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John L. Smith Was Impressed by the Women's Rally in Las Vegas

People wave flags and hold signs before a rally, Sunday, at the Las Vegas Women's March.
John Locher/AP

People wave flags and hold signs before a rally, Sunday, at the Las Vegas Women's March.

(Editor's note: This story contains strong language that some might find offensive)

John L. Smith was at the Women's March and Rally at Sam Boyd Stadium this past weekend, and he was impressed by what he saw.

The turnout, which is estimated to be between 18,000 and 20,000 people, was much the same as the turnout last year, when the event was a march held downtown. It filled nearly half the 40,000 seat stadium.

The event was a call to action - and especially to register and vote.

“It was a day, certainly, to celebrate the potential political power of women’s vote in America,” Smith said.

He said there were progressive politicians and candidates working the crowd like Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, who is running for governor.

Smith said she was talking with the crowd and seemed popular with the people in attendance. He also felt she gave an important speech about the strength of Las Vegas.

"She took time out to say one of the important parts of having that event was to remind the world that Las Vegas is strong. Las Vegas is coming back. Nevada is a place on the move," he said, "I think at least from the symbolism of it, I think it was a very positive thing."

Because of the government shutdown, congressional leaders who were slated to attend could not be there and instead sent messages via video.

Smith said Rep. Dina Titus, D-NV., was her 'salty self' when talking about President Trump's comments about immigrants coming from "shithole" countries, a term which the president has denied using.

Her comments received rousing cheers from the audience. 

“There was a little pugnacity there as well," Smith observed, "It made it more entertaining - if nothing else - and kind of added to the spice of the event.”

Smith was also impressed with other speakers, including Paulette Jordan who is running for governor in Idaho and Rev. William Barber, who Smith said will "remind you of Dr. Martin Luther King."

But the main message of the entire event was: register to vote and get to the polls.

“Clearly, this is a push that is meant to propel a major change in 2018 in the midterms. I think what they’re trying to do is really get it buttoned down and get those voters registered early because clearly the conservatives are doing similar things and spending a lot of money to register voters.”

John L. Smith, contributor

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(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carrie Kaufman no longer works for KNPR News. She left in April 2018)