Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day 2 Report - Republican National Convention

A Maine REALTOR's Report from Day 2 at the Republican National Convention:

Andre Cushing reports: Greetings again from Minneapolis. We opened the second day with a more traditional schedule. Now that the imminent danger from the hurricane has passed the focus transitioned to getting to know our candidate's background. We started with a breakfast meeting where we heard from several people who know John McCain: Carly Fiorina (former CEO of Hewlett Packard), Andy McCain, Dorcas Hardy (former commissioner for the Social Security Administration) and two military veterans, Retired Major General Ed Mechenbier (a fellow POW) and Captain Thomas Hudner spoke of his remarkable service.

Later in the day I attended a luncheon reception for legislators and candidates (I am running for a seat in the Maine House of Representatives to represent Hampden, Dixmont & Newburgh). I then did an interview with a blogger and a reporter for the Bangor Daily News on my campaign and my experience as a Mainer at the convention. After which it was time to head to the Xcel Center for the evening program.

The Tuesday schedule follows the theme proposed by Senator McCain of “Country First” and highlights the word “Service” in its offering of speakers, which included President George W. Bush (via satellite), First Lady Laura Bush, and others.

The most moving presentations to me were a special appearance by a gentleman Wes Gullett and his daughter, Mickey. They told the story of how Cindy McCain, while travelling in Bangladesh, stopped at Mother Theresa’s orphanage and was moved to adopt two babies with severe medical conditions and return them to the U.S. She and John adopted Bridget and their friends, the Gulletts, adopted Mickey. It offered a glimpse at the personal side of the McCains that we don’t always see in politics.

The politics heated up when featured speaker Sen. Fred Thompson took the stage and offered an energetic comparison of Senator McCain and Senator Obama. He brought the crowd to its feet repeatedly with his comments. Then Senator Joe Lieberman offered his endorsement and issued a call to Democrats and Independent voters to join him in supporting the McCain-Palin team. Another special moment came when Former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush entered the hall. The entire convention paused as they were led to their seats to a warm ovation from those in attendance.

I must say this was a day was great experience even for someone like myself who has attended previous conventions.

Andre Cushing is a REALTOR with ERA Dawson Bradford in Bangor; pictured with Republican strategist Karl Rove

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