A Delegate Speaks

Watching last week’s convention, I couldn’t get a feeling for how it was going on the ground in Tampa. Sometimes a camera shot of the audience showed people not very alert, interested or enthused. During some of the speeches, the crowd would be wandering around, not paying attention and not engaged.

Yet in reading tweets from some of our local delegates, they seemed to be energized and happy. One tweet, during Artur Davis’ speech, mentioned how excited they were hearing him. Another wondered how Clint Eastwood was going over on TV; on the floor they were lapping it up.

At home, all that wasn’t too visible.

Sally Zelikovsky writes “A Delegate’s Eye View of the RNC Convention at americanthinker.com., an article that tells just how it was on the floor. Here are some excerpts of her impressions.

Up until the 2012 GOP Convention, I was concerned about the ability of Romney-Ryan to win — not because of their candidacy, but because of the dirty game their opponents were certain to play and the skyrocketing ignorance and apathy of the voters…But after being on the floor at the convention, there is no trace of any skepticism left with this Nancy Naysayer, and the good news is, I’m not the only one. No matter how odious the Obama team, no matter how ignorant the electorate, we can do this, and by the end of the second night, everyone knew it. Barring the unpredictable, the White House is ours to have.

But I’m not sure that this euphoria and enthusiasm came across in the press coverage. In fact, at one point during the convention, a friend sent me an e-mail along the lines of “What’s happening on the floor? No one seems excited!”

That wasn’t the case at all.

And yet, from the coverage I saw on Fox and CNN, crickets. They seemed to focus not on the reaction of the base, but rather on the reaction of the pundits.

I have no quarrel with the pundits speculating about the swing viewer-voter, but why prod them to speculate about the base when the base is right there to ask? We watched Griff Jenkins at the post-convention Journey concert — a perfect opportunity to interview euphoric delegates, but all we got was Griff playing air guitar.

The CA delegation had great seats in front of the VIP box and the press staging area. Martha Macallum, Chris Wallace, James Rosen, Carl Cameron, and CNN’s Acosta were a ubiquitous presence on the floor, but they did not seem to be interviewing delegates — at least not on our side of the floor.

Do viewers have any idea what delegates thought of Jeb Bush’s opening remarks? Isn’t that more interesting than what the pundits think or a clinical analysis from a journalist? People were thrilled. He said what no one was willing to say during the entire 2008 campaign and its aftermath when GWB took center stage — not as America’s 43rd president, but as everyone’s favorite whipping boy. Finally, someone had the cojones to look into the camera and call Obama on it.

GWB has been hung like a heavy weight around our collective Republican necks for far too long, and we cheered for Jeb like fans at a close USC-UCLA football game as we felt that great weight lifted from our shoulders. In that short introduction, he gave us permission to defend GWB and put an end to the Blame Game.

By the end of Wednesday night, after Ryan’s speech, the CA delegation headed back to our digs for some chow, libations, and music. There was an energy there — an unspoken recognition that we can do this. OMG, we are going to do this!

Throughout the convention, I tried to teleport myself back to my days as a Democrat and then as an indie. How would the speeches resonate with me? I stopped being a Democrat in spirit at some point during the Clinton years in reaction to many of the same traits we see today with Obama — an overexposed president in cahoots with the press, who responds to every criticism, attacks and blames the Republicans for everything that goes wrong, outright lies to us, plays us for fools, made this country more vulnerable, and doesn’t take responsibility for his shortcomings.

For disgruntled Democrats and discerning indies, this convention offers a different, more professionally managed promise. They would see in Romney the skills, expertise, and temperament to be this country’s chief executive. An honorable family man. A disciplined thinker and doer. Someone with a history of accomplishment.

As an indie, I didn’t see a convention of extremists. The candidates were humanized. They clarified what they bring to the table and what needs to be done. This is an upbeat, optimistic campaign filled with love — love of country, love for each other, love for our children and grandchildren, love for the promise of America. Ann Romney wanted to talk about love, and she did. But her theme of LOVE subtly permeated the entire convention…

There was so much joy and love at this convention, you’d have thought we were at Haight-Ashbury or Woodstock.

Watching CNN in the airport for longer than I care to recall, they repeated ad nauseam the question of whether Clint Eastwood went too far with his presentation. Again, no delegates were interviewed for this segment. Only pundits.

CNN was so obsessed with making hay out of Clint’s improv that the talkers there completely missed the fact that once we figured out that Invisible Obama was on a stool with a teleprompter prop, Clint brought the house down. No one thought it went too far. A little levity with innuendo was a welcome relief. And talk about risking one’s reputation in Hollywood for love of country. Clint fit right in.

The cheers also seemed to be tamped down on the major networks, but we were whooping it up so loudly that we couldn’t even hear the last few sentences of Romney’s speech. If there is a word that means more than euphoria, then that is the one I’m looking for. If I had to provide a visual image of what we felt like, it would be that black-and-white footage of the fans going crazy when the Beatles arrived in the States. Arms reaching out to them, clapping, crying, cheering.

I asked veterans of the convention world what they thought of this convention on a scale of 1-10, with “Reagan 1984” being a 10. I was quickly corrected. “Reagan 1984” was a 10.5. This was a 9.5.

It was great to know that we virgin delegates weren’t off. It was a great convention — well done, well attended, and got the results out of the boots on the ground that are needed to replace the residents of 1600 Penn Ave. And, if the way this convention was run is any reflection of what Romney will do in the White House, then America is in good hands.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/09/a_delegates-eye_view_of_the_rnc_convention.html#ixzz25Uiag6ii

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