Posted by MataHarley on 5 August, 2008 at 5:28 pm. 9 comments already!


Been quite a while since I’ve had the time and schedule to take in a Sturgis run. Oh happy days… and the ride there was generally as much, if not more fun than the event itself.

But I have to say, not only did JSM manage to get some exposure just about him for a change, but he’s stepped up a notch for a lively crowd when he decided to campaign at the annual Sturgis biker rally in Sturgis, SD.

Motorcycle engines revved in deafening approval when a rock guitarist played the national anthem at earsplitting volume and with a soaring solo, a la Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. Kid Rock was to perform later in the evening, and Kiss was due at another nearby stage.

Suffice it to say that few political rallies can match John McCain’s brief appearance on an outdoor stage Monday night before several thousand bikers at the 68th annual Sturgis Rally, America’s largest biker convention and arguably its most colorful national gathering.

Rather than applause, McCain was greeted again and again by the full-throated roar of scores of gleaming Harley-Davidsons of every shape and color. The stench of burning gasoline and rowdy shouts filled the prairie night air.

It was almost as if McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was a celebrity — a dirty word in his lexicon since his campaign last week ran ads mocking rival Barack Obama for his celebrity status, comparing him to Britney Spears.

Taking the stage at Buffalo Chip, the main festival site, McCain again ridiculed the presumptive Democratic nominee for drawing “hundreds of thousands” of people to an outdoor speech in Berlin.

Exaggerating his own reception by a considerable factor, McCain boasted, “I’ll take the roar of 50,000 Harleys any day.”

As dozens of engines revved again, he grinned. “I recognize that sound. It’s the sound of freedom.”

I had to laugh when he jokingly offered up wife Cindy to compete in the Miss Buffalo Chip pagaent. The man obviously does not have enough biker rallies under his belt to know what she would be getting in to…

Being, of course, the LA Times , they decided to only report on a few Obama supporters in the crowd. And, with their usual not-so-balanced reporting, didn’t counter it with others. So it’s hardly indicative of the crowd’s response to McCain.

But as one who’s run that crowd often enough, there’s a good chance of more than plenty anti-helmet/seat belt laws, anti-nanny gov’t, proud American veterans in that crowd who will be supporting the GOP candidate come Nov.

But, ya know, they don’t have polls that focus of those of us who “scooter trash-Americans”.

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