Posted by: rcieri | October 16, 2008

Palin rally at Elon draws smaller-sized supporters

Children of all ages, from tots to teenagers, gathered alongside their parents to support Palin at the rally.

Children of all ages, from tots to teenagers, gathered alongside their parents to support Palin at the rally.

By Rachel Cieri

Oct. 16, 2008

Adults weren’t the only supporters at the rally Thursday. Hundreds of children, from infants to high school students, accompanied their parents to see Gov. Sarah Palin speak.

Twelve-year-old Landon Starks got his mother Debi to bring him to the rally because of his interest in politics. He wants to be a Republican when he gets older, saying that they have the best stance on issues most important to him.

“I like her because she’s pro-life,” he said of Palin as the family eagerly anticipated Palin’s arrival.

Landon’s sister, 11-year-old Kaylan, was too shy to share her opinions by herself, but she whispered in her mother’s ear that she wants to be a Republican because of their stance on gas prices.

Entire families arrived at the rally, with children used as miniature billboards.

Entire families arrived at the rally, with children used as miniature billboards.

“He’s the one interested in politics,” Debi Starks said, placing a hand on Landon’s shoulder. “She just didn’t want to not miss school, too,” she said, referring to Kaylan. Kaylan agreed with a grin.

“It’s important to show your kids what your beliefs are,” said Debi Starks.

Maggie Dever, 11, and Rachel Bass, 10, came all the way from Raleigh because they wanted to follow in their parents’ footsteps and be Republicans, too.

“He was a soldier for our country, and he protects us,” Bass said of Sen. McCain.

Propoganda posters became fans, hats and shade for some of the bored young people.

Propoganda posters became fans, hats and shade for some of the bored young people.

“And he’s smart. And more experienced,” Dever added.

Bass worried that democratic candidates would cause “another 9/11” by leaving Iraq too soon, so she prefers the Republicans.

There were at least a few school-aged children not missing school at the rally. Tabatha Apple and her four homeschooled children we camped out at the rally hours early because they were studying the election and the history of elections.

Twelve-year-old EmmaLee and 10-year-old Jennifer Apple talked about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but they seemed just as interested in Hank Williams Jr. when he walked onstage.

A secret service officer helps a boy find his way back to his parents.

A secret service officer helps a boy find his way back to his parents.

Even the youngest members of the audience sported “Nobama” and McCain-Palin t-shirts, waved pompoms and rode on their parents’ shoulders for that one glimpse of Palin. When Palin talks of brightening America’s future, it is to these mini-campaigners that she refers.

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Responses

  1. You did a good advance story previously about the site preparations for The Pendulum (congratulations on having CBS Online pick it up) and this feature about families is also a nice touch. Did you get any photos or video of the children you interviewed for the story? It’s important to provide images of the people you speak with, and also to get the names of the people you photograph to use in the captions you write describing the action. Most news publications generally have a rule against using photos in which the people are not identified precisely. It’s all part of the reporting to include names.

    The writing here is well done.

    A couple of minor corrections – you should take the extra “the” out of the lead paragraph and use Palin’s full name there in the first reference to her in this article. Also in the 12th paragraph you were right to spell out the number in the beginning of the sentence, but you do need to use the number – 10-year-old – in the later age reference.


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