The campaign trail: 'Maverick,' 'Barracuda' and the Golden Lamb


Presidential and campaign visits and rallies can be wild events. They involve long hours, big crowds, major security and, often, a funny anecdote or two.

The area experienced that earlier this month with events held by former President Bill Clinton, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

>> RELATED: Here's why this reporter now carries masking tape

Those brought to mind even older stories from Cox Media Group Ohio staffers about their experiences with such rallies. Here's a memory from Dayton Daily News reporter Josh Sweigart about a campaign visit by John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008:

Sen. John McCain and Sarah Palin may have qualified for in-state tuition with the amount of time they spent in Ohio during the 2008 presidential campaign. I covered several of these visits, most memorably an obligatory McCain-Palin stop to the Golden Lamb in Lebanon.

I remember the morning held a persistent drizzle of rain, and when the candidates and national media descended on the small town most of the effort was spent trying to keep wires and walkways dry. Finally, then-Alaska Gov. Palin took the stage. The speakers blared “Barracuda” by Heart, which sent the political bloggers into a frenzy because the band had asked her to stop using the song at rallies.

Palin took the stage in the center of the street at 10:25 a.m., according to my notes, and whipped up the crowd of roughly 10,000 with praise of small-town America. Women in the crowd especially adored her.

McCain took the stage to chants of “USA!, USA!” and gave a stump speech about being a “maverick.” As he left the stage, he made it a point to shake the hand of several veterans.

I noted in my story that a McCain win would’ve marked the 13th U.S. president to visit the Golden Lamb. Palin would’ve been the nation’s first female vice president.

That didn’t happen. But Palin’s nomination alone was enough to cement her place in the history books. And I was there to witness part of it.

The Dayton Daily News shares more staff stories about covering presidential and campaign visits in a special multimedia presentation on MyDaytonDailyNews.com.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Clark County Pet of the Week
Clark County Pet of the Week

We have a very special Pet of the Week this week. Bernie came to us when her owner suddenly passed. Unfortunately all of her family lives out of state and isn’t able to take her. Bernie is a 7-year-old Burmese mix. She weighs in right now at about 80 pounds and is on a diet, but making progress. Bernie has been very friendly at the shelter, dog...
Champaign County Pet of the Week
Champaign County Pet of the Week

Evelyn is a 5-year-old female Calico domestic short-haired cat. She has been at the shelter for almost three years now and is our adventurer. Evelyn enjoys hanging out in the laundry room. She has a unique voice, too. Evelyn is a good girl and gets along with the other cats. She has been spayed, is up to date on vaccinations and has tested negative...
Multiple-vehicle accident on I-75 South in Dayton slows traffic
Multiple-vehicle accident on I-75 South in Dayton slows traffic

UPDATE @ 11:04 p.m.: All lanes of I-75 South in Dayton are open again. The southbound lanes were closed briefly, about 10 minutes or so, to allow tow trucks to remove vehicles involved in the crash. A multiple-vehicle accident on I-75 South in Dayton, at the Edwin C. Moses Boulevard overpass, is slowing traffic. No one was injured in the accident...
Greene Co. Public Health campaign: Buckle Up – Every Trip. Every Time.
Greene Co. Public Health campaign: Buckle Up – Every Trip. Every Time.

Greene County Public Health wants to remind people traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday to wear a seat belt. The Greene County Safe Communities Coalition partnered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to raise awareness for their ‘Buckle Up--Every Trip. Every Time.’ campaign, according to a release. “We...
Detective: Fugitive youth soccer coach uses Uber, eats at Panera in Tennessee
Detective: Fugitive youth soccer coach uses Uber, eats at Panera in Tennessee

Fugitive youth soccer coach Justin K. Smith has been seen in two Tennessee cities, using Uber to get around and eating at popular restaurants, a Montgomery County Sheriff’s detective said. Smith, 41, of Germantown, is the subject of a nationwide search after he fled his sexual assault trial involving a 14-year-old girl he coached. He was absent...
More Stories