Reader Peter Rice lives near the site of the Republican National Convention and is attending as a guest. He has kindly sent us this brief set of observations of the convention so far:
1. Republican speakers continue to highlight and celebrate champions and to present themselves as champions, such as Condi Rice as the little girl in Jim Crow Alabama who grew up to become Secretary of State.
2. The criticisms of Obama and Democrats were mild and few.
3. Condi Rice and Paul Ryan gave great speeches (in content and delivery) and were VERY well received. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, who was little known beyond New Mexico, gave a great speech that was well received in the 10:00-11:00 PM time period. I read that ABC News did not cover her, but rather bashed her.
4. The atmosphere of all (except the Obama State Media) in the St. Pete Times Forum (hockey/basketball arena) was very upbeat, very cheery. A couple times an hour a band next to the speaker’s stage would play one or two songs with dancing by many delegates on the arena floor.
5. As for the nature of those in the arena, on the floor, and in the passageways around the arena, there are a lot of delegates/guests/volunteers under 30, and everyone was upbeat/happy. I do not remember seeing any tattoos, rings on faces, or purple or similar hair. I did see lots of miniskirts/dresses both in the passageways and on the delegate floor.
6. For Tuesday and Wednesday night speakers there were NO introductory speeches, rather just an announcement on the speaker system of who was next. This is very different from two or three introductory speeches at the conventions of 20 to 40 years ago. I understand that Thursday evening Marco Rubio will introduce Mitt Romney.
No word on tonight’s mystery guest…
UPDATE: Kevin Williamson’s got the word.