The Villages - December 2008 - (Page 64)

Rewind President Bush’s Campaign Visit October 19, 2004 PRESIDENT BUSH’S CAMPAIGN VISIT OF 2004 by GARY CORSAIR A number of dignitaries have delivered speeches from our town squares — Lee Iacocca, Jeb Bush, Bob Graham, Jack Kemp, Mel Martinez, Dick Cheney — but none of those addresses could measure up to the luminary who visited Lake Sumter Landing Market Square on Oct. 19, 2004. As impressive as those statesmen were, they couldn’t hold a candle to the president of the United States. Excitement snowballed throughout The Villages from the moment it was announced that President George W. Bush would make a campaign stop here. People began making signs proclaiming their support. Red, white and blue wardrobes were coordinated. And long lines formed the second that tickets to the event became available. Residents were overflowing with anticipation by the time red, white and blue banners were hung, bleachers and a stage were erected, and jumbo TV monitors were plugged in. Even if the president had shown up two hours early, he would have found a packed town square. An estimated 20,000 people filled the town square on DECEMBER 2008 a humid, “water bottle and umbrella” day. Kids skipped school. Adults took off from work. Parents hoisted children onto shoulders so they could see the president. And one Villages couple that had just driven north to their summer home in Pennsylvania turned around and came back. “We drove straight through, 1,200 miles in 17 hours, nonstop,” Carmine Ferraro said. And not a single person left disappointed. Talk about working a crowd — the commander in chief had ’em all from his opening words. “Thank you all for coming today. I am proud to be the first sitting president ever to have visited The Villages,” the president said to thunderous applause. With a wry grin on his face, Bush continued, “I told Jeb, ‘It looks like a beautiful day in The Villages.’ He said, ‘It’s always a beautiful day in The Villages.’” With the trademark catch phrase delivered, Bush touched on why he should be returned to the White House for a second term.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - December 2008

The Villages - December 2008
Looking Back on 2008
Havana Bursts on Scene
Sports and Recreation
Bears for Children
Brain Exercises
Go & Do: Shopping & Dining Guide
Retail Briefs
Entertainment Briefs
Major Events

The Villages - December 2008