Day 1 Recap of the Republic National Convention by Jim Worthington

20160718_094313 (1)Breakfast with Paul Ryan
Monday morning, Paul Ryan addressed our PA delegation speaking about how important PA is in the general election.  He mentioned Pence a good bit and talked about the problems of the country.  I feel he was saving his words for Trump for his place at the podium later when he addresses the entire convention.  He was impressive and well spoken.
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Uproar on the Floor
On Monday afternoon there was the infamous attempted roll call vote on the floor promoted by Senator Mike Lee from Utah.  I happened to be close enough to get this picture of the senator being accosted by the press. Honestly, that happened really quickly and was over, but was exciting while it was in progress.
Monday Prime Time 
Convention Highlights
The evening began with Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty.  Then Governor Perry introduced Marcus Lutrell, US Navy Seal and author of the book Lone Survivor which chronicles the harrowing tale of a fierce battle in Afghanistan.  He was very, moving in his account of the plight of the American soldier.
Pat Smith as the mother of Benghazi victim, Sean Smith was profound in her telling of her son’s story.  She clearly blames Clinton for her son’s death and was quiet and devastating in her presentation.  She was followed by Mark Geist and John Tiegen, both Marine Corps veterans who fought in the Battle of Benghazi.  Their recounting of the terror and horror of the abandonment they experienced was moving and impactful.
Illegal immigration took center stage next with 3 individuals retelling the sad loss of loved ones at the hands of these illegals: Mary Anhnj Mendoza, who lost her son Brandon; Sabine Durden, who lost her son Dominic; and Jamiel Shaw, whose son Jamiel II was murdered.  It is impossible to remain stoic and immune to the looming problem of illegal immigration in the face of the tragedy that these people have suffered.
David Clarke, the Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin was impassioned about the matter of “Blue Lives Matter”  When he uttered those words the entire arena erupted in cheers.  He was direct and no-nonsense in his approach and I thought he was second only to Rudy Giuliani in his presentation.
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas is an experienced combat veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  When he spoke it became clear to me that he is up and coming in the party and has a bright future ahead.  Keep your eyes on him.
Rudy Giuliani delivered by far the most powerful speech of the evening.  You had to be in the room to feel the rush of energy in response to his words.  He hammered in on both Hillary and Obama and had the crown in the palm of his hands.
And then there was the long awaited speech from Melania Trump.  In my mind, she did not disappoint.  She was well-spoke, gracious, elegant and classic.  Yes, there are language differences, but she is fluent in several languages and the crowd was attentive to her every word.  She does not strike me as a woman who is subservient, which bodes well for any first lady. I gave her a thumbs up.
California was probably the most energetic state so far that I observed, followed by Texas, who were all dressed in red, white and blue shirts with jeans and cowboy hats.  Fun.  Ohio was seated in the hall behind PA (we are slightly to the right of the stage as you are looking at it and up front).  We think Ohio was not happy with their placement behind us as they are the home state of the convention.  New York, of course, was front and center.
I hope you enjoy these observations from behind the scenes.  You can view a full gallery of pictures on the website or at People4Trump PA 8th Facebook Page.