The crowd was not as large as the one that assembled for the Iraq War protest--sizable, yes, but not huge. In fact, I would say it wasn't very large at all, considering that this was a beautiful spring day in Beantown.
I spoke to a few of the Tea Partiers and asked them very politely why they were there. The common answer was "to send a message to Washington," and "to take back our country." When I asked a few of the TPs why they felt they had to "take back their country," their answers were not very clear or specific. The answers were rather vague and, not surprisingly, very Beckish. A lot of them proudly admitted to being fans of Beck and Fox News. No surprise there
I met a number of college students--Suffolk University is just down the block from the Common, and Emerson is nearby. The students all were carrying anti-Palin signs, and were very supportive of the president. This seems to be the norm nationally--young people are still one of Mr. Obama's strongest demographic supporters. I saw very few carrying signs for Palin.
My camera ran out of charge before I could capture some really clever signs, but a delightful man standing in the crowd had his camera with him and offered to email me those that I missed (he's an amateur photographer). We had a very pleasant chat and discovered that we grew up in the same neighborhoods around greater Boston. I hope he sends me the photos he took soon so I can post them.
Under Bush, the national debt grew by more than $4 trillion: the biggest debt increase of any president in U.S. history.
Where were the angry tea partiers then?
When Bush took office in 2001, the national debt stood at $5.7 trillion. At the end of Bush's two terms, the debt had skyrocketed to more than $9.849 trillion. And remember: Bush enjoyed a Republican Senate and House of Representatives during most of his time in office.