Volunteering at the Republican National Convention – Day 3
Wednesday, September 3, 2008. Gerine and I get to the convention early to investigate what’s on the other floors. We looked at the vendors (technical name for Gift Shop) and decided what we wanted to buy on the last day. We made it to our respective posts by 4:00pm – Gerine is guarding the convention and campaign headquarters and I’m by my elevator on the Club level. Security Guard Wendy is there waiting for me. By today I finally know where everything is and don’t give out any bad instructions (that I know of).
At around 5:30pm, Jazz musician Al Williams and his band start playing. These musicians are fantastic. I’m swaying in the hall to the music and Security Guard Wendy is starring at me giving me that ‘frown’ look. Obviously she has never seen an old guy move to the beat before.
At 6:00pm the convention is called to order. The Pledge of Allegiance is recited and Trace Adkins sings the National Anthem. Wow! That guy can sing!
The time between 6:00pm and 9:00pm is filled with speakers including business leaders Meg Whitman, former eBay President and CEO, and Carly Fiorina, former HP Chairman and CEO. Others include Michael Steele, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.
The featured speeches tonight are by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Governor Sarah Palin (AK). They will go on at 9:00pm Central time – prime time on all the networks. There is a LCD TV on the wall across the hall from where I am standing with CNN on it. CNN has a Sarah Palin Speech countdown timer in the lower right hand corner. It started ‘ticking’ (BTW, not a word to mention out loud when stationed by the Secret Service) 3 hours and 30 minutes before her she was to take the stage.
As it gets closer to 9:00pm, the Excel Center starts to fill up. By the time Rudy Giuliani is halfway through his speech there is no one left in the hall – except for Security Guard Wendy, me and a lot of law enforcement. By 9:30pm the Excel Energy Center is packed, from floor delegates all they way up to the top seats. This means I have nothing to do and I can finally listen to some speakers.
When Sarah Palin comes on to the stage the audience goes wild. She hasn’t even spoken a word yet and the crowds are going crazy. She accepts the nomination for Vice-President and there is an eruption of noise. As soon as she starts her speech I sit down with some of the other volunteers and get to hear most of her speech. All I can say is I laughed so hard that I cried. The speech was funny and well delivered – with a smile on her face.
After the Palin speech the RNC has to do a roll call where each state tells the chairman how many votes go to who. John McCain needs 1,171 votes to be nominated as the Republican candidate. When the votes get to 1,121 the rest of the states pass their vote to let the Arizona’s delegates be the ones to push it over 1,171. Arizona votes, John McCain gets nominated and now all the states that ‘passed’ their votes get to cast their votes. Every state tells a story, a speech and their votes.
Gerine and I get done at 11:30pm.
Tonight’s Celebrity Watch:
- Mitt Romney
- Ron Paul
- Mo Rocca
- Charlie Daniels (The Devil Went Down To Georgia)
- Michael Medved
- Mitt Romney
- Mo Rocca
- Neil Cavuto (Fox News)
Gerine talks with:
- Ron Paul
- Dick Morris (Frequently on Fox News)
- Charlie Daniels
- Jay Sekulow (ACLJ.org)
- Jason Lewis (Local Radio Talk Show Host)
- Tom Hauser (Local TV Host)
- Robert Davi (Actor)
Celebrity Stats through Wednesday: Todd – 5, Gerine – 19.