Sunday, June 22, 2008

Texas GOP Convention - Day Two (6/13/08)

The first order of business today was Senate District Caucus meetings, scheduled from 9am - 11am. Unfortunately I had some work to do from my hotel room so missed the SD16 Caucus meeting. I showed up at the LCR hotel suite at about 11:30am and ran into my friends Ranil & Craig. We were all hungry so decided to go grab a bite.

On our way out, we noticed that Newt Gingrich had just arrived at the convention center and was walking our way. We decided to stick around for a few minutes to see if we could get closer to him. Newt proceeded to take a seat behind a table that had been set up for him & he began to sign copies of his latest book - see top pic above. It was amazing the crowd that swarmed around him. Newt still has rock star appeal among the party faithful - including me! We took a few pics of Newt but it was hard to get too close because it was an absolute mob scene!

Craig drove us to a Greek restaurant where we enjoyed a nice lunch. We got back to the convention center just in time for the start of the Second General Session at 1pm. The speakers today were fantastic! Newt kicked things off with a great speech focused on how we need to DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW, PAY LESS! An aside: if you haven't already signed his petition please do so right away. Other speakers were:

- Hon. Kay Bailey Hutchison, U.S. Senator
- Hon. John Cornyn, U.S. Senator
- Hon. Mike Huckabee, Former Governor of Arkansas
- Hon. Jerry Patterson, TX Land Commissioner

We then got down to business with the reports of the permanent committees (Credentials, Organization, Nominating, Rules, & Platform). This part of the afternoon seemed to drag on. The platform changes were approved all at once without much drama. I cast a symbolic "Nay" vote since LCR's resolution to remove anti-gay language from the platform wasn't even considered by the state platform committee.

Immediately after the General Session, we proceeded to CD Caucus meetings. Our CD32 meeting of ~ 150 people seemed quite cozy compared to the General Sessions of ~ 10,000. The CD Caucus meetings were the last "official" business of the day. Then it was off to dinner.

The GOP Dinner was supposed to start at 7pm but was delayed to 7:30pm since the General Session ran longer than scheduled. However, this still didn't give us enough time to go back to our rooms to change clothes so we went as is - much more casual than planned. The keynote dinner speaker was the Honorable Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts & former presidential candidate. Mitt gave an inspiring speech & encouraged everyone to support our nominee - John McCain.

After dinner, it was time to party! Rob, David, Ranil, Craig and I stopped into Borah Van Dormolen's party. Borah was one of the two candidates running for Republican National Committee (RNC) National Committeewoman. Most everyone I know was supporting Borah since she is conservative yet appears to be much more inclusive than her opponent.

Ranil, Craig and I then headed down the hall to the Lone Star Salute Party honoring the Republican State Senators - see bottom pic above. This party was a blast! They had an open bar so we consumed a few adult beverages. They also had a live band. It was an honor to meet Lt. Governor David Dewhurst at the party and get my picture taken with him - see middle pic above.

Thus concluded a VERY long day! Day Three to follow.

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