Police reported in 4,000 in attendance. The Secret Service estimated the crowd at 10,000, and GOP officials put it at 15,000.
MEDIA - The crowd at the courthouse, on Veterans Square and Front Street for the U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin rally looked like the outfield at Citizens Bank Park. Sometimes literally. In a show of unity in wearing red, many folks turned out in T-shirts and hats sporting the Phillies logo.
It was like a Phils game in other ways - lots of cheering, as has been heard with the winning season, and a considerable amount of razzing. The Republican candidates for president and vice president had fans and ample representatives of the other team. Supporters of Democratic U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois lined up early on a portion of Veterans Square sidewalk where tickets weren't required. Their presence was heard and felt throughout the speeches.
"I've never seen any candidate in person, and I'm excited to be here and support McCain," said Karl Mason, 23, of Havertown. "I had the day off and thought I'd come. I expect to hear good, conservative politics and some digs at (Barack) Obama and (Joe) Biden. Hopefully there will be some specifics on policies."
Mason, who is headed off to graduate school in England, said he has already applied for his absentee ballot.
For many, the late-afternoon rally was great timing to create a family affair. Stephen Miller of Upper Providence had children Max and Mary Kate in tow. Max, a Springton Middle School student, was unequivocal in his support.
"I really wanted to come today. I've heard what McCain stands for and support him 100 percent. I like the way he is going to deal with the war," said Max, whose dad is a veteran.
Louise Naismith of Media was there with her three sons. Sam, the youngest at 12, was the most vocal.
"I wanted to see McCain because he could be president. I hope he is," said Sam.
For Louise, living in Media has provided the boys with opportunities such as the McCain rally.
"It's become something of a tradition. We've seen (George W.) Bush and Bob Dole. It's an exciting political experience for them. Also, living in Media, we are surrounded by a lot of Obama supporters," said Louise, commenting on the Democrat-controlled borough government.
Throughout the crowd, there were many familiar faces from around the county: Elected officials like Springfield Commissioner Paul Wechsler and Media Republican Chairman John Sammartino. But the rally attracted many from outside Delaware County.
Dottie Gianetasio and her sister Angela came into Media from South Philadelphia.
"We have a one-party system in Philadelphia. We want McCain to clean up Washington," Gianestasio said. But one got the impression Palin was the draw. "I'm all for the lipstick and for the women to get ahead. We think she's great."