While the official Tea Party estimates of Saturday’s rally attendance may range between a gajillion and the fafillion, the company CBS hired to give an estimate placed the turnout at a respectably large 87,000, larger than the official estimates of turnout last year’s 9/12 rally but no where near the estimated 1.8 million that attended Obama’s inauguration.
The number of people who showed up for Beck’s rally was also considerably smaller than the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom, at which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech and which Beck self-consciously styled his “restoring honor” event after, to the irritation of many liberals. The 1963 march drew around 200,000 people, according to contemporary estimates. The crowd then was considerably more diverse, had a leftist economic agenda and was organized by admitted socialists who palled around with a number of other lefty types who likely would have ended up on Glenn Beck’s chalkboard back in the day. That crowd also was produced without the kind of financial support provided by Freedomworks and Americans for Prosperity, and at a time when long-distance communication tools were considerably more limited.
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