On To Tampa

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

Next week we’ll be doing things a bit differently with this column.  It will be written each day from Tampa, the home of the Republican national convention.  As such, the topics will likely delve directly into national politics as Republicans present their case for change and their version of Hope.

It will be my first time attending a national political convention.  While I’ve been to more district and state GOP conventions as a delegate or alternate than I can remember, I’ll be in Tampa as a credentialed media member on behalf of The Dublin Courier Herald.  It will be interesting to see the workings of a convention as a member of the media instead of that of a delegate.

I would imagine that my friend Representative Buzz Brockway feels much the same way.  He too will be switching rolls a bit, as he will also be attending as a media member from PeachPundit.com, where he serves as Assistant Editor.  The Republican National Committee has done an excellent job of identifying a process to include many members of alternative media.  Perhaps having Buzz along in the media section can keep me out of trouble.  But I would hate to put that kind of pressure on him.

Much of the press leading up to convention has been about a couple of potential disasters.  As of now, it looks like the threat of a landfalling hurricane has subsided somewhat.  Of course, if the storm is able to reorganize itself when over the Gulf of Mexico and continues on to the west, a landfall could still divide news coverage as well as remind us about Katrina and the poorly organized response in New Orleans.  Isaac thus still has the potential to push the week off message.

A much bigger threat to the message was delivered via Representative  Todd Akin’s unforced error last weekend.  His statement regarding “legitimate rape” and pregnancy remain inexplicably ignorant of basic biology.  While he again helped change the narrative of last week’s news cycle, the swift and near universal call for him to withdraw from most factions within the Republican party may have limited the damage of his remarks to the Senate Contest in Missouri.

That, or course, is to say that Republicans may be ceding control of the Senate to the Democrats should Akin remain as the candidate in Missouri.  At this point, he is the candidate unless he changes his mind and Republicans gain assistance from a Missouri Court to place a new candidate on the ballot.  Pressure should remain on him for this to be the course of action. If he remains in, Republicans should cede the seat rather than to try to defend his remarks.  His comments are not something that should  be rationalized away as because the seat is needed.

As for other convention activities, I’m looking forward to seeing Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens speak in a prime time slot Wednesday evening.  Olens was an early Romney supporter in a state that heavily backed former Speaker Newt Gingrich.  His speaking slot, at minimum, is a reward and a demonstration of Romney’s loyalty.  It may indicate more.  Olens would likely be among the highest profile Georgians who would act as a conduit to the Romney White House.

And as with any conventions, there will be parties, dinners, and other assorted gatherings.  There will be quite a few Georgian in attendance.  In addition to the delegates and alternates, many of Georgia’s elected officials will be there.  It should serve as a great opportunity to check in with a number of them to see how attitudes and opinions on various topics may have changed now that voters have sent some strong messages during Georgia’s summer primaries.

That’s the preview.  I’m still expecting the unexpected.  We’ll see how it all develops next week.

On to Tampa.

29 comments

  1. “Perhaps having Buzz along in the media section can keep me out of trouble. But I would hate to put that kind of pressure on him.”

    I make no promises.

    We’ll either be covering the convention or covering the storm…or both.

    • Colin Martin says:

      I will be down there as well, writing about the experience on my new blog (shameless plug). However, I will not be attending as a powerful member of the elite media as you two are. I am a humble guest. Buzz, we’ll have to grab a meal together.

  2. SallyForth says:

    Have fun, Charlie and Buzz. Maybe while you’re down there you can find out for us what kind of rape this nut-job Akin deems “legitimate.”

  3. saltycracker says:

    Been in Florida for over a week and the media hyperbole beating the Issac drum is ridiculous. Having lived in the Bay area – Tampa, Sarasota & St Pete, my advice is to get out and enjoy the food.
    Take a lobbyist with a credit card, it’s the American way.

  4. saltycracker says:

    Extreme security is already in place for you. Read a friend’s story of getting home on Harbor Island last night. Barricades, men in black, bridge blocked….. It is not going to be a fun week for residents.

  5. Dr. Monica Henson says:

    Buzz & Charlie, I am looking forward to your coverage. Peach Pundit is one of the GOP media outlets I follow, so as to see a reasonable summary of the issues from the right of the aisle. Be safe!

    Your fellow political junkie,
    Monica

  6. John Konop says:

    Tampa has one of the best steakhouses in the world Bern’s. It is an amazing dining experience. You can even take tour of the restaurant. If you have the time and money it will be worth your time!

    • saltycracker says:

      Berns like Bones is best on an expense account or OPM. Particularly if you like wine with your steak.

      Driving up a piece of 95 in Fl today it is a procession of big utility contractor trucks headed South. Don’t think they will let Issac mess with the power long.

    • Calypso says:

      I was going to mention Bern’s too, but you usually need reservations about a month early. With the convention in town, I bet they’ve been booked for a year.

      It is an awesome place, though.

      • John Konop says:

        Good point about the reservation issue with the convention in town. I have been to many of the great steakhouses around the country, the big difference with this place is the wine selection and dessert in my opinion.

    • chefdavid says:

      I would also recommend Bern’s. Its not much to look out on the outside. If you can’t get in for dinner, I would suggest a trip to their dessert and cigar bar.

  7. saltycracker says:

    P.S. Tour ? Send them to Cigar City Brewing (.com) as they might prefer a good beer over an expensive wine.

    • Jimmie says:

      The RNC clearly thinks they don’t need the Libertarian vote. Evidenced by all the crooked RNC rule breaking/tweaking/tossing/reinstating going on. The only thing Romney will have to blame when its all said and done is the RNC.

  8. gcp says:

    Republicans, I have a suggestion; your convention needs to highlight individuals such as Jindal, Rand Paul, Rubio, Christie and eliminate Trump, Cain, Palin, Arpaio and the other entertainers. Just a suggestion.

      • Doug Grammer says:

        Or you can work your butt off to have influence over the speakers and then more people will listen to your suggestions.

        • Calypso says:

          While that is certainly a valid point, it nonetheless does not make the suggestion any less valid.

          Ideas often times come from people who are not instrumental in the execution of the thought, just as the ones who implement the plan are not always the ones who conceived of it.

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