'Told them to shove their offer'

The hall at the Marriott DTC held 1500, and there were that many more outside in an overflow room, for Monday night's kickoff event on the Battleground States Talkers' Tour, sponsored by 710 KNUS and featuring Salem national radio hosts Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, and Hugh Hewitt. Lacking the time to write a full report -- I'm too busy inventorying shoes for Palin, ogling feet in mouth for Biden, and enjoying the ever-peeling layers of Obama's hard-left taped pronouncements -- I offer only these jottings to give an idea of the rollicking 90 minutes that sent Denver-area Republicans home ready for a final push to Nov. 4

** Navy Captain Charlie Plumb, who had John McCain as a flight instructor and was later in a Hanoi prison with him, recalled McCain's defiance of torture and psy-war tactics by their captors. When given a chance for early release in violation of honor code, Plumb said, Mac "told them to shove their offer." Such is the strength of character, the ex-POW added, that we need in the next president.

** Bob Schaffer spoke eloquently about his vision for serving Colorado in the US Senate, quoting a long passage from the earlier part of Patrick Henry's famous "Give me liberty" speech in 1775 and joking Elway-style that adverse polls mean "we've got Mark Udall right where we want him."

** Secretary of State Mike Coffman pitched his congressional candidacy with a pledge to resist, if necessary, spineless Republican colleagues as strongly as Tancredo has done. Odd angle to take in front of a party gathering, but such are the times we live in.

** "Politics come and go, but entitlements are forever," Medved warned. If Obama and the Dems win a sweep next week, taking back Congress in 2010 or the White House in 2012 won't suffice to stop all kinds of economic redistribution and moral rollbacks that will become untouchable even when the GOP returns to power.

** Prager said it's no wonder liberals want to change America - they view it as an unjust society and a warmonger, a negative force in people's lives both here and abroad. Since in fact it's just the opposite, Dennis said, we reject their prescription of fundamental change. He also remarked, "Christians are the backbone of America. You can't say it about yourselves, so here's this Jewish American saying it for you."

** Hewitt, tasked with closing the sale and motivating the faithful, spoke to the question, "Are you all in?" To illustrate "all in," he related the story of Benjamin Franklin, well over 70, about to sail for France to represent the newborn and embattled United States, liquidating his investments and giving every dime to the US treasury. Let that be the standard, said Hugh, for GOP efforts, donations, and morale from now until the last vote is counted.

Fred Eshelman, a North Carolina businessman, took the stage briefly to talk about his new conservative website and TV ad campaign, RightChange.com. Salem Communications CEO Ed Atsinger was present but didn't speak. He's funding the talkers tour, with help from Eshelman, as it rolls on from here to Minneapolis, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and two stops in Florida.