Rally funnels anger toward Washington
WASHINGTON: The rally organized by conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck this weekend was a prominent reminder of the disenchantment many Americans feel about Washington-a sentiment that provides both opportunities and pitfalls for the Republican Party.
The size and geographic diversity of the crowd demonstrated the breadth of antiincumbent feeling. But many of those interviewed at the rally expressed dissatisfaction not only with Democrats but with the traditional Republican leadership too, saying GOP candidates shouldn't take their vote for granted. "I was upset about things even under Bush," said Sharon Tully, who drove up to the National Mall on Saturday morning and sat with her husband, Joe, under trees near the reflecting pool. "I was a Reagan Democrat who then went over to the Republicans, but now I feel that I belong to no party."
Attendees on Saturday packed nearly a mile of the Mall at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, in an event that car- ried the tone of a religious revival. Many at the event said in interviews that they were drawn by a sense of deep disenchantment over the country's direction, alarm over government spending and a sense that the country's political system was broken.
The program, which was organized by Mr. Beck, the conservative Fox News commentator, featured three hours of religious and patriotic speeches but offered few details on how to fix the country's problems.
Republican strategists said the size of the rally reflected an enthusiasm for change that would bolster their electoral chances. "Rallies like what we saw are another indication of how people at the center and right of the political spectrum can't wait to get to the polls," said Republican pollster Whit Ayres.Democratic strategist Chris Lehane also noted the anti-establishment feeling. "For the party in power, any time you have this type of energy out there, this kind of fear, it's not good." -PB News
LONDON: Athanasios Orphanides, governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, talks with other guests a reception at the start of the annual Federal Reserve conference. -Afp