Monday, September 01, 2008


Republican National Convention: Day Two

Sunday was mostly a day of uncertainty for convention participants as we all deal with the arrival of Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana. It's apparent that most of CNN's reporters (like Anderson Cooper) are rooting for a disaster, causing more stress amongst all Americans who are rightfully worried about the prospects of another Katrina or Rita. Angela is worried about Grand Isle, Louisiana, which is catching the brunt of the storm. While she was a rising Junior at Vanderbilt, Angela served on a mission trip to Grand Isle and formed a connection to that small island off of the Louisiana mainland. She knows that it is a poor area that is constantly vulnerable to hurricanes.

From what we are hearing, the events of the day have been greatly truncated. Outside of the business of the day that has to occur, we won't do much on Monday. Nearly every speech has been cancelled, and the parties that were planned have either been postponed, cancelled, or abbreviated.

Back to the Sunday's report...

Angela and I arrived at the Ramada Mall of America via shuttle from the Staybridge Suites on Sunday morning. We shared the shuttle ride with members of Al-Jazeera, which was interesting to say the least. The Tennessee delegation has a large block of rooms at the Ramada, but we're not the only ones here. The Alaska delegation also has set up camp at the Ramada, which has made for some excitement with the media due to a certain Alaskan Governor who has seen her profile raised recently. There are also hundreds of whacko protesters who have been providing much entertainment for all of the other guests. As Angela and I awaited our room to become available, we collected our credentials, paperwork, and other goodies from the Tennessee Republican Party officials. The room was apparently sponsored by Pfizer, although I have no idea why because there didn't seem to be anything related to Pfizer or food or drink there. (Perhaps there was later, but not while I was in the room.)
Angela and I hooked up with delegate Donna McDermott and her friend Lanita, who had a car with them after driving up from Crossville, Tennessee. We all traveled into St. Paul for the premier of the David Zucker film, "An American Carol." The reception prior to the film was headlined by Lee Greenwood and elegantly catered. We had the chance to speak with other members of our delegation, including Van Hilleary and Oscar Brock, as well as former Governor of Wisconsin Tommy Thompson.
The movie itself was quite funny, producing many laugh-at-loud moments. Several of the actors, including Jon Voight and Kevin Farley, were on-hand for the premier, and Kelsey Grammer, who has recently been ill, had a taped message played for the thousands in attendance. We sat with members of the Memphis brigade, including Senator Mark Norris and John Ryder.
After the movie, we attended the Convention Delegation party, where we observed several exhibits about the presidency and munched on finger foods and beverages. We spoke with several friends and delegation members, including House Minority Leader Jason Mumpower and Scott Farmer, a member of Senator Lindsey Graham's staff who had attended Vanderbilt with Angela.
Like the old geezers that we are, we headed back to the Ramada at the end of the Convention Delegation party instead of going to the post-party. Back at the Ramada, we hit the indoor pool, although we probably could have swam outside given the unseasonably warm weather that Minnesota is experiencing.

All in all, a relaxing day with an eye back towards the South and the impending storm. Our prayers are with our Southern brothers and sisters and may God help them to make it through what is sure to be a trying Labor Day.


I received the following message from a friend from Statesboro, GA about Gov. Palin's daughter's pregnancy. Thought you would find it touching.

When I heard the news of Gov. Palin's daughter, Bristol, being
pregnant, it took me back almost fourteen years ago, when I found out
at the age of 17 that I was going to be a father.

From my personal experience, I can tell you that this is a very scary
time. I went from being an upcoming honor graduate who had been
accepted to GA Tech and UGA to being an expectant father who had no
idea how he was going to support a family.

While it is easy at this time to judge, gossip, or second guess,
please remember that this is a real human being that has now been
thrust into the national news. She needs prayers and support, not
criticism. The criticism will come, but do not let it come from us.

When you believe in the sanctity of life as I do and Gov. Palin and
her family does, there is no question about abortion. Sen. Obama has
made it clear what would happen if this occurred to his daughters.
While this pregnancy was not planned, it does not change the fact that
the life that was created is real. I strongly applaud Bristol in her
decision to keep the child.

I will not try to and deny the fact that life of a teenage parent is
difficult. I was not prepared for the challenges that I faced. At
first, I leaned on the government for support through food stamps and
medicaid, but I found true freedom in life when I made the decision to
not rely on the government to support me, but to rely on God and take
advantage of the opportunties this country offers by working hard for
my family and my country.

I am now 31 years old, a husband of almost 14 years, father of three,
the CFO of a plumbing company, an ordained Southern Baptist Minister,
involved in the Republican Party at all levels, a homeowner, and the
list of blessings go on.

Please make a commitment to pray for Bristol, her future husband, her
unborn child, and the families involved. This will be a trying time,
but there are blessings aheadm

--Rev. Lawton Sack of Statesboro, GA
At-large GOP National Alternate
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