Friday, September 5, 2008

Republican National Convention - Day 3

Andre Cushing reports: Hello again from Minneapolis/St Paul! Today was a full schedule of events starting with our Maine delegation breakfast briefing.

I visited Civicfest - which is a vibrant civic festival celebrating Minnesota and American history, democracy, and the U.S. Presidency. The event, produced by the Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee, features more than 35 exhibits including: historic memorabilia and artifacts, a scale model of the White House, a re-created Convention floor, a stage featuring live performances, an actual President’s official limousine, a full-scale replica of the White House Oval Office, multimedia and interactive exhibits featuring significant historical objects, an interactive kiosk that explores the lives and administrations of the twelve Presidents, and a 60,000 square-foot Marketplace.

This venue definitely will call for another day to explore it. I'm a real history buff and love looking at the displays and listening to the recordings of presidential speeches. There also were some great exhibits about Minnesota, history of businesses and noted figures. For example General Mills (who we all know for cereals) also was into aerospace and developed the ALVIN, the first deep diving submarine. Also the pacemaker, Post-it notes and Rollerblades were developed in Minnesota!

Today also is a full schedule of receptions. First at the invitation of Governor McKernan we attended “Republicans Supporting Higher Education," held at the Art Institute International Minnesota. The hurricane was still on our minds so I took some time to help with preparing comfort packs for delivery to the Gulf region. It was amazing to enter this big hall and see so many fellow delegates joining local volunteers at hundreds of tables assembling and pack these bags.

Then onto meet with my fellow REALTORS at the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Reception where I met members of the NAR board and fellow delegates who are REALTORS. NAR President-Elect Charles McMillan welcomed us and shared that approximately 200 attendees to the convention are REALTORS which proved that we take public service very seriously and are willing to get involved. He also mentioned that several members of Congress have been or are REALTORS. Here's the link to the NAR site with information on both conventions, including interviews with attendees.

I attended a reception hosted by AT&T for the Maine & Vermont delegations where I met Vermont Governor Jim Douglas. Then time to go to the Xcel Center for the evening events. We heard from many speakers including former Maryland Lt.Gov. Michael Steele, who now chairs GOPAC. A special note: my daughter Grace (a senior at Simmons College) took a year sabbatical to work on his U.S. Senate race in 2006 and when she told his staff she was coming to the Convention he wanted her to work with him this week! She was able to help out and is really enjoying the convention (from a different perspective) travelling to media appearances and helping with his other speaking engagements.

The evening also saw NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Govs. Mitt Romney & Mike Huckabee and former Senator Fred Thompson take the stage. Finally the featured event - Gov. Sarah Palin addressed the convention and what a powerful speech she offered!! It was a great coming out for this interesting and energetic VP candidate. From what I have read her speech had the largest television viewership of its kind in history.

This was also the night that nominations are made by the different state delegations. Rep. Josh Tardy (Newport) is the Maine delegation chair and got to make the nomination speech for us. We all cheered when Maine came up! Here's a picture of us on the big screen!

Andre Cushing is a REALTOR with ERA Dawson Bradford in Bangor

No comments: