Star Struck in Cleveland

Today I met Maureen Dowd. The Maureen Dowd!

Let me just preface this with I have always been a huge fan of her writing style, her keen wit and fresh perspective. She has a gift for the gab and uses words to produce such an interesting  commentary which usually always makes me laugh…or cry, depending.

Evidently, she is staying at our hotel and was in the lobby grabbing coffee this morning while I was visiting with a few Oklahoma delegates about the chaos at the convention!

A nice lady with dark sun glasses sauntered over and complimented my shirt of all things. After exchanging pleasantries, she began to ask my opinion on the convention and the conversation topics she had overheard.

I guess I let her have it (my opinion that is),  but she also knew in her gut the media portrayal over the last few days was not accurately depicting the mood in the arena and she was gathering thoughts on the topic.

So when she asked if she could quote me, I completely and utterly froze up. Mind you, I had no idea who this nice lady was. I mean, she had her hair pulled back and was wearing dark glasses!

Flippantly, I said something like, “oh, you’re a journalist! Who do you work for?”

“The New York Times,” she said.

Of course.  The New York Times!

She was very gracious as I back peddled nervously about a quote.

Knowing that, we continued to chat about the various reporting on the convention and she offered me her email in case I wanted to share thoughts on tonight’s festivities from my seat on the sidelines.

As I typed her email address in my phone, I jumped back and said something like ‘Oh My Gawd – your Maureen Dowd! I love your stuff!’

We continued to chat and knowing she was probably on a deadline, I kindly asked for a quick photo, and boom, there ya go.

Never mind I had lipstick on my teeth throughout the entire course of our conversation!

Note to self, master the closed lip smile.

Day 3. Part Two

What a wild and crazy night at the Q. Oh my goodness.

Determined not to miss our bus this time, the Senator and I loaded up early so he could run for Mayor of Bus #1 and I could ensure that we made it to the arena in time to hear the speeches!

We were dressed and ready to go in our matching Oklahoma delegation Blazers!

It would seem the custom of each delegation is to wear matching outfits, shirts, hats or jackets that are representative of their individual state.  Oklahoma wears these navy blue blazers with an Oklahoma patch. Texas has shirts and hats with the emblem from the lone star state, Alaska has jackets with their state pictured inside the United States focusing on just how large of a land mass they are….Show offs!

However, this becomes important in the arena as it helps one differentiate between the delegates, official staff, the media and/or guests.

But, I digress. Last night, I was fortunate to have traded my cheap seats in for a real seat on the sidelines.

Here was my view.

Snuggled up right behind the main stage and close to the NPR box, I was seated on the aisle and really able to watch people enter and exit the floor along with the activity taking place throughout the arena.

Looking for Rachel Martin with NPR, but found Megan Kelly, or Megan Kelly’s back rather.

I love her, really I do but OMG! what was she (not) wearing?!! Not judging or anything but you can see what it looked like from my lens.

It was also a great spot to watch our friend, Harold Hamm speak about Donald Trump and the economic and national security that comes from energy independence.

A great angle to watch Laura Ingram give a rousing endorsement speech for Trump as well as Marco Rubio.  Endorse Trump he did.

It was also a solid spot to watch Ted Cruz get booed out of the arena.  Yes.  He really did get booed and if the crowd was allowed to bring whole fruit into the arena, they would have pelted him with oranges and tomatoes.  I’m just sure of it.

It would seem the media narrative is quite different from the scene I observed. Shocker!
I watched Ted Cruz deliver a very self promoting speech of sorts.  It felt like an acceptance speech for the job he wanted but couldn’t quite obtain?

Regardless, when it became obvious that he was not going to endorse Trump, the arena instantly turned on him.

The chants seemed to start in the rafters (not with the New York delegation up front as he claimed) and spread like a prairie fire around the arena and onto the floor.

Left without an opportunity to conclude his non endorsement speech (or lecture about voting your conscious in November), the Q was erupting with loud jeers, chants of “Trump,” and venom. He could barely say thank you and God Bless America, while the arena booed him right off the stage. I heard his wife even had to be carried out by the Secret Service. I have never seen anything like it in my life. Ever.

My take is Cruz knew he had stacked the delegate roster in most every state with his supporters and that he would have the crowd on his side.  But, this being the third day of the convention, I think a majority of the delegates had decided it was time to board the Trump Train and dedicate their energy to helping Trump be a better candidate, have a better ground game, or raise the necessary funds to win in November… because electing Hillary is not an option.  Had Cruz’s speech been on the first night? Maybe not.

Regardless, this evening in the arena was over the top.

Oh, so after the Cruz speech we ran out to grab a water bottle and were unable to re-enter because the floor was on lock down or over the fire code depending on who you talked to.

Yes, there were probably way too many people on the floor.  Even from my seat on the sidelines, I noticed lots of media cameras walking down the aisle prior to the Cruz speech – and they were escorting several people down to the floor, without the necessary credentials (the badge worn around ones neck giving you access to certain areas), and none of them were dressed in delegate attire which immediately stands out for that level of floor access.

Having noticed that, we also heard folks with Black Lives Matter had gained access to the floor, huddling up in the back and were planning to storm the stage hence the lockdown of the venue. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out how that happened!

On the ground today, we learned media badges were in fact being sold for $1k.  Turns out, that was a bad investment for George Soros.

Since we were locked out, we ran outside to hear the speeches on the big screen…which is where Cliff decided to run for Mayor of the Texas Delegation haha.

Then, we headed back to the bus, but not before giving a shoutout to our friends at Facebook.

Then, halted at the gates due to protestors in the area or Mike Pence’s motorcade.

Jury’s still out on that one.

Day 3. Part One

Day three got off to a roaring start when we missed the bus to our delegation lunch. Thank goodness for Uber!

Interestingly enough, our Uber driver happened to be a Slovenian immigrant. Significant, because Melania Trump is Slovenian and the community of Slovenian immigrants in Cleveland is the largest outside of the country itself.  Who knew! According to our Tour Guide/ Uber driver, they also LOVE Melania Trump.  So much so, they even hosted a welcome reception for her in Cleveland this week.  Bet you didn’t hear that on the news!

We (as in “we” were not the only ones who missed the bus thank goodness) pulled up to our event right as the elected officials were speaking. So, only fashionably late haha.


Which was fine by me. I have maybe had my fill of political rhetoric and speeches this week…just saying.  Although, I would say, the Lt. Governor of Arkansas was speaking at the time we walked in and he was a absolute breath of fresh air. I bet we see more of him on a national stage in the future.

One thing I do enjoy at these types of events is getting to see some friends who we have met along the way.

Had to snap a pic of Cliff visiting with Congressman Cole in the parking lot!


And, catching up with Harold Hamm, a former constituent and friend, who was speaking at the convention later that evening.


And just like that, it was time to board the buses to the next event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Since we had been there previously, Cliff and I decided to roam around the beautiful grounds for a bit and were about to walk next door to the Science Museum…




Trump Force One came in for a landing where the Donald met up with his family and his Vice Presidential pick, Mike Pence.

The only way I knew all this is because my Senator was running for Mayor of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and spoke to some event volunteers, some members of the Ohio delegation, the Secret Service and private Security on the ground. These individuals collectively told us what was happening and pointed us in the right direction to watch the motorcade as it fled the scene…so we did.


It was hard to snap pics with lots of people gathering and the heavily armed members of law enforcement keeping the perimeter clear.  But, I can tell you there were dozens of big, black suburbans in that motorcade as well as a few armored trucks and it was a super exciting opportunity to watch live and in person!



And, that was a wrap…well, not really. We decided to Uber back to our hotel which is located in a darling, little Cleveland suburb because I was starving!  Not that we missed lunch or anything haha…


The upside of being late to lunch…is getting to have chips and guac at a darling pub in Cleveland!


My meal for the day!

More notes from the arena last night in a bit!