It's been eight years since the last national Republican convention I attended, and I wonder how this one will compare.
At the last one, in Minneapolis, McCain was the nominee, but really Palin was the focus of attention. And Romney was so off the radar screen that I almost bumped into him alone on a sidewalk outside the arena after McCain's acceptance speech. That he couldn't find a friend to walk with him that night should have been a sign of things to come. This year Romney won't even be at the convention. McCain will be in the Grand Canyon both literally and metaphorically, given how far away he is from everyone's attention these days.
Eight years ago Ron Paul brought the most motley band of supporters. I remember attending their outdoor rally in a park, where a couple of fellows in whitey tighties were preaching libertarianism and passing out copies of the Constitution. This time those standing with Rand (in business suits) probably won't be noticed. That's too bad. Maybe in another four years.
In Minneapolis there were a few protesters. But it was nothing compared to what has been hyped for this week. When McCain was nominated, the nation yawned, except for its momentary interest in Palin. But she seemed more like a Hail Mary than a solid player in a game where the Republicans were badly behind. The Democrats were making history with the first serious African American candidate. McCain wasn't the first anything. Only the most diehard of protesters thought it worth their time to protest him.
This year is different. The Democrats are trying to win with the same game plan as in 2008, only substitute woman for Black. But the Republicans have stumbled upon a nominee who is even more intriguing than a first female president. Forget the question of whether America is ready for a woman as commander in chief. What has the thousands of media and the anticipated protesters all in a dither is a far more interesting question: is America ready for a Trump in the White House?
That query will drive all the discussion both inside and outside the arena this week.
I don't expect to run into a future presidential nominee in an unguarded moment as I did in 2008, but by definition you never know at the time it happens.
Speaking of unguarded moments, there were more than a hundred bare naked ladies protesting something earlier today. You know Trump is onto something huge when he causes people to shed their underwear. Not even Ron Paul could pull that off.