Friday, September 5, 2008

Republican National Convention - Day 4 Report

Andre Cushing reports: Well here we are at the final day of the GOP Convention ...

It's hard to believe as I sit here in the airport writing this that so much happened in so short a time. Another delegate said it well, “it feels like we have fit three weeks into one.” Our final day breakfast briefing was hosted by former Governor John McKernan and his wife Sen. Snowe. Our guest speaker was Frank Donatelli, Deputy Chair of the Republican Nat’l Committee. Frank served in two White Houses. He shared information on the historic nature of this election and what the results may mean to history.

During the day I went back to Civicfest to view more of exhibits and buy some convention memorabilia. I bought buttons, apparel, gift items and books then packed up 37 lbs of goodies and shipped them home (no lugging extra heavy bags on the plane.) I also went to a special appearance and book signing by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife. I even got to ask him a question during Q&A! It was about his thoughts on the comparison of Gov Palin to another young reform Governor who was nominated VP, one of my favorites Teddy Roosevelt.

I then attended a reception for hosted by the group Republicans for Environmental Protection, where Theodore Roosevelt, IV was the featured speaker. I was really looking forward to meeting him but our transportation bus got stuck in rush hour traffic and I arrived just after he left to catch a plane back to NY. Well maybe another time.

Onto the convention and the concluding night. Things started off with a host of speakers, one of special note was Maine’s own Charlie Summers, running for Congress in the 1st Congressional District. A host of other speakers took the stage leading up to the finale where our presidential nominee would speak.

A video shared parts of Sen. McCain's life story and service to his county. It was a moving look at the man and set a special mood for the evening. Following it, Sen. McCain stepped onto the stage and strode to a podium set on a runway which allowed him to be in the crowd while he spoke (something he is fond of doing.) After his speech he was joined on stage by his whole family and Gov Palin & family. The evening climaxed with lots of confetti and balloons. It was a remarkable night that left us both energized and then exhausted.

As I mentioned in my Day 1 blog this was the third National Convention I attended. It was an incredible experience and I would urge some of you to also consider attending a convention some day. It leaves you with a special feeling and a better understanding of this unique process by which Americans choose their leaders. It is fascinating to many in the world that our elected leader willingly subject themselves to such pressure and scrutiny to get the position; and then will voluntarily relinquish it at the end of their term. It gives one a greater appreciation extraordinary system of government that we live with.

Andre Cushing is a REALTOR with ERA Dawson Bradford in Bangor

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