Bobby On The Loose!

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

Sarah Who?
August 30, 2008, 3:04 pm
Filed under: Republican National Convention

Yesterday morning I turned on the TV and learned that Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty were officially out of consideration to be McCain’s VP.  Then they began to talk about Sarah Palin, and I said to myself “Sarah who?”  While I was happy to hear a lot of speculation focus on a woman candidate, I was still unsure of how to feel since I have never even heard of this lady before. 

During the morning session, they streamed in McCain’s announcement live so we could all watch.  Everyone at that point had been well assured she was the pick, so it was no surprise when the official announcement came.  And then she spoke, and I was wildly surprised.  I thought she spoke exceptionally and I think she brings a lot of attractive values to the ticket.  She is definitely very conservative, which was important in a pick to assure that the Evangelicals come out to vote on Election Day.  But what I liked most about her is that she is a Washington outsider.  That seems obvious, but what I mean by that is that she didn’t get involved in politics because she wanted to make it a career, she did so because she saw something that needed to be changed and she did it.  She didn’t plan to rise up the ranks and eventually be the governor of Alaska, but as she got involved in city council and then mayor, she saw even more challenges that needed to be faced.  Even though she is “inexperienced,” I still feel as if she is one of the only candidates who was able to give a speech about the accomplishments she had in office, not just attack the other person.  She also brings energy to the Republican Party.  Is going to attract many Hillary Clinton voters?  Probably not.  But I think she will get conservative women out the polls, a group of people who may have otherwise not voted in this election. 

No matter what happens on November 4, it is going to be historical.  Either the first African American will be elected president or the first female will be elected vice president.

Sound bite of the day: “…reform…” -Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) (Finally the Republicans have found a synonym for the word “change”)

How did a chair nearly end up in the TV?
August 29, 2008, 4:26 am
Filed under: Republican National Convention

Because I nearly threw a chair into the TV while watching Lord Barack Obama’s speech tonight.  No number of eloquent words can begin to describe the frustration I experienced as I watched a man in contention to be our next president describe policies so insulting to what it means to be an American.  Just typing this blog angers me to think that the Democratic nominee for president has such flawed and unrealistic economic ideas that could damage our economy in a very severe way.  How does passing out entitlements benefit the economy of the United States?  How does subsidizing health care create a better economic environment for America?  How does raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy create more jobs for this country?  How does blaming George W. Bush for a housing crisis that was out of his hands and an unpreventable natural disaster that hit New Orleans make sense?  How does promising to be independent of foreign oil in ten years seem to be a realistic outlook on the future?  And how does Barack Obama wearing a $2,000 suit relate him to the common man and the struggles he claims they face?  These were just a few of the gripes I had as I watched The Messiah promise policies so out of touch with reality.  These are just a few of the reasons why I nearly threw a chair at the TV.  Was the speech orated masterfully…absolutely.  Do the Republicans need to dazzle in Minneapolis…without question.

Sound bite of the day: “If you are not liberal when you are young, you have not heart.  If you are not conservative when you are old, you have no brain.” -I didn’t hear it today, but I did at some point in time from either Ana, Amanda, or Ruth.

The reason I make that the sound bite of the day is because I have been thinking a lot about the youth support Barack Obama has.  Every corner I turn on Temple’s campus, there seems to always be someone with a Obama t-shirt or someone handing out fliers.  But I think Obama winning based on the ignorance of college students is also a scary thought.  In my opinion, people my age are voting on emotion.  The question is, are they going to be able to live with the repercussions that will exist years down the road when so much of their hard earned money is being subject to unbelievably high taxes?  It is a question that not even I can answer now, but one that will eventually be answered if Barack Obama is elected.

The rise of the executive branch.
August 28, 2008, 4:13 am
Filed under: Republican National Convention
Me and Former Congressman Mickey Edwards

Me and Former Congressman Mickey Edwards

This morning’s business got a little heated when former Congressman Mickey Edwards gave his presentation on something that he wrote about in his book, “Reclaiming Conservatism.”  In it, he discusses how Congressional power has decreased while the president has gained authority dating back to FDR, particularly in foreign affairs.  Many Americans view the president as a leader and figure head of our country, however, the Constitution states that we have three equal branches of government.  Despite being a passionate conservative his entire life, he talked about his grievances he has with the Bush Administration in regards to such advances in power.  He believes that in a number of instances, the Bush Administration has done things that violate the Constitution and the concept of checks and balances by not having Congress approve some of Bush’s actions, such as the wire tapping.  As he made some of these accusations, a number of people began to get upset.  One student raised his hand and began shouting at Congressman Edwards, more or less insinuating that Congressman Edwards was being a liberal and that a true conservatives voice should be represented in this debate (although he was unwilling to debate.  Congressman Edwards defended his conservatism in saying that while he agrees with President Bush in policy, he doesn’t in many cases with the procedures Bush has taken to get what he wants. 

After this happened, I sat back and analyzed both people’s positions and came to the conclusion that in reality, Congressman Edwards was being even more conservative than President Bush.  In requesting Congress to reduce some power of the executive branch, it is limiting the central government, and that is what conservatism is all about.  It is probably safe to say that much of Congressman Edwards bias comes from having served time as a Representative in the House, so that should be taken into consideration.  It is also important to look at technological advances that has made quick decision making by the president essential, typically not leaving time to wait for Congress to vote on whatever measures need to be taken.  However, the scary thought is what precedent have presidents of the past, including but not limited to George W. Bush, created that could continue the expansion of the executive branch and giving it excessive power?  As a passionate conservative myself, I stand with Congressman Edwards in agreeing with Bush policies, but not necessarily procedures in all cases, and that checks and balances need to be restored to proper function to maintain democracy. 

Outside of the Xcel Energy Center

Outside of the Xcel Energy Center

After all of the rousing discussion, we were bussed to the Xcel Energy Center where we got a behind the scenes look as the venue for the convention was being set up.  The technology and design of the building are incredible.  It is sure to be a glamorous event.

Sound bite of the day: “I have watched how Barack Obama touches people.” -Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE)

Why we have conventions.
August 27, 2008, 4:07 am
Filed under: Republican National Convention

Today Jo Ann Davidson, the Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee, spoke to us about the importance of conventions for political parties.  Despite the media’s portrayal of a National Convention as simply being a huge celebration (I even commented tonight that the DNC seemed to be like the Academy Awards), there is a lot of behind the scenes work that happens that essentially helps clearly define what a particular party stands for.  For example, one of the most important tasks of a convention is setting and adopting the rules and platform of a political party.  Unlike the Democrats, the rules established at the RNC are set in stone and cannot be changed until four years later when the entire party reconvenes at the following convention, which makes them very important.

As the current Co-Chair of the RNC, she next discussed the site selection for a political convention which I found to be quite interesting.  The first step is to send out letters to a variety of cities to find out which ones would be interested in hosting such an event.  For this particular convention, the Republicans heard back from Cleavland, Tampa Bay, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and once again New York City (NYC hosted the 2004 Republican National Convention).  After receiving these responses, it was next their duty to tour the cities and venues to see which would be capable of holding such a massive event.  In the end, the final decision was based on the facilities and whether or not the community would welcome the event.

Many people have come to oppose political conventions because they believe that increased technology makes them unnecessary.  There are also many obstacles when planning conventions, such as security and raising enough money.  Although each party receives a certain amount of money for their conventions, that hardly puts a dent in the total cost and it is up to the party to foot the rest of the bill.  However, conventions are still important because they energize supporters to do what needs to happen to get their candidate elected.

We also took a four hour bus tour of Minneapolis/St. Paul and of the Minnesota Capitol Building.  While Minneapolis and St. Paul are beautiful cities with their lakes and access to the Mississippi River, I find that both towns lack the historical background of Philadelphia, which made the tour somewhat boring, however that certainly won’t interfere with what is to happen in the coming week.  We ended the bus ride at the Minnesota State Fair and I ate a lot of fried food on a stick (enough said).

Sound bite of the day: “…sisterhood of the travelling pant suit…” -Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)