Friday, August 31, 2012

What Now??

Good morning friends - or I guess it is afternoon already. Getting in at 3 am several nights in a row is affecting my clock!  Last night's convention was amazing. We are on our way home and I wanted to keep my faithful friends in the loop. I will (at some point this weekend) give you a full rundown of last night, complete with my gaffes and all!! However,  right now I am anxious to get back to doing the job that my husband and Mitt Romney believe is the most important job of all - being a mother. Can't wait to squeeze my babies in a few hours re-energized to make sure I do all I can to make this country is better for them than it is right now!!  We'll talk soon!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Oh My Gracious

On the floor of the convention. Cannot describe the atmosphere to do it justice. Security is crazy tight. The National Anthem was moving. It brought tears to my eyes. Watch tonight through the eyes of our founding fathers and let's make them proud of the country they helped to build. They Built This!!!

GOP & Generation X

Oh what a night, late in Summer here is 2012 (you add the tune).  Last night was riveting, revealing, and REALLY fun!!!

I was prepared with new, super comfy shoes and ready to get the party started.  Heading into the convention hall, was again a surreal experience for me.  Not sure I will ever truly come to grips with the fact that this isn't a dream, but a reality!!
 One of the best things about this experience is that you can be walking to the bathroom and Oh My - who do I run into.  My good friend, Rick Santorum.  One of the staffers took the picture and the first time he "clicked" it it didn't take.  Rick handed the camera back to him to take it again.  Awesome guy!! Just pretend you don't notice that I have no chin - hee hee. 

 Another great thing about this is that I have made several really great friends.  My new friend, Ginger Howard, and I are really having a great time on the floor.  Many people have asked us if we are sisters.  I keep saying we are Soul Sisters.  We seem to always be thinking the same thing and we have loved to laugh!  I am blessed beyond measure with this new friendship! I have also been blessed to meet Debbie.  We had a fun night celebrating together!

 Huge honor - Mrs. "the most put together, gorgeous woman ever" Gingrich paid me a beautiful compliment last night.  I was blown away by her warmth and genuine interest in meeting all those that were reaching out to her.  What a wonderful representative of a Southern Lady.  Terrible picture of me (eyes closed) but she looks great - as always!!

 There are so many fun and interesting things that happen on the floor during the speeches that make this so memorable.  Last night I was on the end of the isle and there was a ton of media cameras pointed at the Gingriches.  Because I was sitting right behind them, the cameras were pointing at me the entire evening.  This was fun!  There was one photographer in particular that kept his camera on a few of us the entire night.  We got really cracked up with him.  He was snapping pictures of us every time we moved.  I told some other delegates with me that I hope I don't see those pictures, photo shopped, swirling around Facebook!!

There are always hecklers that try to dampen the mood of the convention.  Last night was no different.  I am amazed that people still risk doing this because all it does is jazz up the crowd.  While Future VP Paul Ryan was speaking, someone started shouting something (couldn't even tell what she was saying) and we stood and began chanting USA.  A friend on Facebook commented that isn't it funny that the Democrats chant "Obama" and we chant "USA".  That was certainly true last night.  I am proud of my country.  I am proud of our freedoms.  I loved last night that Paul Ryan pointed out that their administration doesn't want to replace our founding principles, like the current administration, but they will reapply them.  And isn't that what we need?  A return to the basic founding principles of our government.  A return to giving the people control of their future, their child's education, and their healthcare??? Okay - I'll stop stumping now.  But it is true.  We need a change and that change is Romney/Ryan.  I don't know who you supported in the primary, but now is the time to all come together for one cause - FREEDOM!  Ha - that would make a pretty good campaign speech wouldn't it!! LOL!

One of my favorite lines of the night was when Future VP Paul Ryan referred to the play list on his iPod.  AC/DC to Zeppelin he said.  He is a Generation Xer.  He is from my generation.  Why does this matter?? This matters because if you are reading this blog and you are considered an Xer it is time for us to step up.  No more pretending to be involved.  No more sitting on the sidelines.  We must take the reigns and assist Paul Ryan in taking back our country.  

Thank you Paul Ryan for the sacrifice you are making to take back our country.  May we all be motivated to follow your lead!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Tomorrow is Another Day"

Yesterday was a day of ups and downs.  There were some really great moments and some really low ones as well.  

The day started off with a drive into downtown Tampa, to the Aquarium, for an event sponsored by RNC for Life.  This was a pro-life event that highlighted several great pro-life politicians who are truly heroes for the cause of the sanctity of life.  One reason I am a Republican is because this is the only political party that has a pro-life platform.  

The drive into downtown was an adventure in and of itself.  There were roads closed everywhere.  We know nothing about Tampa, and my husband did an amazing job navigating us to where we were supposed to be.  I will say it again, behind every great woman is an outstanding man, in my case, that is an understatement!

 Upon arrival the first person we saw was Phyllis Schlafly, with Eagle Forum.  Phyllis has paved the way for women in the conservative movement.  She was the first woman, in modern politics, to begin getting involved in the political process in order to further the conservative movement.  It was an honor to meet her, as she is a hero of mine.  With us in the picture is my friend, Ginger Howard. 
 As special as the above moment was for me, the picture below shows my husband with one of his heroes.  Tony Perkins, of Family Research Council, is a person we both depend on to keep us abreast of what is happening around the county in regards to social and conservative issues.  What a great "up" this was for us both!
 Probably the one politician, on the national stage,  I respect more than any other, is Rick Santorum.  He is a man of great convictions who hasn't let the spotlight diminish his passion for the sanctity of the family and the importance of establishing personhood for all human beings.  It was more than an honor for me to have the opportunity shake his hand and speak briefly with him.  

 Here is Rick addressing the crowd. 
 Another great conservative hero - Rick Perry.
And Michelle Bauchman was outstanding.  I was thrilled to hear her speak and was blown away by her knowledge of the pro-life movement.  She is a shining example of why we need more women in this process.  She was able to articulate the issues in a way that many of the men in the movement aren't able to do.  

 After the event, we had a short walk to the convention.  I was really excited walking over.  The weather was HOT and the humidity was awful.  Being from GA I am used to humidity, but this was nothing like we have over in the Peach State.  Despite the weather, and my impossible hair in this climate, I was thrilled with what I was about to do.  Walking into the convention for the first time was emotional - in a good way.  It made me realize that in these great United States we are given opportunities to participate in a process that will mold and shape our country.  I have often dreamed of being in this position, but never truly believed it would happen.  Realizing a dream is an unbelievable example of how God will give us the desires of our heart, provided it is in line with His plan for our lives.  This moment was another "up" in this day of "ups" and "downs".  

 The security was thorough - they checked bags, really checked bags.  They actually dug in my purse looking for banned items.  The only thing they found was some lipstick, ibuprofen, and a Ring Pop!

 Have you ever had one of those times where you feel like you are experiencing something so exciting that it can't actually be real?  That was what happened when our Chairman, Sue Everhart, allocated the majority of our delegates for our party's nominee, Mitt Romney.  I have watched this on TV and to actually be there to see it happen first hand was unreal!!  To be on the floor right beside the microphone where she was standing - another "up"!!

The first "down" happens at this point in the day.  I had left the floor to have dinner with Robbie.  I was hot, tired, and my feet were hurting from trying to look cute instead of comfortable - my problem, I know! I had found us a table to sit, while he was getting our dinner.  He couldn't find exactly where I was, so I was getting up from the table so he could see me when my foot got caught on my chair.  Yes, you can start laughing now.  I began a long five second fall and trip, fall and trip over the chair right into the arms of a man who found me, literally, falling for him.  Had he not been there I would have landed, face down, on the floor.  I am convinced he was an angel!!  I have never been the most graceful person in the world - I suppose those ballet lessons didn't do their job after all!!  The good news is, I learned long ago not to take myself too seriously.  So, I regained my composure, gave a quick curtsy to the crowd, and followed my husband away from there as quickly as possible.  

After eating, I excused myself to the ladies room to reapply my lipstick, lipstick wasn't there.  I emptied my purse to no avail.  It was gone, lost, MIA.  As a very prepared southern lady, I had a backup - but it isn't my favorite.  This was worse than my graceful fall!!  Another "down". 

 Once I was back on the floor things were looking up.  The entertainment was great - the Oak Ridge boys sang a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace.  Thankful for a country where we can still sing about God's Amazing Grace!!
 The atmosphere was getting more and more intense with each speech.  Here is a quick shot of Rick Santorum - twice in one day - I could get used to this. 

 Just to our right is the special seating for dignitaries.  This is another wonderful example of women in public service.  Condoleezza Rice was listening to the speeches.  How cool is that??
 I had been interviewed by two radio stations (not sure where they were from) about Ann Romney and her speech.  I was very excited to say in both interviews that Ann is a great example of the American wife, mother, and activist.  She has been a stay at home mother and been successful in raising five boys while being a help mate to her husband.  What a great example to all of us stay at home moms!!
Her speech was wonderful.  She told their story.  She was real and open about their lives, their struggles, and their successes.  She is going to make a GREAT First Lady. 

 After her speech, Mitt and Ann when to sit by Condi Rice.  They were just right there!  Very surreal. 
 Here they are standing to applause for Chris Christie.  For some reason I don't have any pictures of him speaking, but if you watched his speech, you know, it was amazing!!
So, the "ups" seem to be outweighing the "downs" at this point.  However, the night wasn't over.  Once the convention concluded we headed out to find the buses that were arranged to take us back to our hotel.  There were no signs telling us which way to go, so we followed the crowd.  As a mother, I should know, you never follow the crowd.  We ended up several blocks away from the convention center at a parking lot full of buses.  Great, right? Wrong!!  These were for the California delegation only.  Hundreds of upset people were starting to get very angry.  I called Robbie who explained where we were supposed to be, which was probably 1/2 mile back from where we were.  So, we started walking again.  At this point my feet are numb (going to buy some shoes today)!  We get to the place where we are supposed to catch the buses.  It takes us probably 30+ minutes to get on a bus and start the journey to a football stadium where we will catch another bus to our hotel.  Let me sum it up this way - the convention ended at 11:00 pm.  I didn't walk into my hotel room until 2:20 am.  I think you get the point.  This was a BIG "down".  

As we were disembarking from the bus I said to others from GA that were with me, "in the words of the great Southern philosopher, Scarlett O'Hara, 'tomorrow is another day'".  Then someone commented back - tomorrow is today.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GA is in the Building!!

The GA delegation has arrived at the convention. The atmosphere is electric. Basic housekeeping is taking place right now. Nothing major has happened yet but we are being told a fight is expected on the floor over the rules (I explained this more in depth on the last post). GA is expected to vote no on the rules as it stands. Y'all know I have never been afraid of a fight, and neither is our great GA delegation. However, we want to remain unified as a party at this time, so please pray that a good agreement will be reached. More later y'all.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Do the Rules Need to Change?

You may have heard about a controversy among the Romney camp and grassroots activists within the GOP.  A little background on what is happening.  Every four years our party holds a National Convention to nominate our nominee for president.  However, this isn't the only business that takes place at the convention.  There is the business of setting the GOP Platform for the next four years as well as adding, deleting, or changing any rules that may or may not be good for the GOP. 

On Friday a committee met for 10 hours going over all the rules for the GOP for next four years.  They worked hard to put together a good set of rules that would strengthen our party.  However, anytime you have differing priorities and agendas there may be disagreement.  The two representatives to the Rules Committee from Georgia explained in our delegation meeting this morning that one rule was proposed that would essentially give the Presidential Nominee the power to "vet" and control who gets picked to be delegates to the next national party convention.  This clearly takes the power of electing delegates away from the districts and states.  This was a big concern to myself and most of the Georgia delegation. 

Throughout the day different statements were made from some of our delegates as well as delegates from other states who were not in agreement with this rule change.  A big floor fight was brewing for tomorrows convention and we were all concerned that the rule would pass, but also concerned about how this proposed rule was being divisive to our party.

In classic GOP style, the two sides came together to hammer out their differences and come up with a compromise.  The compromise doesn't take away power from the grassroots, but still protects the nominee from delegates that are bound to vote for a certain candidate, but go against who they are bound, by the rules, to support.

One reason I love this process is that we can take many different personalities, views, and priorities and still come together and hammer out our differences.  We can work together to support what is best for our party.  This is a great victory at the national level for the grassroots republicans all across our nation. Thank you to all those who worked hard to come up with a compromise.  This is a great party and I am thankful to be a part of it!!

Frank Luntz Training Session

My new friend Catherine McDonald took some great notes this morning while Fox New Contributor and Pollster was speaking to the GA Delegation.  He gave great advice on what Americans are listening to when being persuaded to vote for Romney.  Please use these tips from Frank over the next 71 days of this campaign when talking to undecided voters or even Obama supporters that may not realize who/what they are voting for. 

Here are 'Cliff Notes' of Frank Luntz's talk to us today-let's use these to guide our conversations with folks over the next 71 days!!:

The 5 Attributes that Republicans/conservatives will bring to the country when voted into office:
1. More Money $$$ (Will lower taxes)
2. More Choices  (on health care, education, jobs)
3. More Time  (don't have to work 2 jobs, less compliance burdens)
4. Fewer hassles (fewer burdensome/stupid regulations)
5. No worries!  (more certainty about business conditions, ability to hire or to find a job)

*Use QUESTIONS with people - "Do you want:_____________?  Fill in the blank with items 1-5 above, emphasizing that with the Romney/
Ryan team, you will be able to count on having all of these.  (The Democrats/Obama have no plans to accomplish any of them.)

Numbers to repeat:
23 Million - Americans out of Work  (The MOST since Great Depression)
8.3% Unemployment - AND over 16% adding those who've stopped looking (MANY now on Welfare/Disability) or only work Part-time.

The 5 most powerful sentences you can use to describe what Conservatives/the Republican Party Stand for:
1. We are Fighting for hardworking taxpayers.  NOT the 'middle class', or any class designation

2. We are Fighting for Economic Freedom. (Main Street!) DO NOT say we are 'defending capitalism'-as most folks connect capitalism with Wall Street.
3. We bring leaders (Romney/Ryan) who will give it you you straight - NO MORE budget tricks, empty promises, or gimmicks.
4. It's all about being REAL, GENUINE, AND AUTHENTIC.   Real jobs, genuine commitment to the American idea, with an authentic plan for the budget.
5. Our Leaders are getting OFF the Stage-and into the audience, among the citizens. (think Paul Ryan)  (R's tend to look too much like lawyers, behind the podium, in suits.  We must relate better to the common man, still be 'official' when required-but respectful of all).

The Differences between how the average voter perceives Obama & Romney right now:
Romney: See him as a great "Fixer" who doesn't understand peoples' problems
Obama:   See him as understanding peoples' problems, but having NO idea of how to fix anything.

-Mitt Romney is a man of great Substance, not Style-Obama is a man of 'style', with NO substance.

Our challenge & job is to help people understand WHO Mitt Romney is; (below are my personal descriptors:)
-a decent, honest family man,
-a committed problem solver, who cares about YOU,
-a smart, successful business man who knows how to create jobs and wants every American to succeed,
-a man of great faith who loves his country and it's Founding principles.

Finally-We must me HAPPY WARRIORS- don't be angry or get angry when you engage!!  Think Ronald Reagan!

Thanks Catherine for these helpful tips and thanks for Frank Luntz for helping us frame the debate in a way that will reach the American people!

The Storm is Brewing, Inside...

When we awoke this morning the wind was stilling howling outside, but the rain had ceased.  Although clouds still loom it is really a nice day outside, despite the humidity, which is a killer on my hair.  But the real storm has moved inside this morning. 

We started out with a nice breakfast where we were motivated by speeches from Insurance Commissioner, Ralph Hudgens...
 And Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle
 The highlight of the morning was definitely the humorous and informative conversation with Fox News contributor and Pollster, Frank Luntz.  He was spot on with his message about what Republicans need to do to win in November.  He also made a few presentations.  He presented a gorgeous piece of Steve Penley art to Chairman Everhart and the GA GOP.  The pictures below do not do justice to Penley's work.

He also brought another Penley piece which he auctioned off.  Suzanne Hudgens was the lucky winner of the beautiful art below.  Congratulations Ralph & Suzanne!

 The eye of the storm came during the business portion of the meeting.  Sue Everhart explained that there were four delegates that were not willing to sign the petition to cast their vote for Romney.  There are numerous schools of thought on whether this is right or wrong.  I am not giving these details to start a debate on this issue.  I just want all my friends back home to get an idea of what the delegates are doing while we are here.  I will say, that as a delegate for the Republican party, we must do our due diligence to see that the party is united and that the nominee wins in November.  As delegates we were elected to represent the republicans in our district, not our own personal preference.  We are also expected to represent what the majority of our district would want, not just the beliefs of a few.  At this point in GA, the majority of registered republicans want Romney/Ryan to receive our delegate votes.  Who your choice was in the Presidential Primary really isn't important at this point in the process.  What is important is presenting a unified front so that we can rally the troops and send Obama packing!!  Below is a video that was taken at our meeting this morning.  It shows our Chairman speaking to this issue.  She does a great job explaining the importance of being able to cast ALL our delegate votes for Romney/Ryan.  As you can see from the video, the overwhelming majority of our friends in attendance are enthusiastically on board with a unified GA Delegation.  The volume is low, so you will have to listen carefully.  Also, keep in mind that I did not take this video and I do not agree with the video's description or many of the comments.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hurricane Party Anyone???

A few things this GA girl loves is good conversation and a good party and tonight I got both.  The Tampa Delegation threw a wonderful party for the entire RNC Delegation.  This was supposed to be a welcome party, but it is turning into more of a hurricane party.  The winds are picking up and the rain is really coming down!  Issac has arrived and he hasn't dampened the spirits here at all.  

We were bused from our hotel to Tropicana Field (for those non-sports folks out there, my husband tells me this is where the Tampa Bay Rays play baseball).  I was amazed at the security.  Up and down the highway about 1/4 mile apart were state patrol, and there were security boats in the Causeway as well.  The closer we got to Tropicana Field the crazier security got.  All the roads are literally barricaded shut.  The policeman on our bus told us that there are 3000 law enforcement officials from all over the state that have been brought in for this week.  No doubt I certainly feel safe!!

Upon arrival we were ushered through security screenings and finally entered the building.  The music was loud and the atmosphere was fun.  The event was sponsored by Busch Gardens and had a pirate theme.  

Drummers greeted us as we arrived - loud, but fun!
 There were residents from Busch Gardens in attendance as well.  This little lemur was enjoying the attention.
 The flamingos were walking around like they owned the place.
The food was amazing, but the presentation definitely took center stage.  This hog was a bit much for me, but my boys will love it!  I heard one friend say that this is the only pork that Republicans support!!

 Being at a baseball field and me being married to an avid baseball fan, we had to get our picture taken in the dugout.  Very cool!

 You all know I love to talk, especially to people I don't know.  I think meeting people from all across the country, that share similar values, is one of the best things about this experience so far.  We were able to meet so many representatives from so many states - all gathered for one purpose - to take back America in November!!! 
 Some entertainment for the evening - a miniature cirque performance. 

 What a fun evening.
We are nestled in for the night.  Our TV is getting no signal and you can hear the rain hitting the window outside.  It is peaceful and I have had time to reflect on the week ahead.  Being a delegate at the RNC is something I never expected I would have the privilege of experiencing.  However, I am continuing to learn that I serve a God that is greater than the most outlandish dreams I could ever dream.  That realization is what gives me encouragement for this election.  It is an extremely important election.  We must all vote.  Men and women have fought and died in our nation's history for the privilege to vote and we must never take that for granted.  But, we must also recognize that we serve a God that is completely sovereign.  He is in control of every election and He has a plan, regardless.  That is what this Southern Gal is holding on to!  Goodnight!

Grits, Bacon & Chocolate Cake - A Southern Gal's Dream

This morning started out great.  We were excited to leave Ocala and finally arrive in Tampa.  About 10 miles into our drive toward the RNC I realized I left my pillow on the bed in the hotel room we were leaving.  You know every southern gal needs her beauty sleep.  Hopefully the GA Delegation Planning Committee made sure we girls have comfy pillows!

Our accommodations are gorgeous,

 And so is our view...
The morning began with a wonderful southern brunch.  Crispy bacon, grits with red eye gravy, and of course a large selection of desserts.  Once our bellies were full we were greeted by GA GOP Chairman, Sue Everhart. 

 Next, we heard some encouraging and exciting remarks from Gov. Nathan Deal. 

 A special guest, RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus, stopped by to welcome the GA Delegation to Tampa and to the Convention.  He is a humorous and motivating gentleman.  He had great things to say about the Georgia Delegation, which is no surprise to me - I always knew we had the best representation in the Nation!!

 We were given a lot of "housekeeping" information and to be honest I somewhat checked out after awhile.  I suppose my  habit of multi-tasking has made it difficult for me to just sit.  I have been amused at many of the security rules that we have to abide by.  The most interesting, and concerning, is the "NO UMBRELLA" rule.  Not sure how we will swing that considering there is a hurricane brewing?? 
The morning did turn exciting though when we were given the process for casting our first vote for our choice for nominee.  The delegates were asked to stand and we were asked to raise our hand if we were NOT planning on casting our vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket.  In a room of around 300 people (with 76 delegates) only one delegate indicated she would NOT vote for Romney/Ryan.  She was asked who she planned to vote for and why.  It was explained to her that her choice would not be receiving the nomination and would she consider changing her vote.  She declined and so that leaves 75 of 76 delegate votes from GA going to Romney/Ryan.  We then went up to the podium and signed a petition for Presidential Nominee and VP Nominee.  That is how the first vote was taken.  Not what I expected, but I suppose this entire process is a bit of an unknown.

Afterward we were herded, literally like cattle, into a room to have a group photograph take.  All delegates, alternates, guests, and elected officials were in the photo.  It was pretty cool to be included in a photo with our state's leaders. 

Here is a picture of me with my better half.  He truly is my support and my rock.  I often tell people that I would not be able to be involved in politics at this level if not for him - and that is the honest truth!!

 Gary Black is by far one of my favorite "politicians".  He is a perfect example of a servant leader.  He is always willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, even if it requires getting his own boots a little muddy.  GA is blessed to have Gary Black as our Commissioner of Agriculture.  He is a great American and friend!

Our First Lady of GA, Sandra Deal, was a hoot at the brunch this morning.  She spoke honestly about her role as First Lady and all she is doing to bring encouragement to those in education and other areas of service in our communities.  

 Finally, our welcome packets.  We drove our energy efficient vehicle to Tampa and don't have much room to bring stuff home.  We may have to rent a Uhaul.  I received two large bags and my husband was given a bag as well.  They are stuffed full of all kinds of goodies.  I know my children will be thrilled with all the trinkets.  

My Delegate Pin.
 Quick photo of some of the loot that we will be bringing home.  

 So that will be all for now.  We have a Welcome Party tonight that should be fun.  I will update later.  Since y'all are all my dearest friends you know what I always do on Sundays - NAP!  RNC or not, I must get my nap!  So - see ya!