Pumped at the pub

Area Republicans cheer and chant loudly as they watch Sen. John McCain accept the Republican party’s nomination.

September 04, 2008|By Alan Blank

Republican presidential candidate John McCain had to share the national spotlight with a group of Republicans in Costa Mesa on Thursday night as he delivered a speech to accept his party’s nomination.

A gathering of party faithful at Gary Monahan’s downtown bar, Skosh Monahan’s, got together to watch the speech and ended up on CNN’s national broadcast for a couple of seconds. The producers of the broadcast cut to a camera sitting in front of the small back room in the restaurant where 50 people spent the evening vociferously cheering for McCain, only to catch the crowd during a rare moment of complete calm.

“Aww. We weren’t celebrating. We were just sitting there because there is a television delay,” David Geske, a Newport Beach financial advisor, lamented after the cameras cut back to McCain.


Because of a small delay in the broadcast, Skosh Monahan’s crowd had not yet heard the poignant moment in the speech when the CNN camera man filmed them.

The lackluster appearance of the crowd, sitting straight-faced was certainly not representative of the night as a whole. For the vast majority of the speech, the people at Skosh’s were yelling, chanting and waving McCain posters.

Orange County Republican leaders including Orange County Treasurer Chriss Street, Newport Beach City Councilman Keith Curry and Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh all joined host and Costa Mesa City Council candidate Gary Monahan for the event.

McCain focused a good deal of speech on his experiences as a Vietnam War veteran, which resonated with the Costa Mesa crowd.

“I think he did a great job talking about his time as a POW. It is better coming from him than other people,” said Costa Mesa resident Mark Knass.

Vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin probably elicited the most cheers when she was shown on the television. One woman in the crowd at the restaurant wore a pink T-shirt lauding Palin and saying, “Piper Palin for president in 2030,” in reference to the candidate’s daughter.

“I thought [McCain’s speech] was better than expected because I didn’t think anyone could top the speech of the next vice president, Sarah Palin,” said Costa Mesa home designer Kevin Crawley, who was one of the loudest voices in the audience.

Monahan hardly got to see the speech. He ran around, sweat dripping from his forehead, trying to keep everything in order.

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