I have never seen so many balloons, by the time the last wave of balloons fell from the ceiling you couldn't see the floor, you couldn't see the seats, and they piled 3 feet high in places! It was truly amazing and electric in the hall and I was so glad to be a part of it all.
My last two days in Tampa were filed with events, guest speakers, tours of beautiful Tampa, and amazing food. First, a shout out to the residents and volunteers in Tampa - they were so friendly and welcoming and other than the first night(mare) with the bus problems everything went off without a hitch. Second, a shout out to all those from Pennsylvania who organized this trip for over 350 of us, it couldn't have been any better and after talking to some folks from other states it became clear that PA was given a real treat with visits from so many very important people on the political scene.
Attached are some pictures from our events, and of course the big night. Sorry for the grainy appearance on some, my IPad camera stopped working and I was left to use my BB.
I hope you all got a chance to see the guest speakers Thursday night. Personal friends of Mitt and Ann Romney told us their very moving stories of their friendships and working relationships with the Romneys. Contrary to what is being put out by the opposition, we heard several testimonials from CEOs and employees of companies that were saved and/or launched thanks to Bain Capital's investment and leadership. And the stories of Mitts community service and outreach to those in need truly brought tears to our eyes. I don't know that I could have stood in front of all those people and shared such personal and heart wrenching stories. If you didn't see it Thursday night you really need to, I understand CSPAN is rerunning the entire convention.
And then there was the surprise guest, Clint Eastwood. Like everyone one else we had heard rumors of his appearance but I have to admit the reaction was mixed. For those of us in the forum it was a nice break in the routine of speeches and he made some very good points along the way. I am not sure it was the best use of prime time though, the video they played before he came on gave a great overview of Mitt Romney and I would have thought it better to show that to America so they could get to know him. I will be curious to hear your reaction.
Marco Rubio's speech was moving. Like so many who spoke before him, he told us of his parents and grandparents sacrifice and risk they took to come to America and reminded us all of how important our freedom and the American way really is. For me it was a great reminder of the bigger things we take for granted. The other thing that was really eye opening was the realization that we, the Republican Party, have more Latino and women in the highest offices in our government. I knew we had some highly visible members of Congress and the Senate, but there are many that don't have as much visibility and I certainly didn't realize how many Governors were women. It is highly encouraging!
When Mitt came in the place went wild, even those who support Ron Paul seemed engaged and supportive. Mitt's speech was great! If there seemed to be some awkward moments with applause and chants of USA or Mitt, it was because there were some very loud hecklers and it took the security a few minutes to get them out. What a shame that people like that don't respect the right of the rest of us to hear from the person who could be our next President without their interruption. I wanted to hear the Romney-Ryan plan to get us back on the right track and was not disappointed when he outlined the 5 main tenants to his plan to create jobs and get our economy back on track (energy independence, education/job training skill to succeed, trade policies that work for America, cutting the deficit, championing small businesses). He hit all the most important issues, in my opinion, though there is much more to hear about over the coming weeks.
The other thing that was really interesting to watch the debt counters through out the week. Seeing the speed at which the debt was fast approaching the $16 trillion mark in such a visible way was shocking and the fact that the debt increased over $8 million just during the four days of the convention made it really hit home.
Thanks again for all your support and votes - I greatly appreciated being able to go and represent our area - NOW WE HAVE TO GET TO WORK FOR ROMNEY & RYAN !