Rally fun­nels anger to­ward Washington

The Pak Banker - - International -

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

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