McCain and Palin = Scary

So when does does pumping people up cross the line? It did yesterday in Clearwater, Fla., where the Washington Post’s Dana Millbank reports that the crowd turned nasty:

“Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric’s questions for her ‘less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media.’ At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, ‘Sit down, boy.'”

At a rally in New Mexico Monday, when McCain asked a crowd “Who is Barack Obama?” you can hear someone shout back “a terrorist!” in the video below:

The McCain campaign is in serious lockdown mode. At a Palin rally in Florida this week, St. Pete Times’ reporter Eileen Schulte wrote about the difficulty of interviewing Palin supporters at a public rally:

“CLEARWATER — Constantly under the watchful eyes of security, the media wasn’t permitted to wander around inside Coachman Park to talk to Sarah Palin supporters. When reporters tried to leave the designated press area and head toward the bleachers where the crowd was seated, an escort would dart out of nowhere and confront him or her and say, “Can I help you?” and turn the person around. When one reporter asked an escort, who would not give her name, why the press wasn’t allowed to mingle, she said that in the past, negative things had been written. The campaign wanted to avoid that possibility Monday.”