Just back from the event. I had to leave early due to a doctor’s appointment for my oldest daughter. They were both there and were really funny. They took great joy in clapping along with everyone when Paul would get a point applauded.

I did manage to catch the first question before I left and it was from a local Dem Lee Lybarger. He quoted the Dispatch piece where Hackett went after the religious right. Lee stated he didn’t disagree with him, but what was Hackett’s positive Judeo-Christian message. Paul basically went off, not on Lee, but on the notion that he shouldn’t say such things because moderates will not like it. He told a story about being asked what his religion was and that he answered, but then qualified it with “…but it’s none of your damned business”. Paul also said if we want to send a preacher up to Washington to represent him, he’s not the guy.

As expected, he did not back down. In fact, as Lee started quoting from the Dispatch (and before Paul even heard what the quote was), Paul interrupted: “I said it, I meant it, I stand behind it”. Blammo!

Overall, what I saw was very impressive. This is not a run of the mill Democrat who fills rooms only with diehard Dems. There were plenty of what I will call for lack of a better term “non-core Dems” in the room and they were just as excited for us. I did manage to get some audio and some photos. I will try to clean up the audio a bit and post (If audioblog will let me) and also get some of the pics up for viewing. It was fun and I wish I could have stayed longer and talked to Paul one on one. I’m sure I’ll get another chance.

Paul has a very strong, very populist message that obviously touches a great many people. I saw people that I knew were in Delaware but never have seen them out at something like this. Now to keep them out and about and get them even MORE active…that’s the ticket.

Live blogging stuff after the fold…

3:45pm – Is the Senate ready for him?…too elaborate, the point he was making here is that the question is not how new to politics he is and whether he is ready for a Senate run. The question is whether or not the Senate is ready for him and those like him. He said there are some dozen or so candidates much like him…and most are Dems. Some of them will get in and the question he asked us is are we ready for folks like him to go to Washington and lead instead of wait around until it was “their turn”.

3:41pm – A bit of wind was taken out of his Wal-Mart schpiel…crowd pointed out we already have one. Point still that it will hurt our main streets. Still talks about no American made products in Wal-Mart anymore. Goes on to talk about Abrams tanks being made in Middle East…did I get that right?

3:40PM – Talking strong national defense and foreign policy. What fair trade means to him – does not represent that number one export is jobs to China.

3:38pm – LOL – Emma potty break! Paul is now talking about how Dems are really the party of limited government…it’s a pretty good schtick.

3:34pm – Asked about Indys, Libertarians, and Moderate Republicans. Few hands went up. Talked about being Americans first. Banging on Republicans only will not win us races. We have to say something besides that. Very strong voice and a commanding prescence in a room. Doing great!

3:30pm – The bus has arrived! Hackett is here. Paul worked in a carnival and came to Delaware in the summer and deliver mirrors. Sorry for being late…blah. I’m a Democrat and I’m running for Senate, etc.

3:22pm – The group has moved upstairs and quickly filled that space too. At least now the poor local regulars can buy coffee without having to fight a mob scene! This space is really better anyway, big and open. We have had America Votes meetings here before. There is a screen for movie screenings and plenty of tables and chairs.

3:15pm – Emma also thinks it’s crowded. Again, I agree. Holy shit…there must be 80 people on the ground level here. They are moving everyone upstairs where there is a bit more room. I might have to bail. Damn…I never have a tight schedule until today!

3:10pm – Doh! False alarm. Just spotted a tour bus with patriotic stuff on the side but it was just an American Interstate bus. I shoulda known, the Hackett RV is way louder!…not to mention how badly they would be breaking the law to get here that quick! Emma (5) says they’re probably running late due to traffic. I would have to agree.

3:05pm – They just called and said they’d be about a half hour. Just now leaving Columbus…gonna make it tight for me as I have to leave around 3:45pm. Argh. Note: This is the most people I’ve seen at Mean Bean ever at one time…including every Democrat Party meeting. Wow.

2:55pm – No sign of the big RV yet. Talking with A Deladem official and he hasn’t heard from them so things may be running late. They were going to ring his cell when they were close. There is already pretty much no seating and a line 10 deep for coffee. Mean Bean should push for such events like mad – it’s going to be a good day for them!

2:45pm – Place is already 3x busier than normal. This place is going to be overflowing! I see regulars from the Deladems along with a bunch of new faces. Mic is set up to attempt to capture a bit of audio. Both girls are with me and I’m trying to explain why dad has his laptop and why all these people are hanging around. They are busy playing checkers and it looks like Emma is beating up on Chloe thus far…

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