Wednesday, September 3, 2008

From the RNC - Go with the Flow - Hilda Moeller

I signed up for a Sunday luncheon with Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. How exciting! Then the luncheon was moved to Sunday at noon. Oh no! I was scheduled to work with Lifetime TV from 11 AM to 6PM. Then I received a call from Lifetime, would I please work from five PM to one AM at the Rock the Vote Party? Yes! I get to go to Cheney’s luncheon. Seven hours later, I got another call telling me that someone had to drop of the program and they needed me back at 11 AM, so I had to cancel my reservation to the Cheney luncheon. Shortly later, it was announced Cheney will not come to the Convention because of Gustav. This is just one example of why Eugene Alpert, the Senior Vice President of the Washington Center keeps telling us to keep our expectations low and to go with the flow. Good advice, otherwise one could get discouraged. (By the way, Daniel, another Texas student got to go to the luncheon today and was nicely surprised to see Mike Huckabee in Cheney’ place as speaker).
During the weekend, I attended several parties. Saturday evening I went to a Media Party where I was able to take the enclosed pictures of the Mississippi River.

Sunday I attended a reception before the private showing of the movie “An American Carol.” After the movie I found myself (by accident, believe it or not) at a great reception given to all the Delegates and their guests. I visited with a number of them, including the Puerto Rican delegation that was most friendly. Every person I talked to was excited about McCain’s pick for Vice President. Apparently, the Republican Party is ready to support an even more conservative vice president than John McCain. It is also apparent that the lack of experience of Gov. Palin is not important at all, as it does not seem important for the Democrats, the lack of experience of Obama. A delegate from Florida told me that there was a lot of excitement for McCain in her state and even more now that they know about Palin.

By the way, I got a picture taken of me with an unexpected guest.

Today, the Convention started. Since it only lasted two hours and my fieldwork did not end until six in the evening I was not able to be at the Xcel Energy Center. However, across the street from where I was doing my field work there was a lot of action. A group of “anarchists” tried everything they could to stop the busses that carried the delegates to the convention from going through the bridge into the Xcel Center. They tried to block the streets with anything they could. They also joined, uninvited, peaceful anti-war protests. Then things turned violent. There were store windows broken, slashed tires, a garbage can set on fire and thrown at a police car and other mischief. Riot officers who carried batons, rifles and tear gas guns were present. Two hundred and twenty three people were arrested across, one hundred and thirty of them with felony charges. During the demonstration, people from the media tried to find out what they are protesting or what they believe in, but they would not say. The police were in high alert and were prepared to stop this self-described anarchist group of people that call themselves “The RNC Welcoming Committee.” This group was not related to the organizers of the peaceful anti-war protests.
Tonight there are many parties around town. However, they have quickly turned into fundraisers. This morning Laura Bush spoke at the Convention and urged people to help those who, because of Gustav, will be needing help and people swiftly followed her advice.
I hope that in my next blog I will share with you my experience at the Xcel Energy Center. See you next time.

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