Convention Eve: My Arrival in Minneapolis

Posing with Honest Abe

Posing with Honest Abe

The cast of American Carol

The cast of American Carol

Tomorrow is the first day of the RN Convention.  I have to admit I was incredibly excited this morning as I packed my bags for the airport.  The convention, however, has taken on a different atmosphere as everybody tracks the path of Hurrican Gustav.  In light of the likely disaster, the actual workings of the convention have been reduced to the bare minimum business.  Tomorrow’s session will only include the official opening of the convention and the work of the committees.  There will be no prime time showcase speeches and President Bush has cancelled his appearance.  Even some of the more public events have been cancelled as well.  I think this is appropriate.  It is hard to celebrate when a large contingent of the country is being evacuated from their homes.  Also, instead of promising action on behalf of Americans, party members want to commit themselves to actually serving the needs of Americans.  I definitely sense a strong atmosphere of concern for those along the Gulf Coast.  But there is still work to be done here and many people here seem more committed to getting important things done efficiently and without too much waste. 

I have already begun the part of meeting my fellow delegates, not only from Illinois but around the country.  On the plane I sat next to Bobbi Petersen from Will County and she was such a delight.  She seems to know her way around these things which is helpful to a first timer like me.  At the baggage pickup when we arrived, she was able to introduce me to two other delegates from our flight.  We also spotted Mo Rocca from the Comedy channel.Then we all got to be interviewed by our local TV station, WGN about our arrival.  My husband recorded it so I can’t wait to see it.  I proudly wore a Cubs hat given to me at the last minute by my son before I left so it did its work.  After finding our way to the hotel, we were greeted by IL GOP officials and tons of “stuff”.  I’ve been to business conferences before but this is even better.  Lots of snacks, tchothckes, books, souvenirs but my favorite is the AFLEC goose that says “AFLEC! AFLEC!” when you press it.

Then it was off to the premiere of the Michael Moore satire, An American Carol.  And yes, there was popcorn, sodas and movie candy like Milk Duds, Junoir Mints and Twizzlers.  The movie had some funny parts and many of the cast members along with Director David Zucker were there so it was fun to hear them talk about the film.   I sat with a really nice McCain delegate from Massachusetts named Monica and got to hear about how hard it is to be a delegate in Romney land.   I could definitely get spoiled.  The next stop was a Red Carpet reception for all the Delegates which had not only really good food (the food at American Carol was the best so far) but very interesting exhibits including a miniature White House, historical displays, an Air Force One fuselage, a Lincoln impersonater and even Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty.  Also, tons of McCain/Palin items for sale, so lots of shopportunity.  On the way to another event, I got to see Sen. Lieberman arrive at his hotel.

My final stop was to the nightclub, EPIC, which had goody bags and Vodka and Nutrisoda drinks (they tasted like Flinstone chewable vitamins) and met a large crew from the North Dakota delegation.  We met Connie who is also Secretary of the Contest Committee and she will be calling the roll call as the official in charge.  It was really interesting to hear from an expert at these things and to hear her enthusiasm for the convention and the VP pick, especially from a true veteran.  I also learned that there is a nudist among their delegation which is rather funny given they live in North Dakota.  I also learned of the friendly rivalry with South Dakota.  That actually brings to mind that every where I have been and everyone I have met is excited to be here, proud of their state and there is a feeling that we are all part of team working for this incredible goal.  I know it sounds hokey but it is really true.

As a I get ready to collapse, I am looking forward to a day of real work and getting to know so many more people.  Food Ratings:  American Carol had the best hors’douevres, and an A+ for the movie snacks, a C- for the vitamin drinks.


1 Comment

  1. Hi, Stephanie!

    Wow–what a beginning. Keep up the first-hand reports! You are doing a wonderful job representing the 9th district–especially Evanston!

    Linda L

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