Ron Talcott, a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Tacoma, says the Washington delegation found plenty to do today despite the weather-related delay. Delegates are gearing up for a packed couple of days as party officials try to get business done in a shorter time frame.
This morning, the Washington Delegation convened for breakfast at 9 and heard from Citizens United President David Bossie. He told us what his organization is doing and about their new film, “The Hope and The Change.” It will be on several cable channels in September/October. It examines the journey of forty Americans – Democrats and Independents – who supported and voted for President Obama four years ago and how they feel about his presidency now.
The rest of the day was “off.” The weather is warm with rain showers and some minor wind. It would be like home on the Sound if it was not warm and humid. Many of the delegation joined together to see the new Dinesh D’Souza film, “2016: Obama’s America.” On the way back to the hotel, many of us stopped by a Chick-Fil-A restaurant for dinner. We should have some in Washington. Good chicken sandwich!
We have been received with great warmth by Tampa citizens and those in surrounding communities. Lots of Welcome 2012 RNC signs in businesses. Tampa has fielded a huge (hundreds, maybe thousands) volunteer organization to assist convention attendees. They are everywhere in “uniform” shirts to identify them. They answer questions, give directions, open doors, walk with umbrellas and help in every conceivable way. Tampa can be proud of its citizens who have been so kind, thoughtful and welcoming.
The security we have seen has been overwhelming. There are officers on bicycles, horses, foot and in squad cars in Tampa and in the areas where we are staying in Clearwater, about 15 miles west of Tampa on the outer islands. We have one or two officers in each hotel, on our buses, just everywhere you look. It is fantastic. And they are all friendly and helpful men and women. Many thanks to the police and sheriffs. The officer on our bus coming back from the welcome reception at the Tampa Rays baseball field last night was from Tallahassee. Our bus driver was from Georgia. Tampa has pulled out all the stops to make certain this convention is a success and uneventful from demonstrators and others who might threaten delegates.
We are meeting for breakfast on Tuesday at 9 am and will hear from Governor McDonnell of Virginia and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. We board the busses at noon and go to the Forum to begin our business. It will be a late night to get two days of business done in one day.
There is a lot of excitement in our delegation and in others we have come in contact with. Our hotel is also hosting the Montana Delegation. We have many in our delegation with connections or roots in Montana, so that too has been fun.
We are exceptionally proud of our delegation chair, US Congresswoman Cathy Rodgers. As the ranking Republican woman in House of Representatives, she will be involved in the convention daily. She would be a great story in her own right. We are also enjoying the company of State Senator Dino Rossi and several other current elected officials and former officials. We also have many great, average citizens who have given their time and treasure to come to Tampa to add their energy and ideas to the Republican Team.