Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blogging from Tampa 2012 RNC Convention--Highlights and Headaches on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012

By Kay Hoflander, Missouri Delegate At-Large

Tuesday Headaches Could Not Dampen
 the Excitement of the Convention

This morning (Wednesday, Aug. 29th) at our usual Missouri delegate breakfast and credentialing, I happened to sit at a table in the corner with members of the Kansas City media, Michael Mahoney and Dave Helling and cameraman. I grabbed that spot on the side of the banquet room because I came in a tad late. Granted, our breakfast meeting was pushed back (thankfully) from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. due to delayed bus transportation the night before, but it was still difficult to make the 9 o'clock meeting after such a short night. The lack-of-sleep headache was this. For some of our delegation, it took two hours of sitting miserably on shuttle busses before they could get back to the hotel after the convention, some arrived at the hotel at 2 a.m. or later. Some but not all busses were forced to wait out a security clearance, a "sweep" that was underway, we were told.  I figured the 'news guys' at the breakfast table this morning would know what caused the snafu, so I asked. Their guess was as good as mine I suppose, and we agreed it had something to do with Mitt Romney's surprise appearance after Ann Romney spoke. He was in the area, and that may have caused the security headache. We will probably hear more about that today.

However, things could have been worse.  We could have been the poor delegates from Florida. The Tampa Bay Times wrote this morning that the Florida delegates were to board a bus in the suburbs and travel 30 minutes to the Forum for the convention. The busses did not show up, and after a long wait in 90-degree sweltering heat, the busses finally came. The story reads, "After an hour's bus ride, one bus of delegates arrived in downtown Tampa with a half-hour to spare. But at that point, for reasons unknown, the bus driver took a wrong turn."  Making several loops and loops around downtown, the driver attempted to try different routes to get to the Forum, unsuccessfully. Passengers began to panic and demand to get off the bus. One delegate was quoted as saying that the bus driver must have been a Democrat, however, it turned out that officers were turning him away at each place he might have stopped, again for whatever reasons that remain unknown. Eventually, Florida delegates arrived, but did miss part of the convention. 

Headaches inside the convention: the food, or lack of it.  Because the convention was compacted from four days into three, schedules changed regarding when our Missouri Delegation would eat lunch and dinner. We were given vouchers to buy concession food inside the Forum. Long lines, limited food, and in some cases, vouchers that didn't work, left us settling for whatever food and beverage we could find. A mild headache yes, but even that could not dampen our spirits and excitement that was growing for the evening's program ahead.

On-the-floor headaches: credential and rules committee reports were met with boos from some galleries and from within our own delegation, to some degree.  However, the Party Platform was generally liked and even applauded by most delegates. News stories today are easy to find about the adoption of credential, rules and platform reports, so I won't go into the lengthy details of those here and leave that to you to research.

Excitement in the Hall

• The Missouri Delegates were sought after by reporters for interviews on camera and in print, without question, they told us, because of the Todd Aiken controversy. Although the subject was a difficult one, it was exciting for our delegates to be interviewed, and most enjoyed the process and the opportunity to share their views. One thing we all seem to agree on is that Missouri delegates are respectful of each others' disparate viewpoints and want to focus on winning the state for Mitt Romney and on winning our statewide races in November. Practically everyone who was interviewed echoed that same sentiment.

• The Tuesday evening's theme was "We Built It" and it is perhaps best presented in pictures. Take a look at our photos of Tuesday night's exciting and inspirational session on our Faeebook page located here: