A crowd estimated to be at least a thousand strong came out to Borders bookstore on South Dale Mabry in Tampa this morning to meet and greet (quickly) conservative icon Glenn Beck.
The radio and cable television personality sandwiched Tampa in between two other Florida stops on Saturday. He began the day in Lee County, came (late) to Tampa, arriving at about 12:15 p.m., and then went to the Villages, where he made his much hyped announcement that he had been teasing his listeners and viewers about in recent days.
According to Orlando television station WOFL:
He also said he plans to start a country wide tour, dividing the nation into seven parts and conducting educational conventions. Beck says he will teach ethics, history, finance, community organizing and everything American's need to know about how the government works.
At Tampa's event, where the first person in line arrived at 6 a.m. for the 12 noon scheduled book signing, the crowd inside Borders erupted when he entered through the front door, accompanied by no less than half a dozen roadies wearing Arguing With Idiots Bookstore 2009 Tour jackets who cleared the entryway at the back of the store and set up his own podium, carried in by a dolly.
Virtually everyone in line had a copy of Arguing With Idiots, his latest NY Times best-seller.
Many in the crowd echoed the statements of a man who only wanted to be identified as Gary from Clearwater. He told CL that Beck's outlook means, "he says things that are other people are afraid to say." Gary said he liked Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, but "Beck goes a little farther, says a little more than even those guys ..they're more traditional Republican conservative and he's a little, well, he's not like that."
Gary continued, " I think he opens people's eyes to things, gives people the ability to go do some investigation their own and learn some things that maybe they weren't even aware of......I think he's helping people to go do some education on their own.."
CL will have much more on Beck's appearance on this blog on Monday.
(Photos courtesy of Max Steele).