The official day three and unofficial day two has begun. This morning the Maryland Delegation had multiple speakers for breakfast.
Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan's brother Tobin addressed the delegation and described their family effort involved in Paul's initial run for Congress. Tobin was accompanied by his wife and both were warm, engaging, and talked about Paul in terms that obviously glowed with pride. We were also addressed by Governor Matt Mead from Wyoming and one of the two Republicans representing Maryland, Congressman Andy Harris.
The meeting this evening was gaveled open before I made it to the arena due to a reception hosted by native Marylanders Dr and Mrs. Sharoky. The couple who have a 70-acre farm on the Easter shore, hosted the entire Delegation in their 20th floor penthouse that overlooked the convention grounds. They were fantastic hosts who graciously opened their homes and provided us with gourmet food and drinks.
The view was breathtaking from the high rise and we were reminded of the intense security because we saw the Coast Guard and police boats that were running around the water next to the arena as well as the Coast Guard helicopter in the sky. When I arrived at my seat Senator John McCain was at the podium. His speech highlighted our role in the world and specifically our past loyalty to Israel. Many Americans feel that President Obama has reversed our long standing support by his assistance and complimentary remarks directed at countries that want nothing more than to destroy Israel.
His speech was followed by a video of Mitt speaking in front of Jerusalem about the importance of our relationship with the Jewish people. The words on the wall in the arena were changed to match tonight’s theme of "WE CAN CHANGE IT".
Each of the speakers wove the theme throughout their talking points. Governor Mike Huckabee's speech got many rounds of applause at different points throughout his time on the stage. He was the pit bull who went on the attack laying out the difference between the two parties and clearly attacking the President. As a former Baptist minister he went on the attack declaring that while President Obama was the only candidate who was a declared evangelical he is also the only candidate to not support traditional marriage or take a pro-life stand. He said he didn't care where Mitt took his family to church he only cared where he took this country.
Condoleezza Rice former Secretary of State took the stage she had a standing ovation that seemed to last for a few minutes, and them she went on the attack specifically addressing the Presidents lack of response on foreign policy. She said that you cannot be reluctant to lead and you cannot lead from behind. She is fantastic and from this writers view would be an excellent choice for Secretary of State given her experience, intelligence, and most importantly her respect amongst the world leaders.
The floor excitement continued to build as the arena awaited in anticipation of Congressman Paul Ryan's speech and it was just as exciting as I had hoped. Paul Ryan went on the attack pummeling the President and his fiscal irresponsibility. He challenged the President on the stimulus package and said the money wasn't just wasted, it was borrowed, spent and wasted. About half way through his speech two protestors from the group Code Pink jumped up and unfurled a pink banner and began shouting.
I was about two rows back and 10 seats over and I couldn't hear what she was saying because the surrounding attendees started chanting USA USA USA. Secret Service quickly cleared her from the stands and the speech continued. Paul Ryan stuck to his core competency and talked about the increased financial debt, the $700 billion sucked out of Medicare, and reminded the crowd about how the Obama administration has failed to pass a budget in the last three years.
In my opinion the topics covered in his speech is what will appeal to common sense Americans who understand that we can't continue to spend what we don't have. The house was packed and we all left knowing what we had to do ... work like crazy so "We can change it".
Stay tuned for the closing acceptance speech by Mitt Romney tomorrow night and a final wrap up on Friday.