This is my first GOP National Convention. Today, because of Hurricane Gustav, we met for only about two hours instead of seven. Rather than the usual partisan cheerleading that goes on, the day was filled with the parliamentary business of the convention. We approved reports resolved credentials disputes and approved a platform.
We saw a video of four of the five Gulf state governors (all five are Republican). And there was a surprise visit by Laura Bush and Cindy McCain. Both were received well and focused their talk on Hurricane relief.
For many delegates the first day was a letdown without all the hoopla. There were protesters outside of the arena but inside, not much happened. Among the things that went wrong today was food. Delegate packets included a coupon for a boxed lunch but since the session was shortened, the lunches were apparently canceled.
The Iowa delegation is seated on the floor of the arena far side stage right. Midway through, I switched credentials with my alternate and went up to sit in the stands. The alternate seats were much more comfortable than the delegate seats.
We are waiting to see whether we’ll have a full program tomorrow.
This morning, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson addressed the Iowa Delegation on behalf of his organization fighting chronic disease. He spoke of his own surgeries and told a typically Thompson story about banning smoking in HHS buildings while he was secretary. He also encouraged delegates to walk or exercise.
Ok, ok, I get it. I took my bicycle out for about 10miles this morning. Near the halfway point of the ride, I felt something bouncing off my shins. I figured out that it was some kind of bug and when I looked closely I saw it was grasshoppers. My road bike has hollow aluminum Velocity Deep-V rims and when the grasshoppers bounced off the spkes, they made a resonant pinging sounds.
As I was riding, I saw yet another pest so I took this photo.
Today while standing in line to get into the Excel Center. I saw someone I thought I recognized. I introduced myself and sure enough, I was right. The person I saw was former Democrat Iowa Governor, Tom Vilsack. The same Tom Vilsack who ran for president as a Democrat.
The Governor was standing in line to get into the venue and he had what looked like a guest pass. He was standing in the normal line and waited like everyone else. I asked if he were switching parties. He said, “No you’ll have to do a lot more convincing.”