Sunday was travel day in my quest to document the GOP Convention:
The alarm went off way too early this morning – 3:15 am – to be exact. I slowly slipped out of bed and got my self together for a 4 am shuttle pick-up.
Not such a bad deal, right? However, my flight was scheduled to leave at 8 am, and I live 30 minutes away from PHL. Thanks to Dave’s shuttle service, I found myself at Philly’s Airport watching a spectacular sunrise as I sat at my assigned gate. Wolf Blitzer buzzed in the background relentlessly obsessing over hurricanes Gustav and Katrina.
According to Air Trans flight schedules, I had to fly south on order to go north. The journey to MSP had a pit stop in Atlanta, Georgia. The first leg of this flight was lightly filled and I had the luxury of a row of seats to myself. Atlanta to MSP was a whole different enchilada. A two hour layover in Atlanta was spent in a one sided ‘discussion’ of ethanol as a the alternative energy source. Yikes, lobbyists! On a GOP delegate packed flight, I had the honor of spending quality time with Mr. Marbles, a rather large and rather drugged cat. His owner had her own set of peculiarities, such as covering Mr. Marbles in her lap with her skirt, hoping the stewards would not notice. Oh, the joys of travel.
At long last, I reached Minneapolis-St.Paul and all was golden. A quick phone call to the hotel and a shuttle was dispatched to whisk me to my final destination. The concierge was careful to describe the shuttle van – White with Marriot written on the sides. Within 10 minutes a white van with Marriot written on the side pulls up and I am leaping out to greet him. “Airport Marriot?”, he asks. That would be me, I told him as I tossed him my suitcase and jumped in the shuttle. It turns out he meant another ‘airport’ Marriot than the one I meant. The good people at the wrong Marriot explained to me that they could not shuttle me to the Marriot where I had reservations, but would take me back to the airport shuttle pick up, where I could wait for the right shuttle. Yep, I could not make this stuff up, even if I tried.
Once at my hotel, I had to quickly request a cab to get to Minneapolis Convention Center to pick up my press credentials. Shuttle service does not start till Monday. Brilliant, just brilliant. On the way to the Convention center my cabbie, named Muhammed Ali, struck up a conversation with me regarding all the planning going on for the convention. He asked if I worked as a journalist, and I quickly informed him that I am a blogger. He began relating his encounter with journalists he recently transported between St. Paul and Minnesota. He mentioned their comments stating the DNC convention was a great party and they weren’t too pleased to have to cover the RNC. Interesting factoid, no?
I wandered outside the convention center after collecting my press credentials, where I encountered Code Pink in anemic numbers. Susie Benjamin was present, and I noted that she had no fake press pass on her person. I videotaped a discussion with one of the Pinkies. A waste of good space on the hard drive! Not thirty feet from the clueless peaceniks were two gentlemen handing out copies of “Obsession”, quite the juxtaposition of women without a clue and noble intellectualism with South Beach style.
Minneapolis is a fantastic city to walk about. I took some time to walk along Marquette Street taking photos as the images presented themselves to me, before heading back to St. Paul. Another impression of this city comes from its citizens. They are the most sincerely friendly people I’ve come across – outside of the Sheepdogs.
Fantabulous discussion with cabbie on way back to my hotel. I got a good feel of the mid western perception on social and political issues. Governer Pawlenty was mentioned often, I am considering recruiting Pawlenty to run for Governor in Pennsylvania. As Pennsylvania is in desperate need of principled leadership and good governance. Oh, I had plenty time to discuss these issues as the cabbie got lost on the way to my hotel. He stopped the counter when he realized his mistake. Like I said above, quite good people.
It was a long day but well worth the opportunity to be part of history in the making. I would not change this day, no matter what may come.
My fellow contributers at Flopping Aces have done a fabulous job of introducing McCain’s VP running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin. Most notable is Mata’s report on Palin’s TrooperGate. Go check out the outstanding coverage over at Flopping Aces.
The Wall Street Journal has posted a excerpt of a conversation with Gov. Palin. The full article will be posted in the premier edition of WSJ Magazine on September 6h. This teaser article shows a capable, multitasking woman who places a healthy lifestyle in high regard. If she slacks off on her exercise schedule, the only person she blames is herself. That says a lot about her character, one that I respect even more after reading this excerpt:
Gov. Sarah Palin has always been a runner. Her parents were marathoners and high school track and cross-country coaches. “Running was a family affair,” she says. “I didn’t have much choice. Thankfully, I’ve never tired of it.”
Gov. Palin, a mother of five kids, says exercise is still very much a “family thing.” She and her husband, Todd, also an athlete, named their first son Track because he was born in that sport’s season. Gov. Palin (above, near Mendenhall Glacier, outside of Juneau) and her family live in Wasilla, about 45 miles north of Anchorage.
“Being pregnant every few years. If I get lazy and go weeks or months without exercising it’s not because of circumstances but because I’m being less disciplined. Shame on me.”
She brings to the McCain campaign an impeccable CV, she is the right PERSON for the job , and not simply the first woman to occupy the Naval Observatory. Unlike our own Madame Speaker who proudly boasted she got the job by ‘cutting in line‘. The difference is everything.
I have stated in a previous Vlog that the GOP convention is an historic event – now it is even more so. I am so proud to have the opportunity to be part of this history, or should I say HERstory. Congratulations, Sarah Palin – you’ve got my vote!
Another notable Republican woman: Cindy McCain visits Georgia:
It’s not every aspiring First Lady whose comfort zone is a war zone, but such is the case for Cindy McCain, who left today on a mission to Georgia to assess the civilian casualties of the Russian invasion.
McCain is traveling with the U.N.’s World Food Programme, whose work she monitored in Southeast Asia and Africa this spring and summer. McCain plans to meet with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and to visit wounded Georgian soldiers. She would also visit representatives of the HALO Trust, which works to remove land mines and on whose board she serves.
Cindy McCain said she has been trying to get into Georgia since the conflict started, but it took time to arrange the logistics. Her husband, she said, is “very supportive. As soon as he saw what was happening — he and I, we connect on many levels. I mean, he knew immediately [that I would want to go]. I’ve been to Georgia with him; I know the country.”
Both women are remarkable role models for women of all ages!
Inspired by the 2005 World Tribunal:
Fox News Reports:
Aug. 26: In this photo released by the Iraqi police, a girl suspected of being a suicide bomber is seen handcuffed to railings in a street in Baqouba.
Iraqi police released dramatic photos of a teenage girl who apparently was ready to blow herself up in front of a school in Baqouba.
When police approached her outside the school Sunday afternoon, she was crying and gave no indication she knew about the explosives she was wearing under her colorful robes.
The girl, who identified herself as Rania, told police that she was wearing a vest — which turned out to be packed with 33 pounds of explosives — and that two women, perhaps her husband’s relatives, had told her to wait outside the school. She said her husband personally had fitted her for the vest.
This child and her husband are rising up against an oppressive force, school children. Killing these children is the most effective way to drive away the US and Coalition ‘occupiers’ – don’t you know? If that is the case, can we attribute this attempt at ‘liberation’ to the NION’s in West Chester?
I Wish I Owned Eight
There are several problems with the attack on McCain’s seven houses. And when I say “problems,” I don’t mean just logical problems but also political problems. In order to make a class resentment case against a wealthy politician, you have to make two points: First, you have to establish the candidate’s great wealth. Next, and this is the critical step, you have to show that the candidate’s wealth has separated him from the common man.
This is a tough case to make against McCain because of his life story. While it makes lefty heads pop off every time McCain loyalists point to his military service, McCain shared in the greatest challenges that his generation faced. As the left has often pointed out with evident glee, this was not the case with many wealthy Republican office-seekers who came of age in the Vietnam era.
And then there are the optics of John McCain himself. If McCain spends a lot of money on his wardrobe, it doesn’t show. He may wear $550 loafers, but (and I say this respectfully), he still manages to look extremely frumpy. He doesn’t wind-surf or snow-board. Having been laid as low in his life as he was in Vietnam, McCain just doesn’t come across as the kind of rich guy who floats above the concerns of the ordinary citizen.
So what are the Democrats left with? They’re left complaining that McCain has too much wealth. And they’re left with a guy who made $4 million last year to push that case. Honestly, if they were really intent on pursuing the class warfare angle, surely they could have come up with a cleaner narrative.
BOOM! Dean Barnett nails it!