Breakfast for the Maryland Delegation was packed due to the promised arrival of Governor Scott Walker from Wisconsin. I was particularly excited for the obvious connection of our shared last name.
He reminded us of the success in Wisconsin and explained that if we wanted similar changes in Washington that we needed to elect the Romney Ryan ticket.
"WE BELIEVE IN AMERICA" were the bold words on the side of the arena wall when we arrived. After the opening comments, pledge, and national anthem a video tribute to Ronald Reagan started off the night and it reminded the crowd of the positivity that Reagan always exuded about our country, our heritage, and our future.
Unlike most nights the floor was packed when the meeting was opened. Security felt tighter after last night’s appearance by members of the radical group Code Pink and in spite of it they returned again and were quickly ushered out by Secret Service. Many of the speakers tonight were individuals who had a personal relationship with Mitt or who had worked with him when Bain Capital stepped in to save and grow their company. The media has spent time portraying him as a cold-hearted capitalist who slashed and burned as he made money on the backs of others.
The speakers tonight showed that in addition to his success he is both a caring and compassionate human being. Another interesting twist to the list of speakers was a cadre of Olympic Athletes who took turns sharing their personal experiences with Mitt and the 2002 Olympics. When they took the stage the crowd began chanting USA USA USA. The most touching story was relayed by an athlete who was selected to carry the World Trade Center Flag into the opening ceremonies.
They all shared how Mitt’s leadership impacted their lives and drove them to claim a record number of Winter Olympics medals. Senator Marco Rubio followed our mystery speaker who turned out to be Clint Eastwood. The Senator was a great speaker and his story of an immigrant family who told him he could be whatever he wanted too because it was America meshed perfectly with the theme.
At this point in the evening every seat in the house was packed, the convention floor was standing room only. Senator Rubio's most memorable comment was when he explained that the President was a good guy, good father, and good man but a bad president. Governor Romney took the stage to chants of MITT MITT MITT.
Just as Mitt started his speech a CBS News anchor with cameraman begin taping their own segment offering negative comments on a speech that had just started. The reporter happened to be doing this from the floor of the arena directly next to the Maryland Delegation. The MD National Committeeman Louis Pope challenged her to listen to the speech before attacking Mitt another MD representative whipped out his phone and began to video tape what they were doing and immediately the cameraman shoved a camera in his face in an attempt to intimidate him. The situation caused such a ruckus that the Secret Service jumped in and forced the media team to move to a different part of the floor.
As Mitt spoke he reminded the viewers of his parents humble beginnings. He spoke of his family, his wife, and his sons. He said in his opinion what we need in America is not complicated or profound, America needs jobs, lots of jobs. The Presidents policies have not created jobs it's suppressed them and the centerpiece of his re-election campaign has been to attack Gov Romney's success.
One of the great quotes of the night was when he said in America we celebrate success we don't apologize for it. He said a Romney Ryan White House would have an energy independent America by the year 2020, a balanced budget, and a reduced deficit. Our friends will see a little more loyalty and Mr. Putin will see a little more backbone referring to the Presidents "off-mic" conversation with Mr. Putin telling him that he would have more flexibility after the election.
The night ended with promises of no new taxes on the middle class, millions of jobs, and an administration that will care less about the rising ocean and more about the American family. The pep rally was over when the balloons dropped and the confetti rained down but what remains is 60 plus days of hard work for Republicans to ensure we take back the White House in November.
Stay tuned tomorrow as I offer a few final observations on the week.