Sonoran Alliance is here in St. Paul for the RNC Convention and we will be posting convention updates as the week progresses. Outside of the Hurricane threatening the Gulf Coast, there is no hard news to be reporting. The delegates and alternates have been arriving since Saturday and kudos go to the AZGOP staff for what has so far been a seamless operation. Check-in was a breeze, we got giftbags aplenty, the rooms are nice (although technically an air mattress is NOT a rollaway), and the location is very central. Pity the delegates whose home state candidates didn’t win, because this is definitely the way to live. Spotted at dinner on Saturday night? FoxNews’ Chris Wallace and Al Franken. No they were NOT sitting together and Al Franken IS actually shorter than you think he is. Amazing, but true. Spotted in our hotel? Tom Brokaw and Jon Stewart. No, they weren’t together either, but Stewart looks exactly the same in person as he does on TV.
Sunday’s program started in the afternoon and it featured a choice between a movie premiere or a cocktail reception. Given the plethora of cocktail receptions on the schedule, quite a few Arizona delegates ended up at the movie. It was preceded by a live concert performance by Lee Greenwood, so we’ve now heard “God Bless the U.S.A.” live and it was great. Called “An American Carol”, the movie is a David Zucker (Airplane!, Naked Gun) production that pokes a whole lot of fun at Michael Moore. It comes out in October and you should take your friends to see it! Jon Voight, Robert Davi, and Kevin Farley star and all were in attendance.
In the evening, all of the delegates from around the country gathered at the Minneapolis Convention Center for a welcoming reception. Food, folks and fun! Great exhibits and it was fun to see familiar faces and meet new ones from various states. However, during the evening we got news of a schedule change for Monday which canceled Monday evening’s program and altered the hours in the afternoon. With Hurricane Gustav rolling ashore, the entire program is in a state of flux. We know that we have to perform certain tasks to meet our legal obligations and give our party a nominee, but beyond that the rest of the program is subject to change or even cancellation. For now, everyone is being patient and praying for the people living on the Gulf Coast. Unlike some prominent Democrats, folks here do not think Gustav is a laughing matter, and there is a lot of talk about converting events to fundraisers to help the victims as a group.
Kudos are also in order for Hayden Pruitt and the RNC folks who are taking care of the media/bloggers. When you wear your media credential and get asked by newspaper folks who you are with, you get a real eye roll when you tell them that you’re covering the event for a blog. Apparently we’re not “media” enough for them. No worries. They’ll be asking us for jobs in another few years!