Bobby On The Loose!

The grand finale!
September 8, 2008, 1:49 am
Filed under: Republican National Convention

Thursday night capped off what I would consider to be a very successful convention for the GOP.  The stage was rebuilt for John McCain’s keynote speech to jut into the crowd.  The lineup of speakers was not as powerful as the night before, but everything would come to fruition once McCain himself accepted the nomination.  Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge spoke and helped to reinforce why Sarah Palin was picked as VP.  Ridge had been speculated to be selected as McCain’s running mate, but after he spoke, I realized how crucial it was for someone like Sarah Palin to be chosen.  In my opinion, the enthusiasm and excitement of the entire convention was focused on Palin, and if anyone else, like Ridge, Romney, or Pawlenty (who all spoke), gave the Vice Presidential nominee address, the convention would not have been nearly as successful.  In case you hadn’t heard, as many people watched Palin’s speech as Obama’s, and even more watched McCain’s.  This is amazing considering the Republican party should have been completely defeated before the campaign season even started given the current administration’s negative approval.  I think it’s all going to come down to the Republicans obtaining a completely untapped demographic, working mothers and soccer (or hockey) moms, which is going to put them over the top.

Also speaking Thursday night, just prior to John McCain, was Cindy McCain.  I have to give her a lot of credit for all of the great mission work she has done around the world, but she is as dry as a bone and not a very good public speaker.  But I guess it is quite difficult to try and hold her to the same standard as Laura Bush!  When John finally entered the stage, the place went wild.  He was warmly greeted by ten minutes of applause, and was frequently interrupted  by even more applause throughout his speech.  In my opinion, his speech wasn’t all that great either.  The content was there, but like his wife, he is not very exciting to listen to.  Even still, it was a thrill for me to be there and hear a tremendous story about a war hero who is going to be the next president of the United States!  After his speech, the celebration began.  Millions of balloons and confetti fell from the ceiling as people cheered and danced.  Walking around, I was knee deep in balloons.

Aware of all of the other people I had run into previous nights of the convention, I then hung around the back tunnel where John McCain was sure to exit.  I got there just in the nick of time, and he was already there shaking hands along with Cindy McCain, Sarah Palin, Joe Lieberman, and John Voight.  There were a few people standing in front of me so I wasn’t able to shake any of their hands, but I did get some great pictures of all four of them.

I would finally like to extend some thank-yous and acknowledgments to the people that made this a great and successful experience for me.  First, to Dr. Ruth Ost and the Vice Provost’s Office that initiated and funded the program.  Second, to Dr. Robin Kolodny, who prepared me so well for what I experienced in her class I took in the spring.  Lastly, to my parents, who always support everything I do.  What an unbelievable experience the last two weeks have been for me.  Having got a taste of what a convention is like, I know for sure that Minneapolis will not be the last city I visit for a Republican National Convention.  The true question is not if I go to another convention, but in what capacity (perhaps delegate, congressman, senator, or nominee!)?


The gloves come off
September 4, 2008, 5:01 pm
Filed under: Republican National Convention

Admittedly, the gloves came off last night and many of the speeches by the keynote speakers criticized Barack Obama.  The big guns of Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Rudy Giuliani all threw punches at Obama, but I still think that they balanced it well with complimenting and promoting John McCain and Sarah Palin.  Rudy spoke right before Sarah Palin, and really got the crowd fired up with a very entertaining speech.  But when the Governor of Alaska was announced, the roof nearly flew off the arena.  The place erupted with cheers and excitement as Sarah Palin took the stage.  With millions of people watching around the world (perhaps even more than watched Barack Obama a week ago), she delivered a phenomenal speech that surely gained the attention of Republican, Independents, and Democrats alike. 

Following her speech, I ran the digital camera cards to the darkroom, and then I realized that she was likely to walk by.  I waited there for about fifteen minutes, and then she was in sight.  As she walked down the hallway, she shook every persons hand.  She stopped right in front of me and started talking to the Congressman that I was standing next to.  I took a great picture of her, and her husband and child are also in the background.  Then she came to me, I was able to shake her hand as well.  To me, this reveals her genuine and sincere personality and her ability to relate to the common person, and is why I think she is going to win John McCain this election!

Sound bite of the day: “You wanna know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull…the lipstick!” -Sarah Palin

GOP Pep Rally
September 4, 2008, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Republican National Convention

Because Monday was an abbreviated session due to Hurricane Gustav, Tuesday night really got the ball rolling.  The lineup of speakers was impressive, and they certainly lived up to their expectations.  The entire arena was electric as Laura Bush, Fred Thompson, Joe Lieberman, and President Bush delivered positive speeches that highlighted the achievements and heroism of John McCain.  The atmosphere felt like a pep rally, and everyone was cheering for the same guy.  It was like an Eagles game with not a single Cowboys fan in the stands!  Everyone was fired up!  In my opinion, this is what I think the Republicans have done tremendously right and that the Democrats have done terribly wrong.  Although I am sure the time will come when speeches will be delivered to identify the weaknesses of Barack Obama, Tuesday night focused on John McCain, what he has done, and what he can do when he is elected president.  The speeches were inspirational and uplifting, not negative and condescending.  I think this is the way the Republicans should move forward in the campaign by stressing John McCain’s record and achievements.  Barack Obama’s flaws need to be exposed, but McCain’s entire campaign should not be centered on it.

The people on the stage weren’t the only people the media wanted to hear from, though.  Apparently, they also want to hear from me!  Yesterday, I was interviewed by MTV News (I hope everyone in Temple’s cafeteria saw me!) and also by the BBC.  As a young Republican, they wanted to know what I thought of President Bush not being here, the choice of Sarah Palin as VP, and why I support John McCain.  It was all very exciting, and I am sure that the British will love my opinions.  I also appeared on Fox News standing behind Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmerer while they broadcasted live from the convention floor.  I hope all of you dedicated Fox fans saw me!

On my way leaving the convention last night, I also bumped into Karl Rove.  Mr. Rove is despised by most liberals, mostly for being the smartest man in politics and getting George W. Bush elected twice!  But I would like to clear up the fact that Karl Rove is an absolute gentleman and a really nice guy.  He took picture with everyone who wanted them while fending off a dozen or so reporters.

Me and Karl Rove

Me and Karl Rove

Star Struck
September 2, 2008, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Republican National Convention

Yesterday the convention began, along with my internship working with the Pioneer Press.  I showed up to the convention center early to be able to roam around.  I started walking down Radio Row where dozens of radio show hosts are broadcasting their programs to millions of listeners all over the country.  One of the first people I saw was Brian Kilmeade from Fox and Friends.  He was interviewing former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, about three feet in front of me.

Brian Kilmeade (right) and Newt Gingrich (left)

Brian Kilmeade (right) and Newt Gingrich (left)

I really lucked out in being granted full floor access for the convention.  My job is to run digital camerica cards from the photographer to dark room, and also to get names and information from people who the photographer took pictures of.  It is a good position because I can move around on the floor and it gives me the ablility to bump into politicians and TV personalities left and right.  Yesterday alone, I ran into Mitt Romney, Sean Hannity, Cindy McCain and got within arms reach of Laura Bush.  Unfortuately, I was unable to get pictures with any of these people, but I did get a close shot when Laura Bush walked by.

Lastly, on my way walking out, I spotted Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.  I easily approached him and told him that I heard him speak when he came to Temple in the spring. 

Party time!
September 2, 2008, 4:08 pm
Filed under: Republican National Convention

As the delegates rolled on in, so did the caterers and parties!  Saturday night, thousands of media from around the country gathered at a wonderful venue along the Mississippi River to have a fun time before the main events unfold.  Journalists, reporters, photographers, and somehow I, all enjoyed the great food and drink provided.  One of my few goals going into this convention was to meet and have my picture taken with Megyn Kelly, a Fox News info-babe.  With the anticipation that she would be there, I kept a watchful eye out for her, and when I spotted her, I immediately ran up to her for a photo-op. 

Me with Megyn Kelly

Me with Megyn Kelly

The following day, I was contacted by my local delegates from Luzerne County, PA, and they invited me to the Delegation Party Sunday night.  It was a huge event that all the delegates from across the country were invited to hosted at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  A exhibit called Civic Fest was also going on, which displayed tons of historic presidential memorabilia.  Included were Richard Nixon’s Air Force One, dozens of dresses worn by First Ladies, FDR’s presidential limo, and even an exact replica of the White House with all the rooms decorated with every last detail to accurately represent the White House, just to name a few.  Again, fantastic food was served, perhaps even better than the night before. 

Me with Paul DeFabo and Delores Strish

Me with Delegates Paul DeFabo and Delores Strish