be their bestest-best buddies. The result is that you get these wussy "moderates" that just lay down and die when liberals get their little-girl panties in a twist. It's really stupid - nobody wants their elected officials to be pansies and waffle over important issues. The way Reagan put it (hold on, I have to find it in the book) was "raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all the issues troubling the people." (emphasis added) That's my favorite part of the book because Republicans have been flying their little Easter-bunny pastel banner saying they want to play nice and liberals walk all over them. Republicans - conservatives especially, don't need to be timid! Most people in this country identify themselves as conservative and many that don't just don't know that conservative principles tally with what they actually believe (thank you mainstream media for that - no really, your "journalistic neutrality" astounds me).
Anyway, the book is great and it had a lot of great points. One of people's biggest complaints about Sean Hannity (and a lot of other conservative commentators) is that they employ an element of fear in their analysis (never mind that Dems have been doing that to voters - especially minorities - to get votes for years). Well, if you aren't faced with the possibility of something bad happening because you did nothing, you'd just sit around and... do nothing! And nothing gets done (what a concept!) These commentators simply point out the consequences of doing nothing (which are severe). AND - they offer plausible solutions. As in, what regular people can do to stop these things from happening. Rather than just proclaim the Golden Age of Hope and Change (and a purple unicorn that craps gumdrops) if you vote for the rockstar candidate - these solutions are real. They may be hard, but they can be done. And that's what this country is all about - doing the hard thing, but because it's means a better life.
PS - When I got home today, I had the "Hannity's Headlines" free email sitting in my inbox and there was a link to this video from Fox 13 News of an interview with Sean with some reporter chick. I think the reporter's a little off-kilter with her some of her questions (honestly - "Are you inciting violence against the president?" Seriously? People are actually dumb enough to believe crap like that? *here's your sign*), but Sean just hits it out of the park, so I wanted to share it here as the cherry on the icing on top ^_^