Deeds has no presence in Portsmouth. No poll workers and only a handful of signs. GOP out in force in the city.
I’m out working a poll in Churchland. Lots of Mcdonnell signs and workers. There is not one sign for any Democrat running for statewide office and no poll workers.
I am helping to set up the polls in Portsmouth. Have set up 11 so far and no sign of the statewide democrat ticket. I have seen two Wagner signs so far, but none from Deeds or Shannon. We’ll see what the morning brings, but, thus far, no presence in Portsmouth for the Democrat ticket.
I am going to have to revise my prediction on the number of House seats gained by the Republicans. I now think the Republicans will likely gain 5 and maybe 6 seats in the House of Delegates tomorrow. It will be a long night for the Democrats.
The lack of excitement among Democrats is palpable, while the Republicans can’t wait for election day! McDonnell is drawing large crowds on his barnstorming tour, while the Democrats are pointing the finger at each other for the presumed GOP landsilde.
The election is mercifully winding down. The republicans seem to have the wind at their backs. It would appear that Bob McDonnell will win big which should pull a few Republican candidates for Delegate along with him. At this point, my guess would be a net gain of three seats in the House for the Republicans.
I’m back from the Republican National Convention and working hard for Senator McCain. I’d like to thank the faculty and students of Cradock Middle School for their hospitality today at a political forum. I represented Senator McCain and the Republican Party, while Tameka Winborne ably represented Senator Obama and the Democrats. We were joined by WAVY’s own Alveta Ewell who extolled the virtues of the political process and how important it is that everyone vote this and every year. It was a cordial and respectful discussion of the differences between the two candidates. It would be nice if every political exchange was as gentlemanly and ladylike. The kids were enthused and asked very good questions. I think we saw some future polticians in the audience.
We were asked to arrive early for the final day of the convention for “security reasons.” Since I arrived so early, I had an opportunity to wander the floor and mingle with other delegations. I met numerous political reporters, including Carl Cameron, Bill Hemmer and Megan Kelly of Fox News and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC. I watched Katie Couric and Brian Williams deliver the news in their booths. I met and had a nice conversation with former congressman Tom Delay and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The convention kicked off at 6 with a jazz band and a parade of speakers, including numerous people running for Congress around country. We also heard from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Senator Mel Martinez of Florida. Just before Cindy McCain’s speech, Senator Lindsey Graham really got the crowd fired up with a rousing oration touting Senator McCain’s experience and judgment. Cindy McCain next took the stage and spoke glowingly about her husband without a podium. The reconfigured stage gave the Virginia delegation a better view than in the previous nights. Mrs. McCain told the story of the adoption of her two daughters from Bangladesh. For someone who is not a public speaker by trade, she did a very nice job with her speech. The convention then went dark as we saw a moving video tribute that introduced Senator McCain. As he took the stage, the convention exploded with loud applause and cheers. We were given placards by the whips and everyone was happily waving them, which made it difficult to see the man of the hour. Finally, Senator McCain politely gave us the cue to quiet down and he began his speech. He is not known as a gifted orator, but he delivered the best speech I’ve ever heard him give. At one point, he was interrupted by a protestor who somehow made it into the arena. The guy was trying to unfurl a large banner in the upper deck, but was quickly “escorted” out by security personnel. After the incident, the crowd began chanting USA, USA! Senator McCain didn’t miss a beat and, while the protestor was screaming something untelligible, Senator McCain ad-libed “The American people want us to stop shouting at each other.” The crowd loved it. When Senator McCain chronicled his time as a prisoner of war, many in the crowd were moved to tears. When he wrapped up his speech, he was joined on the stage by first his family and then Governor Palin and her family. The convention was then awash in balloons as thousands fell down upon us from the ceiling. It was exhilirating! As the music continued to play, Senator McCain and Governor Palin jumped into the crowd and began greeting the delegates. They really seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Following the convention, several us went to a party honoring former President Ronald Reagan at a club called “Aqua.” The theme of the night was, not surprisingly, the 1980s. There was a very good cover band who played nothing but music from the 1980s. Everyone had a great time and we were out until the wee hours of the morning.
The convention was a great experience. The people of Minnesota should be proud of themselves. Everyone was nice, polite and helpful. There were plenty of volunteers and everything ran smoothly. Now the real work begins: electing John McCain and Sarah Palin!
The third day of the convention was a truly memorable occasion. The evening was loaded with terrific speeches, lots of thunderous applause and topped off by a home run speech by our next Vice President, Sarah Palin. The floor was packed and you could hardly move in the seats. The aisles were overflowing and it was impossible to get anywhere on the floor. Last night, we heard from Michael Steele, Mike Hukabee, and Mitt Romney before Rudy Guilliani nearly brought the house down with his speech. He got the crowd on its feet multiple times with his lines about our opponents. It was a fantastic speech! In fact, the crowd interrupted his speech with applause so many times that the whips on the floor began encouraging the delegates to sit down because it was causing his speech to run long. They were concerned that Governor Palin’s speech would start too late to get maximum media attention during prime time. Who would have guessed that we would be encouraged NOT to yell and scream during a speech?! We thought we’d seen the best speech of the night from Rudy Guilliani. We were wrong. Soon after Rudy exited the stage, Governor Sarah Palin confidently strode on to the stage, smiling radiantly and waving to the crowd. The place went nuts! I have never been in a crowd that was that excited about anything! The arena was packed and everyone in the place was standing and screaming. It was electric! The delegates broke out into a spontaenous chant of “Sarah, Sarah”! It really was a moving experience. She then delivered a masterful speech in a way that only a “hockey mom” can. She was charming, funny, tough, smart and engaging. She pointed out the obvious differences between John McCain and Barak Obama and described her own unique experience in politics. She introduced her beautiful family, who was seated behind the Virginia Delegation. She delivered several memorable lines, including two that poked fun at Senator Obama’s “experience” as a “community organizer.” She also noted that the opposition often says they are “figthing for Americans”. She then dramatically paused and pointedly said: “Only one man in this election has actually fought for Americans”, obviously alluding to Senator McCain’s military service. She got so many standing ovations I lost count and just about screamed my lungs out, along with every other delegate on the floor. After her speech, she brought her family up on stage and Senator McCain made a surprise appearance asking the crowd: “So, did I make a great selection for our Vice President, or what?” The ticket soaked up the thunderous applause for several minutes, before finally exiting the stage. We found out later that Governor Palin’s teleprompter malfunctioned during the biggest speech of her life but she obviously didn’t miss a beat. She is am amazing candidate. We were then treated to a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner from country superstars, John Rich, Gretchen Wilson and Cowboy Troy. John Rich then raised the roof with his new song “Raising McCain”. The roll call vote was next and Senator McCain was officially nominated as the republican candidate for president. Governor Palin and her husband later made an appearance at the bar at the Hilton Hotel and signed autographs and met with Delegates. Unfortuantely for me, I am staying at the Radisson.
Several of us then returned to our hotel and went to a restaurant across the street near the University of Minnesota. We sat in a nice outdoor patio area, where we were briefly verbally accosted by a protestor who screamed at us something unintelligible about Governor Palin’s daughter. We ignored him and he eventually went away. Several students spoke to us about the convention and our experiences in Minnesota. I had a pleasant conversation with a graduate student who was very impressed with Governor Palin. She’s a democrat, but said she was giving McCain a second look, in light of his selection of Governor Palin.
It was a remarkable night and one that I won’t soon forget.
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.