Dear Friends at home in Missouri and around the country:
My first blog this morning was about our breakfast meeting, the RNC response to the Gulf Coast states in their time of need due to Hurricane Gustov, and about plans for the rest of the day. See that blog below this one, the second blog of the day.
After our morning state delegation meeting, we boarded buses about 11 AM for the W Hotel in Downtown Minneapolis where we were treated to a delightful luncheon sponsored by Target. The food and hospitality were once again stellar! Speakers included U.S. Senator Kit Bond, U.S. Representative Roy Blunt, and Governor Matt Blunt. Just a grand time.
From there we were transported by bus to the Xcel Convention Center.
Things appeared to be going normally until we neared the exit ramp in St. Paul. There we saw the ramp closed and police cars and officers scattered around the ramp entrance. On the ramp were protesters who were lying down on the ramp to block busses of delegates attending the convention. The law enforcement guys had everything well in hand, and we took a detour. We did not see protesters again until we boarded the buses for the trip back to the hotel. Our first clue that things might not be quite right was when a police officer boarded our bus and rode with us to our hotel. We noticed earlier in the day that there were blocks and blocks of tall black portable fencing separating the protesters from the delegates and the convention center. When we left we were glad the fences were there. The buses exited through the corridor between the fences. Along the way we saw swat teams in full riot gear, portable jails, and police officers everywhere. Apparently, protesters who called themselves "anarchists" broke windows and set fires and tried to disrupt the convention while we were inside. They were not successful. Thank goodness for the planning and execution of the security measures needed for this convention. We were very happy to return to the hotel safely, only to find more police cars waiting there. The security folks were taking no chances and we are grateful once more.
We do not know what tomorrow will bring, but of course we are hoping to get back to the business of nominating the next president of the United States.
Today we enjoyed speeches by First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain. Both these lovely ladies spoke about Hurricane Relief programs already in place. Go to www.CauseGreater.com to learn more about these efforts. Delegates are donating, packing relief boxes, and conducting fund raising for the Gulf States.
And as we continue tomorrow, we keep the residents of the Gulf Coast states in our thoughts and prayers.
Wish us all well as we go about the solemn business at hand for our country.
Good night from True North country. Talk to you tomorrow.