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Convention Day 2 – I ride the elevator from the 5th floor to breakfast, and everyone who gets on has a smile. The conversations are about what time to get to the floor of the convention. Some will walk over early and try to catch some of the constant news coverage offered by the cable networks, and perhaps be seen in the background by friends and neighbors. Others will be going on the Minnesota Zephyr, a train ride and luncheon through Stillwater.

At 7:45 a.m., Secret Service linger in the lobby and the front of our hotel as we await the arrival of the all-star line up of breakfast speakers. The guests are former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson; our nominee's oldest son, Doug McCain; helicopter pilot and Baghdad POW Ron Young; Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl; and Maryland's own Everett Alvarez – the longest serving Vietnam POW and great friend of John McCain. This is the most crowded our breakfast meetings have been. It seems like every delegate and alternate has arrived on time.

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The ride on the Zephyr was very nice. There are six miles of track and we traveled at about 6 m.p.h., while being served an elegant luncheon. I had the walleye, a fish native to Canada and the lakes of Minnesota. It was the sweetest fish I ever tasted.

I was seated in the "globe" of the train, which gives a three-dimensional view of the picturesque countryside of Minnesota's first town. This is one of the many side events our delegation chairman, Don Murphy, and Maryland McCain chairman Chris Cavey arranged for us. A nice relaxing afternoon, yet I am antsy. I want to get to the Xcel Center and get this party started.

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Once on the floor, Adrienne King, a delegate from Hawaii who served with me on the Platform Committee, adorned me with a fresh lei. Anne Stephenson, president of the Tucson Republican Women tells me that since the choosing of Sarah Palin for vice president, Democrats are banging down the door to get signs and other political materials in the most liberal area of McCain's home state. Arizona is going strong, she says proudly as she slipped the state's pin into my hand.

It is again an all-star lineup as many of the top Republican politicians parade pass Maryland.

First is our former lieutenant governor, Michael Steele. He is mobbed by delegates from other states seeking pictures and autographs. Michael is well-known and obviously well-loved. He takes a break from his fans and sits with us, hanging and chatting with Marylanders.

Just as suddenly as Orrin Hatch disappeared yesterday, he appears today – and right next to me. I couldn't believe it ,since I just missed him the day before. I got my picture with the very distinguished gentleman from Utah. Later appeared Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House, followed by Karl Rove and Janet Huckabee, wife of Mike Huckabee. Everyone knows that anyone who is anyone – or has political aspirations - comes to the national convention. Obviously that is why former Pittsburgh Steeler Lynn Swann who has recently declared his Republican run for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, arrived. I got my picture with him, too.

-- Carmen Amedori

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