TAMPA, August 28, 2012—Monday was supposed to be a “day off” from the 2012 Republican National Convention, but attendees did not get the memo. Hurricane Isaac came and went, although Monday brought more periods of hard rain with breaks in between. Yet those wanting to put the party in Grand Old Party did not stop. While there was no official business on Monday, the day was as lively as ever.
It is important to keep in mind that for many people, the only actual business are the nighttime nominating speeches. Some have to suffer through platform and rules committee meetings, but for everyone else, networking does not stop just because of some inclement weather. Actually it does for Occupy protesters, but not for people who work for a living.
After morning prayers at the Tampa Jewish Community Center, the benefits of a post-hurricane quiet were apparent. As expected, Hurricane Isaac washed the streets of leftist protesters. If the National Guard, the Secret Service, and the Florida police were not a deterrent, the bad weather certainly was. Rabbi Rifkin of Chabad of Central Florida took me on a tour of the University of Tampa campus. There were no protesters in sight. The weather was awful, but this made it a beautiful morning.
Then it was time to get down to the business of politics. Former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McGauhey held a panel discussion on health care and the effects of Obamacare. Former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was everywhere doing his solutions oriented workshops. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was combing the halls making sure everything was on track, while California Congressman Darrell Issa was moving at a pace that can only be described as fast and furious.
Radio Row was buzzing. Mike Gallagher and Armstrong WIlliams were already up and running (Armstrong is having me on as a guest this week).
The Republican Jewish Coalition featured former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour as their keynote speaker for lunch. As always, Governor Barbour is one of those rare true blue conservatives who constantly preaches that the GOP big tent actually means something. His message of inclusiveness is what made him such a successful RNC Chairman back in the 1990s.
Nighttime featured many events. It would hard to describe them as “after-parties” since the convention had yet to start, but the Tampa nightlife as certainly the seen of Republican fun. Florida Senator Marco Rubio held an event in the Cuban area of Tampa along with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
The National Young Republicans held their kickoff at…where else? A tavern called “World of Beer.” A Chuck Norris look-a-like entertained the crowd while the future leaders of tomorrow mixed serious amounts of business with significant amounts of pleasure.
Tuesday will finally see some official convention business, but there is so much unofficial business and entertainment that this is already energizing the attendees. As for me, performing as part of an event headlined by former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell will cap off a night that begins with the bang of a gavel.
The action is just getting started, and there are no days off.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS
Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at TYGRRRR EXPRESS
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