Elizabeth Simmons-O'Neill, of Seattle, tucks a card promoting TV host Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" into a sign held by a protestor with the anti-Obama LaRouche PAC, who declined to be identified, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, outside Hec Edmundson Pavilion on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, where a rally with President Barack Obama and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is scheduled to be held later in the day. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A “sanity” rally blending laughs and political activism drew thousands to the National Mall on Saturday, with comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert casting themselves as the unlikely maestros of moderation and civility in polarized times. Organizers insisted the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, just days before the congressional elections Tuesday, wasn’t about politics. Still, supporters and left-leaning advocacy groups hoped it would rekindle some of the voter enthusiasm for Democrats seen in 2008, particularly among young adults.