You may wonder why it has taken me so much time to write about the recent convention. Originally I planned on writing a detailed log of everything that happened over the weekend; however, after several pages, I deemed the post too lengthy. Therefore, here are just a handful of reflections based upon the event.
First, they needed more signs during registration in the Coliseum. I wandered the halls for a good half hour looking for the registration table. It was very frustrating.
The suites, like last year proved to be the excitement on Friday night. Thanks to the RPV for sponsoring The Jeffersoniad suite. It’s very gratifying to have a party and a chairman who values blogs such as my own. We got quite a lot of visitors. Perhaps you picked up one of my newly printed business cards there. I’m hoping to incorporate that new logo into my website soon. Of course the candidates had their suites too. I visited them all with the exception of Foster’s. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover the location of the Foster suite until after it had closed. The McDonnell/Bolling suite was absolutely huge, with rows of food tables, large crowds, and a band. Although the Cuccinelli suite promised cannoli, it was all gone in less than an hour. I suppose that fact alone highlighted the popularity of Senator Cuccinelli (and free food too).
Let’s move on to the topic of the hotel. Although things went smoothly at the Richmond Marriott last year, this time was quite a different story. Now I admit it, I’m a very light sleeper. So, when I discovered that my room was directly over the Jacuzzi, I was less than thrilled. How can you sleep when your bed vibrates and you hear a very noticeable and constant vrum vrum vrum? As the hotel was full, I couldn’t switch rooms. With little option, I sat slouched in a chair in the lobby watching Glenn Beck. But salvation did come. I owe much thanks to both Jason and Sean Kenney, who offered me a spot in their hotel room. The next morning, the valet couldn’t find my car keys, so it took considerable time to get my luggage into my vehicle. I hated to miss breakfast as a result of this added delay, but had no other choice. To say that I was merely disappointed with my stay at the Marriott is a gross understatement.
The Saturday convention was quite a spectacle. Although not packed to the brim, there were still thousands upon thousands of Republican activists from throughout the state. The whole event was a bit like a huge family reunion as you got to see and speak with folks who you haven’t seen in a long while. The RPV had reserved a row for bloggers near the stage. Be it for better or worse, I decided to spend most of my time with my fellow Harrisonburg delegates. It may have been a mistake in that I would have had a better view of the stage and could have generated more publicity for this blog. On the other hand, if I did, I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet Mr. Wilson, a fellow Harrisonburger. I did enjoy my conversations with him.
I thought that the list of speakers was far too great. Obviously I was expecting the candidates to speak along with Sean Hannity, and many of the other speakers were good, but time seemed to drag by. Speaking of Sean Hannity, I must say that I don’t really care for him. First and foremost, time and time again during the 2008 campaign he offered callous disrespect for Ron Paul. From my experiences listening to him on the TV and radio, he wraps himself in a blanket of egotism, lambasting any person who holds a differing viewpoint, even those on the right, as small-minded, unpatriotic, and downright stupid. Far too often he lashes out at his critics, not as one would logically expect, with refutations and rebuttals, but with bursts of vitriolic hatred and insults. While his friends and yes-men are unquestioned “great Americans”, his critics, “hate America” and are “ignorant”. He began his dialogue talking about Alan Colmes, his former partner. He joked that Colmes quit the show after Hannity gave him a birthday present of a hunting trip with Dick Cheney I found his supposed humor tasteless. Although I often disagree with Colmes, the notion of having Cheney maiming or killing Colmes is downright disgusting. I know what some of you will say…Joshua, lighten up! It was just a harmless joke. But even in jest, what kind of conservative or Christian ethic does such a joke promote? Should we wish for the death of all liberals? I didn’t hear the rest of Hannity’s speech as I left the auditorium until he had finished.
Then came the slate of candidates. There are two in particular that need mentioning. First, I thought Senator Cuccinelli’s presentation was quite entertaining and theatrical. At the start, he had placed a number of supporters throughout the crowd who waved the Gadsden flag. I remarked to a fellow delegate that unfurling such a flag might get one labeled as a terrorist in the state of Missouri, as you might “gasp” support the crazy notion of a limited Constitutional government. Then the auditorium faded to black as sound clips played. I also want to make mention of Chairman Mullins’ speech. He made a very refreshing commitment to conservative principles. In addition, it was quite gratifying to both hear and experience his appreciation of bloggers such as myself. After the rest of the speeches came the two hour voting session. Although the vote totals were not released to the public at the time, we were told the results: Bolling for Lt. Governor, Cuccinelli for Attorney General, and Pat Mullins for RPV Chairman. Congrats to all three.
So that, in a nutshell, was the RPV Convention. As my friend Cliff ran his survey again this year, hopefully I can share with you some interesting statistics about the delegates soon. Oh and below are some pictures for you. Hope to see you at the next convention!