Thursday, September 4, 2008

State Representative Pam Peterson at the Thursday evening
session of the Republican National Convention.

State Representative Sally Kern and State Party Chair Gary Jones listen as an unnamed CNN producer
talks with over 20 of the Oklahoma delegation on Monday evening in the lobby of the hotel.

William Layton, 9, is the son of Amanda Layton a New Jersey delegate sitting directly
in front of us Thursday evening. He was vvvveeeerrrry tired!

Angie LaPlante, 5th district Chairperson (foreground) along with Jonathon Storment, back, L-R Ryan Owens, Marjorie Brown,
and State Representative Gary Banz on the floor of the Republican National Convention Thursday evening.

Thursday September 4, 2008: Midnight

We caught the buses to the Xcel center for the final session at 3:30pm. After eating a Chicago style hot dog, Debbie and I made our way to the floor. Michael Bates from Batesline was gracious enough to snap a picture of four of the five Republican District Chairs at the National Convention.
The evening program began promptly at 6pm with Trace Adkins, the country star singing the National Anthem. Then Congressman Tom Cole spoke briefly and several candidates for US House were given the opportunity to address the delegates. The same was allowed for the US Senate Republicans.
I visited with Amanda Layton, an attorney from Riverton, NJ. Amanda and her husband have one son- William- (see photo above). Amanda was sitting with her friend Amy Roschkes. The ladies were very excited about Sarah Palin. When I asked her how she got involved in politics, she replied, "My husband is the County GOP Chairman." My wife Debbie said, "I can relate to that." Amanda's political hero is the former Governor of New Jersey, Christie Todd Whitman. Layton said social and economic issues drive her in politics. "I don't believe in entitlement programs- I worked my way through law school while raising a son," Layton said. They were seated directly in front of us at the Thursday evening session and were gracious and friendly.
Several speakers preceded the keynotes including Minnesota Governor Tim Paulenty. "Barack Obama gives a good speech, but the best sermons are not those that are just preached, but those that are lived." , Panlenty said. The governor emphasised COUNTRY FIRST as his message.
Next on the list was former US Senator Bill Frist who talked about peace through health care. "John McCain knows you don't go to war with a person who has saved your children's lives," Frist said.
He was followed by Lt. General Carol Mutter, who is a retired three star general. She talked about the killing of Megan McClung . McClung died during combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq, on December 6, Her motto was BE BOLD, BE BRIEF, BE GONE. Mutter said "No one will be a better commander in chief than John McCain."
After a moving video about the life of Cindy McCain, the future first lady spoke eloquently to the crowd. "This election is about renewing our commitment to one another." Women always seek a husband who has courage and values and with John McCain, I hit a home run," Cindy said. "I know what his children say of him and there is no doubt what our forefathers would make of him," McCain concluded.

Kansas Senator Sam Brownback spoke and said, "John McCain lives for something more than himself."

Oklahoma's own Congresswoman Mary Fallin spoke. With images of the Oklahoma City bombing on the screen, Fallin talked about the "Oklahoma standard." "The spirit of Oklahoma and how Oklahomans responded to the bombing is the spirit of the American people to stand together with the spirit and resolve that embodies itself in the spirit of John McCain." "We cannot afford a president who think he can talk with evil," Fallin said.

McCain's best friends, Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and former PA Governor Tom Ridge spoke. Ridge said, "It's not about building a record, it's about having one."

After a moving video, McCain approached the podium. He began by accepting the party's nomination. He wrote his own speech and instead of using a TelePrompter, he used a written text. He started out by acknowledging his family, then he stressed his military credentials which are impressive and its not likely that Obama will attack his record. He touched on jobs, education, school choices and energy. His delivery was pleasant and careful. There is no doubt that Obama can string a sentence together, but if people make their decision on experience, judgment, and the best person for the job, it will be McCain.

We fly out tomorrow afternoon- back into Dallas late Friday night- Stephens County GOP HQ GRAND OPENING at 10am Saturday morning.

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