Quick reflections on the GOP convention
5 things I enjoyed about convention
1. Outstanding internet access on the part of the Watertown Ramkota.
DANG! You guys knew what your conventioneers wanted and you gave it to us, especially the blogger(s). The internet access on the floor and in the rooms was great. I'd take a convention back there anyday.
2. 'Someone' running the halls at 4am yelling "Dana Randall for State Party Chairman."
Of course, that left Dana explaining that he wasn't seeking the office. But it was a exuberant show of support for one of the GOP's most influential and top county leaders.
3. Ron Volesky being applauded.
When Larry Long gave his acceptance speech and mentioned he had the same opponent as four years ago, Ron Volesky, the croud erupted in spontaneous applause.
Always the best part of convention. I really enjoy speaking with county chairmen and elected officials to get thier opinion on the direction of the party, and the issues we face. Hearing from young gunners like Eric Fahrendorf and Todd Schlekeway, chatting with long time party leaders like Dean Krogman, Cheryl Laurenz-Bogue and Senate Majority Leader Eric Bogue, seeing new candidates such as Betty Olson and Isaac Latterell - this is why we go to these things.
We talk about how we're keeping the party alive and vibrant in South Dakota, and we see the people like Matt Michels and Lee Schoenbeck who within 4 short years will be in a position where they may have the baton of being the figurehead of the GOP handed off to them.
From where I was sitting, we're in good shape.
5. Generally, the convention was run in a fairly tight manner.
Not a lot of fiddling around at the podium, and it was kept moving. When you get into discussions on abortion in the platform and resolutions, it can be like herding cats.
We managed to skin that one in about an hour. Good job on a well run convention.
5 things about convention I could have done without
1. Little/No competition for open seats.
It causes me concern for the health of the party in years to come. In 2008 and 2010 - let's have some competition.
Afraid to try and fail? It's ok to lose. I recall one person losing to Joyce Hazeltine for Secretary of State at convention one year. And no one would deny that Laska Schoenfelder came back and left a proud mark on the party after the loss.
2. What happened to the hospitality rooms?
For me, Friday night is and always has been about hospitaility rooms. It's a night to meet candidates, talk with them and find out their positions, and to garner support among delegates. That's why candidates (sometimes even those who aren't up) put anywhere from $500 to $1000+ into hosting them.
While Casino night was a resounding success from what I heard, I think it detracted a little from face time with the candidates. Yes, it's just my opinion. But I want to meet candidates on a personal basis, and hear what they stand for. Isn't that what we're there for?
3. Delegates who complain about the direction of the party, then don't show up.
I know of several instances of delegates who said they were going to convention, but didn't, and that dealing with abortion on the platform would never have happened ten years ago. The party's destiny is decided by those of us who showed up. Decided to skip it? Look in the mirror as you're casting the first stone.
4. The explanation of the RNC stuff.
We're at convention for charting our destiny and getting fired up about the fall elections. Very technical explanations about voting patterns are best left to specific seminars for those of us who want to attend. Once you hit 2 minutes, it's time for a mass bathroom/smoking break.
Yes we care, but our attention spans were starting to wear thin at that point. Give us a party cheerleader.
Chad Heinrich of the Secretary of State's office won Jarrod Johnson's South Dakota beef raffle. Dang it. I bought my raffle tickets and had high hopes of New York Strips this 4th of July.
A boy can dream, can't he?