Monday, August 27, 2012

#GOP2012: Monday 1430 hrs.

Morning dawned relatively calm here in Tampa, as the hurricane seems headed toward Louisiana.  Bobby Jindal has canceled his appearance here, and from his Twitter feed, it sounds as if he's doing his usual fantastic job of preparing his state for a hurricane, something his predecessor was unable to accomplish.  I rose, showered and joined the Maryland delegation for breakfast.  One of the things that I might have realized--had I ever taken the time to think about it--is the extent to which a convention like this is reflects the grassroots of a party.  As I looked around the room this morning, there were several luminaries of Maryland Republican politics, but most of the people were pretty much regular folks who passionately believe in the Republican Party and who actually DO something about it.  They aren't angling for administration jobs, they're not trying to change the world--they are simply taking action.  Much respect to these folks is due.  They are what make a political party go.

Our breakfast speaker was there ostensibly to talk about the need for an "energy policy".  That he was a nuclear industry consultant was not hidden, but I was surprised the extent to which his presentation focused on nuclear energy.  Frequent readers know I'm a huge nuclear power fan...but this guy went out of his way to take swipes at oil, coal and gas--going so far as to say that fracking causes earthquakes.  I was very happy to see a woman beat me to the punch in the Q and A and call him on it...the people sitting at my table implicitly recognized the sales pitch, but I suppose he paid for the breakfast, so we had to take it.  The rest of the delegation headed out to do touristy things--but I'm not here for that--so I headed downtown to the Bloomberg Link.

Bloomberg has taken over a floor of an office building and created this marketing hub--lots of places to check your mail, recharge your device, get a cup of coffee and listen to panel discussions.  I was there to hear a discussion on the looming trainwreck of budget sequestration, something I have great interest in as a defense consultant.  One of the great things about this place is that I am running into people I know--one of whom was a Bush Administration official with whom I discussed a "leaving the Navy" job a few years ago...the pay wasn't what I was looking for at that time in my life, and the hours would have been grueling as I was trying to get a new relationship off the ground.  I demurred, but we have remained friendly.  His name is Dave.  Dave and I hung out for a bit, then the lunch started.  I was seated next to a very attractive young lady and her mother, both with adorable southern accents.  When they were joined by the husband/father who sat down across from me, I got the rest of the story.  He was Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and he was appearing on the lunch panel  The three of us had a grand chat about the Navy, Seapower, and the fiscal crisis we face.  It was a real thrill to have a Senator sit across from me and ask "what do you think is going to happen, Bryan"? 

After lunch, I cabbed back to my hotel--or the Maryland hotel, which is across the street.  I have a rental car, but I'm relying on Cabbies to get me into downtown places, as they seem to know the blocked streets much better than my GPS does. When the cab drove me back to the Maryland hotel to get my car, sitting out front was David Gergen of CNN.  I learned the previous night that he was staying there, and while the hotel is perfectly nice, it is a statement of how far CNN has fallen that they stick him out there rather than in the high rent district where the action is.

I'm back at my hotel now, writing this and then moving on to some of my day-job work.  I will be meeting some new friends for dinner and then heading to a party in honor of Republican Women for the 23 who remain in the Party after Todd Akin....

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