Convention Day 3 – There was so much action on the convention floor this evening. Upon arrival, I switched credentials with my alternate, Kelly Schultz from Frederick. I wanted to make sure that I was back in my seat for the speech by Michael Steele. That didn't happen. While in the alternate section, the McCain floor leader began handing us large handmade political signs and stated there were a few Presidential candidate Ron Paul people in the area who they suspected were going to try to disrupt some of the speeches. That didn't happen. Still, we were instructed by the young man in the yellow baseball cap to raise the signs to block any attempt made to show signs for Ron Paul. We did an awesome job. Rockin' and rollin' as the music blared and waving signs for nearly an hour before the protester revealed herself as she raised the unorthodox sign toward the TV camera. The sign was then confiscated – just as Steele was taking the stage.
In Steele-like tradition, he brought the crowd to their feet. Maryland draped the state flag over the railing. The delegates from the floor began a "call and response" chant with "Michael" as the alternates overhead responded with "Steele." We were all so proud to have our former lieutenant governor light up the opposition as he addressed such issues as energy and drilling, to which the chant "drill, baby, drill" began.
Back at my seat with the delegates, I again get a handshake with Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch – at age 74, the man looks fabulous. Joe Scarborough from Fox News came by and had a seat with the Maryland delegation – he seemed to just want to have a friendly chat. Or maybe he was trying to get to one of the Kansas delegates just in front of us. At any rate, I talked to him, shook his hand and got a picture. Which reminds me – before getting to the convention floor, I had an opportunity to meet with Jon Voight and also get a photo.
Anticipation was so high it reached the thousands of balloons wrapped tightly in the ceiling of the Xcel Center while waiting for Sarah Palin to address the convention. Jim Pelura, chair of the Maryland GOP, and Larry Helminiak discussed if she would meet the prime time deadline. Of course, the governor of Alaska hit the homerun as she attacked the opposition by contrasting her experience: "A small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities." Her speech showed that this hockey mom has a command of the issues and can be a governing partner to Sen. McCain. She resonated with mainstream America who value sense of community, faith and freedoms. Showing she is not afraid of challenging the status quo, she came across as a no-nonsense, formidable candidate for vice president of the free world. At the end of her speech, Helminiak turned to me and stated, "I'm glad I'm not a moose."
Oops: This blog post earlier gave the wrong age for Orrin Hatch. Sorry!