The day began with a 7:30 am breakfast for the combined Tennessee and Alaska delegations. I got permission to set up a table to sell my books, and sold another 10, which was a nice result. A guy from the Wall Street Journal picked the book up, and the photographer took a picture of me, standing in front of the books on the table.
John McCain's brother Joe spoke, a colorful version of his slightly older brother. Governor Pataki also chimed in, after Congressman David Drier. I introduced myself as a native of Jamestown, New York to the former New York State Chief Executive and it didn't seem to spark any interest on his part.
Went downtown to the Kinko's to pick up more books and they graciously agreed to handle my requirements. It's a wonder of modern technology. I usually use Lightning Source to print books, but they couldn't turn books around fast enough for the convention. The first part of the order was filled at the Franklin store, the second part filled at the Minneapolis store. Juan Holloway in Franklin and store manager John in Minneapolis did a great job. Kudos to Kinkos !
Took a trip to the Mall of America, got a needed haircut ( in expectation of lightning striking with that big TV interview), got back to the hotel, and lo and behold, there was a Television newsman grabbing my arm for an interview. It wasn't Sean Hannity, it was some local program looking for Tennesseans reaction to some local Minnesota products--like lutefish and the ever famous loon call machine. Yes, I told the interviewer, these are all wonderful products, and we're ever so appreciative of your gracious hospitality.
Then it was off to a "Chocolate reception" for my congressional representative, Marsha Blackburn (yes, she was on McCain's VP short list), then the 4 pm bus to the convention center.
More media sitings and book handouts -- gave one to a journalist from the Boston Globe, a producer from C-SPAN, Mike Gallagher (who had the same misunderstanding of the Stanley Ann Dunham timeline that Michael Medved had, and cited Jerome Corsi as the source), and Hugh Hewitt. Hewitt was the nicest and most interested of all. Gave him the elevator speech while he was talking with David Feddoroso, who confirmed my investigation on the mom left dad, not dad left mom storyline was unique.
Tried to give a book to Bill Bennet, but he blew me off completely. Apparently, my book is not one of sufficient virtues.
The convention itself started out slow, but Karl Rove was there next to the Fox News booth and he livened things up for the locals. Very nice guy, very congenial. He posed for a picture with me and he laughed when I told him about the Senator Patrick Leahy connection.
"It's Michael Patrick Leahy," I said. "Patrick Leahy from Vermont is my third cousin, but I promise you Karl, the Leahy's were Republicans before they were Democrats."
Fred Thompsons' speech was terrific. Delivered with the kind of passion that would have made him President had he campaigned that way. The thing is -- he was passionate about it because he absolutely believes John McCain will make a great President.
And Joe Lieberman !
What a great speech !
Who knew ?
Stayed after the speeches on the floor long enough to chat with California Congressman Dan Lundgren, and see Meg Whitman again. Posed for a picture with Meg Whitman and fellow delegate and friend "Ironman" Brant Bell.
There we were, the future governor of California and E-Bay Executive Whitman, worth a cool $1.7 billion, Brant on one side, me on the other. Brant gave his camera to a nice lady to take the pic but.... she was not of the digital age.
"Is this the button ?"
"No, try the red one."
"No, the red one."
Meanwhile, there patiently waits Ms. Whitman with the two of us until the photo is finally taken.
A class act.
After the convention, hung around the set in front of the Fox News set long enough to have my daughter see me on TV during the Greta Van Sustern Show, as she interviewed first Newt Gingrich and then Laura Ingraham.
"Dad, you're on tv !"
The mugging for the cameras put me in danger of missing the last bus to the hotel. Hurrying out to the pointed pick up location -- Number 11 -- I finally read the sign... "Last pick ups at 11:15 pm" it read.
I glanced at my watch.
What's a Tennessee Delegate to do 15 miles from the hotel.
Happened to catch some yellow vest clad volunteers.
"Hey, I guess I missed the last bus to my hotel. You guys know where the taxi stand is ?"
"Where ya headed?"
"Ouch, that will cost you $50. Tell you what, I'm headed that way, I'll give you a ride," said my new best friend, Christopher Owens, a logistics manager with Super-Value.
Half an hour later, I was back at the hotel, posting this blog.
On to tomorrow.
Sarah Palin will speak.... The moment and the mom have met !