It's Thursday and the grand finale of the Republican National Convention takes place tonight at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Excitement has heightened with rumors of Clint Eastwood expected to be the surprise guest speaker. It's been an organized event with lots of activities and a positive attitude. The weather, so far, has been cooperating (except for the 95% humidity -- I have new respect for Floridians and their breathing capability).
So far the high points of the convention have been the various speakers -- each with their own following of loyal fans. Some follow Governor Chris Christie around and hang on his every word. Ann Romney is a new favorite with women, young, old, single, married, career and stay-at-home-Moms. Dr. Condoleezza Rice brought down the house last night when she spoke poignantly about being a little girl in the segregated south not being allowed to order a hamburger at the Woolworth's lunch counter. Yet, there is not a trace of bitterness in her voice. She said, "We have not been envious of one another. We beleive in the opportunity to extend the belief in the American Dream to all Americans". Dr. Rice is a stunner who is probably better equipped to become our next President than many who sought the nomination thus far.
There is little doubt in my mind that the speech that brought the audience to their feet in a sustained standing ovation was that of Vice Presidential nominee Congressman Paul Ryan. "College graduates have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms staring at fading Obama posters wondering when they can move out and get going with life," he said. The audience could not take their eyes off his pretty wife and darling young children. The members of the Grand Old Party is fading slowly as a new generation of bright innovative "policy wonks" (to overuse the current expression) begins to move over into the Republican spot light.
If I were an outsider at this amazing event and needed to evaluate this group of Americans, I would say they were highly patriotic, well-educated, highly principled, well-mannered and exuded tremendous class.
I'm off to find the Beach Cam now -- with any luck I should be able to post a picture of myself later today. Why can't some inventive soul in Tampa make a Pope Mobile for me? I'd be able to ride around in air-conditioned style instead of arriving at every appointment dripping wet.