31 Oct 2010

Pre-election rally in Washington

12:46 pm on 31 October 2010

Two cable TV comedians held a rally in downtown Washington DC on Saturday on the last weekend before mid-term elections are held on Tuesday. Tens of thousands attended.

Tony Bennett, Sheryl Crow and other performers joined Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert at the Rally to Restore Sanity, which was described as 'non-political'.

The ABC reports Stewart urged politicians to work together instead of bickering.

Colbert appeared on stage inside a pod built to resemble a capsule used to rescue the 33 miners trapped in Chile for a record 69 days underground.

He then bounded across the stage in a red, white and blue Evel Knievel daredevil costume and led the crowd in chants of "Chi Chi Chi! Le Le Le!"

The ABC reports many attendees were dressed in costumes for Halloween weekend while others had painted their faces.

In August, conservative talk show host Glenn Beck held a rally at the Mall "to restore honour" on the anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. At least 80,000 people attended.

Stewart and Colbert announced separate rallies two weeks later, but later combined them into one event.

The mid-term elections take place on 2 November. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are at stake, as well as 37 of the 100 seats in the Senate.

The BBC reports Democrats currently control 59 seats in the Senate and have a majority of some 40 seats in the House.