Sunday, August 26, 2012

#GOP2012: Sunday 2315 hrs

I made it to Tampa, and I am ensconced in my basic yet serviceable hotel.  There appears to be a bit of a caste system at play here, in that the state delegations are largely housed at the outlying hotels some distance from where the action is, and the hotels close to the site of the convention tend to be where the trade associations etc. are.  The hotels are nicer close in, too.

Left BWI about an hour late, with bad storms in the Baltimore area making me think I wouldn't get out of town.  Had the flight been canceled, my trip to Tampa would be a wash, as the flights here tomorrow are all but canceled already.  There were a number of folks on the flight heading down to the convention, most could be discerned by that lean and hungry Republican look on their face.  Upon landing, I got in my rent-a-car and proceeded down toward the site of the convention to the Westin Hotel, there to pick up a number of tasty credentials provided to me courtesy of my favorite Democratic lobbyist and his connections with Republican friends.  Love the way this stuff works.

I'm figuring stuff out, and I'll be sure to bring you along, but it looks like the five hours or so each night in the convention center is only a small part of what can be found during this week.  There are breakfasts, and lunches and cocktail parties, and lectures, and workshops, and parties.  And more parties.  And bands.  And parties.  Each of these parties, and bands require a credential of some kind.  I hear there is quite a market for trading of credentials...developing.

I am here as a guest of the Maryland delegation, courtesy of a well-placed contribution to the Maryland GOP.  The Maryland delegates have pretty good floor seats--but we strap hangars are located way up in the nosebleeds.  My sojourn to the Westin resulted in my picking up credentials for "suite" access on Tuesday and Wednesday nights--and since Monday night is canceled and I'm leaving on looks like I'll be suiting it both nights.  I also got entree for a Montgomery Gentry concert and a Kid Rock concert, Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

The scene by the convention site looks like the Green Zone in Baghdad.  Roadblocks, checkpoints, uniforms everywhere, and earnest, sportjacketed twenty-something Republicans roaming about with half a load on.  That scene is about 7 miles from my hotel--I'm not staying with the Maryland delegation--they are across the street.  I'm with the Oklahoma delegation, and so far they are pretty tame.  I did check in with the Maryland crowd to pick up my credentials, and everyone seemed very nice.

I'm not much of a night owl, so the pace here may be a bit much for me.  I'll have to get my game face on if I'm to party through the night after the proceedings.  As for the weather, well, the leading edge of the hurricane is knocking on our door, with winds picking up and a steady rain falling.  I have a feeling tomorrow could largely be spent indoors. All of the proceedings are canceled tomorrow, but the parties will likely go on.

I'll be Tweeting like a big dog from 4PM on during the convention, and you can follow me at @ConsWahoo on Twitter.  I'll drop blog entries now and again here to synthesize and summarize my thoughts. 

1 comment:

Tom de Plume said...

I like the comment about the "lean and hungry Republican look". Reminds me of the line at the movies on Saturday and noticing that the serious adults were there to see "2016".

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