The story was so old to me I didn’t even think to link to it. It’s a hoot and a perfect fit for the other side of Jake Weisberg’s coverage of the 2000 Presidential Debates
I hauled this mosh pit around Iowa in a large flatbed truck, crisscrossing the state and inviting the Presidential candidates to join the teeming and tattooed masses. The response from the candidates varied from a stunned and frightened Steve Forbes (who quickly walked by the pit giving it a nervous thumb up), to front-runner George W. Bush (who told me, “behave yourself, Michael I see you’re up to your old tricks why don’t you go get a real job?”)
Gary Bauer, on the other hand, called the Des Moines police who sent five cruisers and a paddy wagon to arrest the pit. The police, though, could not contain their laughter when they arrived and saw the group of purple-haired, pierce-lipped, 18-year olds jumping wildly in place to the music of Rage Against the Machine.
Next, we drove over to a town hall event being staged by former Reagan ambassador, Alan Keyes. As the mosh pit rolled into the parking lot, with Rage music blaring (“It has to start somewhere/ It has to start sometime/ What better place than here/ What better time than now…”), Keyes staffers came outside to see what all the noise was about. When informed that Keyes could get the endorsement of “The Awful Truth,” Keyes’ national field director dove into the pit, hoping that would suffice for our support. He then brought out “Uncle Sam,” a Keyes supporter who was dressed in full Uncle Sam regalia. He, too, jumped in.
But we told the Keyes staff that it had to be Keyes himself. Minutes later, Alan Keyes emerged and, against the loud protests of his Secret Service agent, Keyes climbed to the top of the makeshift stage on the back of the truck and dove backwards into the screaming mosh pit. He then body-surfed the entire pit, carried like a wave on the outstretched hands of the tightly compact crowd. He did a couple of body slams with a spiked-hair youth from Ames High School and left the pit with the official endorsement of the show.
“We knew Alan Keyes was insane,” I told the press who were trying to understand the irony or the point. “We just didn’t know HOW insane he was until that moment. We now feel a responsibility to test the remaining field of candidates.”
Bauer called the cops?