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January 29, 2015

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Hundreds wait, debate before Obama rally gets under way

Obama Visits Las Vegas

President Barack Obama salutes after landing at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas Friday, October 22, 2010. Launch slideshow »

A half hour before the doors opened, hundreds of people lined up around the block in anticipation of President Barack Obama’s rally for Sen. Harry Reid at Orr Williams Middle School.

While there were plenty of eager supporters for Obama and Reid lining the sidewalks of Algonquin Drive and Katie Avenue, one man was defending himself from a group of angry supporters.

“Well, I didn’t plan on seeing the president,” Greg Halvorson said while holding a Sharron Angle poster. “I just came down to exercise my First Amendment right as an American. It’s a passionate and fun election to participate in. I came down here to experience the hate of the left, as well.”

As Halvorson held his sign, the Obama and Reid supporters who surrounded him gave him a hard time. Some jokingly yelled, “Man up!” — a phrase Angle has used repeatedly toward Reid — but others were more strident.

“I’m going to wipe up the floor with you,” Kyung Egan yelled to Halvorson. “On your best day you’re not as smart as I am on my worst day.”

Judy Parker of Mesquite was calmer while debating with Halvorson about Angle’s stance on abortion.

“Sharron Angle is destroying this country. She has come out and said if you’re handed a lemon, you just got to make lemonade,” Parker said, referring to a statement Angle made about her opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape. “If my daughter or granddaughter got raped and pregnant, I’d take her clear across the country to get an abortion.”

While Halvorson stirred up the crowd with his sign, others, like 84-year-old Hubert Brown and his wife, Mildred Nolan, waited patiently to support the president and Reid.

“Obama’s doing the best he can,” Nolan said. “He’s just a marvel. Nothing seems to get him down. I know he has moments; he’s right in there trying to do everything.”

Brown, a World War II veteran and New York native, said he doesn’t like Sharron Angle because of positions she’s taken on privatizing Social Security and the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

“She wants to do away with everything that’s taken years to get,” Brown said.

Izzy Coutin, a Californian who has been following the Nevada Senate election, said Angle and the Tea Party frighten him because of their extreme views.

“It’s unfortunate that this country has so many fools,” Coutin said. “They like to think the Tea Party and extremism is the equivalent to patriotism. It’s frightening to me. It’s a scary thought.”

Farther down the line, Jim Reed said the key to victory for Democrats is for voters to show up at the polls.

“If they can get all these people to go vote, then that’s success for them. Because they’ll certainly vote the same way they voted in ’08,” Reed said.

Watching with a smile as the argument intensified between Halvorson, Parker and Egan, he said Halvorson had every right to be here.

“That’s called freedom of speech. I’ve done it with Republican groups before,” Reed said as he laughed. “It’s a kick.”

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  1. You cannot forget that before Obama, the White House and the Republicans encouraged businesses to take their operations overseas. The "Core" of our problems is "jobs" that are no longer available "here in the USA" because of the policies of the "same People, the same Group" that helped "big Business" and not the "Middle Class, the working person."

    Right now, the true measurement of "any company operating in the USA" and making a profit off "our dollars" is the offering of "Employment."

    These companies that have benefitted because of the past administration policies and the fact that those companies calling themselves US companies are not offering employment, but making Huge Profits, are being supported by the same people who say "I want My Country Back". Go figure.

    I belived in Las Vegas, I believed in Las Vegas companies that are offering employment to keep Las Vegas economy going. That is the measurment being used today. Talk is cheat, misleading and producing nothing but confusion. It is time to look after, and support, anything "LOCAL" that is supporting our community.

  2. The lunacy of the left is on full display in this election cycle, from DC down to City Hall. Don't you love the statement of the lady from Mesquite, "Sharron Angle is destroying this country". Huh? Angle hasn't been in the Senate yet, like Reid has been for decades, so just how could she be destroying us? What has Reid been doing, watching the destruction, or CREATING IT?

  3. To Longtimevegan: You say "talk is cheap, misleading and producing nothing but confusion". Uh, confusion for whom? An intelligent, inquisitive mind can sort out the baloney and see the truth in campaign rhetoric. Those who cannot do this, and are swayed by distortions and lies, should not be voting. And, yes, we should be involved in the affairs of our community, but not exclusively. The out-of-control central government, which is operating far outside its constitutional limits, mandates policies which affect everyone, right down to the smallest community. It's time for the People, the communities, the counties and the states to wrest control back from the feds. Hence, the Tea Party Movement.

  4. Miller, Paladino, O'Donnell, etc. are going down the drain....the teaparty is over. The handfull of Jim deMinted Senators will be rejected by both Republicans and Democrats.

    In fact, middle of the road Republican Senators will dominate: Grahm, Brown, Snow, Collins, etc.

    Even Eric Cantor says they don't have the votes to repeal all of Obamacare.