One week after turning 18, Kara Caudell will cast her first vote in a presidential general election Nov. 2 for Democrat John Kerry, a prospect that has her "pretty excited."
But the Lakota East High School student from Liberty Township already has had an unpleasant introduction to the seamy side of politics.
Last weekend, minutes after obtaining two tickets to President Bush's huge rally Monday in West Chester, Caudell said she had the tickets ripped from her hand by two men who objected to the Kerry bumper sticker on her car.
The men, Caudell said, blocked her from getting into her car outside the West Chester office of Rep. John Boehner, one of the GOP's distribution points for the rally tickets, until one forcibly took the tickets from her. The two 40-ish men -- who Caudell believes were Bush campaign volunteers -- also were verbally abusive, calling her a "sinner" and "terrorist" for supporting Kerry and even going far as to suggest that she might intend to harm Bush at the rally.
After picking up the tickets, Caudell said, she was confronted by a man who, seeing her getting into a car with a Kerry bumper sticker and the Kerry slogan painted on its rear window, asked whether she was a Kerry supporter. When she replied that she was, the man, by then joined by a second man, called her a terrorist for not supporting Bush, Caudell said.
"I said, 'If a Democrat was in the White House, would you support him?'" Caudell said. "He said, 'No.' And I said, 'Then by your own definition, you're a terrorist, too.'"
To that, Caudell said, the man told the 5-foot-3 cheerleader: "You're pretty snippy for someone so small."
The first man, who Caudell said did most of the talking -- with the second basically echoing his remarks -- grabbed her car door to prevent her from getting in and told her he would not allow her to leave until she surrendered the tickets. When she refused, he tore them from her hand, Caudell said.
Nice. (Story here.)