I have arrived in St. Paul and finally checked into my room a mere 13 hours after leaving my house at 3:00 AM this morning. I just finished my first official vote as an alternate delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention, a roll call vote. We heard from our Delegation President Congressman John Bozeman, got organized, and passed out creditals and passes for the week. The two biggest topics of discussion right now are Hurricane Gustav and the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as our Vice Presidential nominee.
First, on the positive note, everyone is so excited about Gov. Palin. It seems everyone from across the Party agrees that this is a very smart pick. Jim Barnett, Arkansas’ National Committeeman, told the story to the delegation of when he heard the announcement. On Friday morning, Mr. Barnett was meeting with the Rules Committee when a young lady with the RNC staff came in and announced it to the Committee with a tear in her eyes. The Rules Committee (and the Arkansas Delegation after hearing this story) broke into thunderous applause. The base is energized!
Second, of course, everyone is watching what will happen with Hurricane Gustav. The immediate concern is for the people who live on the coast. The second question is what to do about the Convention schedule. The news is that we will have a short business session tomorrow and that President Bush will not be speaking as originally planned. We share a hotel with the Mississippi delegation and it is crawling with reporters looking for someone to interview. A dozen reporters must have asked me if I am “disappointed” that the President is not going to be here. Obviously, I am disappointed I will not be able to see the President but he is exactly where he should be, doing exactly what we needs to be doing.
Finally on a lighter note, I thought you would all enjoy seeing this video of me arriving at the airport. I met Jim Edward, better known as the Huckabee cowboy hat guy. If you saw any coverage of Huckabee’s Iowa caucus victory party or the Super Tuesday watch party in Little Rock, then you saw Mr. Edwards with Huckabee stickers all over his cowboy hat. He is here as a delegate from Texas and now has McCain and “NoObama” stickers on his famous hat. I think Gov. Huckabee would approve!