With the recent mass rally for Barack Obama still in Boiseans' minds, the archives at Boise State University tracked down some pertinent exhibits and has now placed them on line: Photos of the one political rally in Idaho history even larger than Obama's. Timely stuff.
The circumstances are worth recollection. That was an outdoor rally at the Idaho Statehouse, for the Republican presidential nominee, Dwight Eisenhower. Ike was drawn in part because Idaho's governor then, Republican Len Jordan, was one of his most vocal backers among upper-level elected officials. Also, maybe, the fact that Idaho then was a state up for grabs in presidential politics. Idaho had voted solidly for Franklin Roosevelt and also for Democrat Harry Truman in 1948, but it had veered strongly Republican in the 1950 elections. A substantial visit was more than a ceremonial visit.
Eisenhower's win in 1952 in Idaho (as well as nationally) started a Gem State trend, lasting to this day. With the sole exception of 1964, when Lyndon Johnson barely squeaked past Republican Barry Goldwater, Idaho has voted Republican for president ever since.
Could it be that another rally comparable in size launches . . . nah . . .