POLK CITY, Florida (CNN) — At a boisterous Sarah Palin rally in Polk City, Florida on Saturday afternoon, one name was surprisingly absent from the campaign décor — John McCain’s.
Looking around the Fantasy of Flight aircraft hangar where the rally took place, one could see all the usual reminders that it was a pro-McCain event. There were two large “Country First” banners hung on the walls along with four enormous American flags meant to conjure the campaign’s underlying patriotic theme. Many of the men and women in the audience wore McCain hats and t-shirts.
But on closer inspection, the GOP nominee’s name was literally nowhere to be found on any of the official campaign signage distributed to supporters at the event.
Members of the audience proudly waved “Country First” placards as Palin delivered her stump speech. Those signs were paid for by the Republican National Committee.
The other sign handed out to supporters read “Florida is Palin Country,” but those signs were neither paid for by the Republican National Committee nor the McCain campaign. In small print, the signs were stamped with the line “Paid for and authorized by Putnam for Congress" — as in, the re-election campaign of Florida congressman Adam Putnam, whose district skirts Polk City.
In fact, Putnam’s name was considerably more prominent than was McCain’s — his campaign had placed a number of large “Putnam for Congress” banners around the event site.