Day Two:Afternoon and EveningSeptember 3rd, 2008 at 3:55 pm by Bryan Meals under Politics
Yesterday afternoon, we went to a reception sponsored by the Vets for Freedom project. It was a salute to our troops and it was held at a restored train depot. It was a beautiful facility, the food was great and it was an honor to be among so many of our American heroes. Among the many attendees were members of the cast of the movie “An American Carol” that we saw on Sunday. For the first time in my life, I met an academy award winner. Jon Voight was kind enough to pose for a picture! It was a thrill. I also had a chance to talk with Kevin Farley, the star of the movie. He was as nice a guy as you will ever meet and looks just like his deceased brother Chris. We heard from several speakers, including Mr. Voight, who is rumored to be eyeing a run for the senate in California. We also heard from Colonel Bud Day, who was a POW with Senator McCain in the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam and a medal of honor winner. What an amazing man. He escaped from the prison camp and walked in the jungle for weeks, surviving on berries, rain water and raw frogs, only to be recaptured and tortured by the Vietcong. He spoke of the values of character, judgment and resolve, all of which Senator McCain has in spades. It was a moving tribute.
Then it was off to the Xcel Center for the second day of the convention. The place was packed with even more people and reporters than the first day. The convention was back on track with only a few minor changes. The clear highlight of the night was the keynote address by former Senator Fred Thompson. It was by far the best speech he’s ever delivered and one of the best I’ve ever heard. Had he given more like that on the campaign trail, he might be the one accepting the nomination tomorrow night. President George H.W. Bush was there, as was the entire Bush family, except President George W. Bush, who addressed us from the White House via satellite. He was clearly moved as he described the strength of character of Senator McCain and urged us all to work hard for his election. The final speaker of the evening was Senator Joe Lieberman, the Democrat candidate for Vice President in 2000. He gave a strong defense of why he was supporting Senator McCain for president and pointedly noted that, though a fine person, Senator Obama was not ready to be the President of the United States. The convention was electric last night. The excitement was palbable as speaker after speaker hailed the McCain/Palin ticket and we all look forward to hearing from our two candidates in the nights to come.
After the convention, we attended a party sponsored by McGuireWoods Consulting. I saw many old friends there, including the head of my lawfirm, Tom Cabiness and Frank Atkinson of McGuireWoods Consulting. Also in attendance were former Senator George Allen and his wife Susan and former Governor Jim Gilmore. The party was held at the Nyes Polonaise Room, a venerable institution in Minneapolis. The venue had three floors and on the top floor, we listen to the “Worlds Most Dangerous Polka Band”. I must confess, I’d never been to a “polka bar” before, but it was a lot of fun.
Tonight is the big night where we get to meet our next Vice President, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. She has been and will continue to be the talk of this convention and we are all excited to hear from her.