We left Salt Lake in the early hours of morning Sunday, and after changing planes in sunny Los Angeles, we descended through a cloudy layer and into Tampa Bay, Florida. The Republican National Convention won’t get rolling until Tuesday, though there were events tonight and more tomorrow. Just a few quick observations from this battleground state:
- With reports of tropical storm Isaac moving west into the Gulf towards New Orleans, there is something of a feeling of relief in the locals I spoke with. Our waitress at dinner was convinced that all we would see is a thunderstorm and the local news is forecasting just one to six inches of rain on Monday, then back to typical sunny summer weather on Tuesday.
- There’s no doubt, we’re in a battle ground state. Both Obama and Romney are running lots of campaign ads that are direct and mean. Obama attacking Romney, and Romney attacking Obama (and also, Obama attacking Ryan. No one is attacking Biden, I suppose. He does more damage to himself than anyone else can). “No wonder people hate politics,” says my better-half. “So glad we don’t have to hear so many of these in Utah.”‘
- We flew out and ate dinner with Doug Wright, Maria Shilaos, Scott Seeger and the other luminaries over at KSL News Radio. It’s been great to get to know them, and hear their candid thought on politics, conventions, books, and Salt Lake. They’re sharp people, all of them, and I look forward to working with them this week.
It’s going to be a fun week. We ran into Rep. Jason Chaffetz and his wife on the way into the hotel, as well as Ivan Dubois and some of the other staff of the Utah Republican Party. There’s a lot of energy and excitement, and Tampa Bay feels welcoming of the RNC, from the dozens of greeters at the airport to the billboards and signs that are lining the highways into town.
Barring Isaac surprising everyone and turning back towards Tampa Bay, it looks to be a fun week. Stay tuned.
- What I’m looking for at the Republican National Convention (publiusonline.com)
- BREAKING: GOP delays start of convention until Tuesday (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)