The crowd was excited to see him, lining up with books and signs for him to autograph, but the crowd was also smaller than I was anticipating. He didn't address the social issues, which are of course, what are on all the politicos' minds, instead choosing to proclaim himself a leader who does not let polls dictate his positions. "I could tell you what you want to hear," he said, listing a few issues which pointedly included "social issues," but that would cease to make him the leader he is, he said. Interesting way to frame it, and sort of endearingly straight-forward for a politician, but I heard from a couple Iowa residents that they want to hear more from Rudy on that front.
As they told me, they're there to listen to him. They want to give him a chance to tell his story, explain his positions, and they're not averse to voting for him at all, since the security creds and charisma quotients are high, but he does have to start talking at some point. Glossing over the issue forever I don't think will work.
I'll have many more pictures tomorrow, but they're loading slowly for me. Here's one to give you a look at the crowd and venue:
That lady on the far left of the front row told me, after Rudy's speech, that listening to him is "like listening to a good Baptist preacher."
"You're gonna get me in trouble with my preacher," she said, "but he made me want to say 'Amen' a couple times. I like what he says. And, when you like what the preacher says, you say 'Amen.'"
Rudy the Baptist? Well, that's one way for him to get the evangelical vote.