Crowds Gather to See the President

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

People lined up outside the Holiday Inn several hours before the event, some fans of President Bush, some not, but Secret Service and local police officers were ready for the crowds.

About 1,500 Bush supporters wait to enter the Holiday Inn Express; some arrived as early as 6:30 Friday morning.

"This is a once in a lifetime chance. Hopefully I’ll get to sit up front and get some good photos. My brother in Iraq is hoping to get some pictures of the president, so it’s exciting," says one ticket-holder.

The wait helped with button and t-shirt sales. Vendors who follow the president along his campaign trail with their paraphernalia say support in Janesville is among the best.

"The turnout has been phenomenal for such a small place," says vendor Nikki Leach.

The crowds were closely monitored by police. Sharp shooters kept lookout from atop the building. City Works trucks were used as barricades and SWAT teams stood ready, and when the motorcade finally arrived, from the skies to the streets, security was everywhere.

"Yeah, you couldn't get across the street with all the guys, so yeah, it’s pretty impressive, at least for this area," says trucker Kevin Burke, who just happened to be passing by.

Besides a few verbal battles and a few shoving matches, protestors and supporters remained peaceful as they spoke their mind.

The loudest well and not so well wishes came after the president's speech as he boarded his bus. He now heads to Racine, Wisconsin to join thousands in a Lakefront rally.


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