My email had stories
about Rosa Clemente, the Green Party's VP Candidate, being tear gassed
outside the Republican Convention. There were also stories about
journalists being arrested and PA systems in free speech areas having
the plugs pulled by police. I thought I'd see what the news had to say
Senator Norm Coleman welcomed everybody
to the town that had been known as "Pigs Eye" until some missionaries
had renamed it St. Paul.
After he spoke the announcer explained that they had run a contest to
write a 500 word essay to be read at the Republican Convention. It had
been won by a fifteen year old woman who would now read her essay.
She did it as the narrator of a video.
She devoted about a sentence each to many of the things about America
that pull the heart strings. Everything from helping each other out
during the great depression to fighting (and dying if that's what it
takes) for good causes.
Then she led us in the pledge of
allegiance and walked off the stage.
The columnist who was providing color
commentary called her words "powerful".
This guy who had worked for McCain
talked about how Cindy McCain had personally gone to orphanages in
remote and hurting places and picked up kids that desperately needed
homes. She had brought them to the USA and found homes for them. He had
raised (one? some?) and they were turning out to be great daughters.
The picture I got from the way the crowd responded to him and other
large family stories that got mentioned on the stage that evening was
that Republicans like large families.
Somewhere in there they honored a Navy Seal that had dived on a grenade
during a battle in Iraq
and died so that his buddies could live. The tribute left tears in my
Senator Jon Kyl is the other Republican Senator from Arizona. He
glowing things about being on the same team as McCain.
This firefighter who had been the hero
of the rescue after the bridge over the Mississippi collapsed was
talking about how great it was to work with the many volunteers that
helped her out that day when President Bush the first and his wife
Barbara came in. Everything stopped while the Republicans clapped for
Then former New Jersey Governor and EPA
Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and PBS newswoman Gwen Ifill
talked about Bush's upcoming speech. Secretary Whitman was sure it
would be great.
Then 1st Lady Laura Bush took the stage
to apologize for her husband not being there. She explained that he was
in Washington DC overseeing the emergency services in case they were
needed in New Orleans.
Bush said things like "listen to local
officials for direction on when to go home". Then he endorsed Senator
After Bush had droned on for a while I
went in the other room and took the SPAM picture. I got the stuff years
ago, mostly as a place to put the latest addition to my hot sauce
collection while I use the one(s) ahead of it in line. I've had
where I looked around the kitchen and couldn't find anything to eat,
and it didn't even cross my mind to open that SPAM. I predict that
bottle of organic hot sauce from a company with an address in
Cupertino, California will have spiced up many dishes before the SPAM
anywhere. Hopefully at least one or two more Presidents will drone on
in the background while I photograph something else on it.
Anyhow, Bush the first liked his son's
speech. After it was over the First Lady summarized it, but I forgot
what she said to.
Then Actor and Senator from Tennessee
Fred Thompson gave a speech. He talked about what a great story
McCain's life is, and how wonderful the Governor of the Great State of
Alaska is. He predicted their Administration will do a lot of "reform".
He took what I would call some cheap shots at the other major party
Candidate, accusing him of being young and stuff like that. After he
was done the news anchor called the partisan comments "red meat". I
think SPAM is closer to being red meat, and almost as inedible. I just
don't see how anybody can enjoy that stuff.
The former First Lady liked something
about the speech.
The last speaker was
Senator Joe Lieberman, who was introduced as an "Independent/Democrat".
The commentator explained that McCain had wanted to put Joe Lieberman
on the ticket instead of Palin, but he couldn't because the Republican
base wouldn't vote for a pro choice candidate. Lieberman said we
need to come together as a country. He said that McCain really is a
reformer, and that he has been MUCH less guilty of earmarking and the
like than most of Congress.