Baron Dave Romm (barondave) wrote,
Baron Dave Romm

RNC: Day 1, Part 1

Moms Trust McCain
Three delegates from Colorado at the RNC
"Moms Trust McCain"
St. Paul, Sept. 1, 2008CE


My first day of the Republican National Convention (and 12th day of intensive political podcasting) was a fair success, but not without drama. After an initial meeting of the KFAI-FM News team where we got our credentials, I decided to hazard driving. Naturally, I got hopelessly lost in St. P, and eventually parked several blocks away, in parking garage that hiked prices for the event. This turned out exceptionally well: When I was leaving, traffic was at a dead standstill for blocks around the Xcel Center... and my parking garage was a half-block away from the snarl. I drove home easily.

But I digress.

The convention itself was in Defensive Mode. It was fairly easy to get in, if you had the proper credentials. (Mark Richards was a gopher-level volunteer, and didn't think I could get too close with my camera... until he saw my Press creds.)

But it was hard to get out. Really. Once you were in, if you wanted to go into the city, you had to walk around the double-ring of fences. Once I got outside, to see the protests, a huuuuge number of riot police were standing around... but that will have to wait for the next report.

Forgive the quick posting. Here are my first five interviews (of fourteen that I'll probably use).

First interview struck gold. As I was trudging from the parking lot, the corner hot dog vendor turned out to be pissed that he had been kicked out of his usual spot at Rice Park near the convention center because he didn't pay the requisite kickbacks. George of George's Hot Dogs (mp3, 5:42).

Next up: Talk Radio Row. A nice conservative talk show host from Georgia, who had been to the Democratic National Convention and compared. Martha Zoller of the Martha Zoller Show (mp3, 5:16).

A guy was standing there looking like he wanted to be interviewed, so I granted his unspoken wish. He turned out to be an elector for McCain in Maryland, who runs a think tank. Andrew Langer (mp3 6:22).

Still over in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, the Texas Delegation arrived, and I pulled aside one particularly friendly looking lady, who was not only a delegate but a member of the Rules Committee. Melinda Fredericks (mp3 7:58).

I couldn't go into on the floor or in "the bowl", most of the hockey area of the Xcel Center, but I did wander around the periphery. Three women were standing together, t-shirts proudly displaying their political views (picture above) with the backs of the t-shirts with a hasty add-on (below). Moms Trust McCain (mp3, 3:26).

More from the first day if don't collapse any second now. Since I'll be going back tomorrow and Wednesday (and maybe Thurs), I don't want to get too far behind....

We Love Sarah
The back of the delegates
"We Love Sarah"
St. Paul, Sept. 1, 2008CE

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