Sharing a few pics from our very late night in Cleveland. Not sure where they came from because my phone died about half way through Ivanka Trump’s speech!
Don’t ask about the banner…it was liberated before it hit the dumpster.
Lots of Okie friends having fun on the plaza post convention!!!
Mayor of the After Party!
I haven’t pulled an all nighter since college and kids and now I know why. Paying a big price for all that post convention fun and from my view at the airport, so is everyone else.
More from the last night of convention after a few hours of sleep…but, man what a night!
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.
Note to self, master the closed lip smile.
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.
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.
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.
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!
So here is what I know.
There is no rest for the weary at a Republican National Convention.
The senator headed out early to hear Governor Scott Walker speak at a breakfast.
So, what did my Senator do? What he usually does anytime we are in a room full of people with some time to spare? He worked the crowd! My kids would say he was running for Mayor of the hotel! I think he just likes people!
The people of Cleveland are extremely kind.
Example of this was clear yesterday. Once our bus finally arrived, our delegation attended several events.
We had lunch at an event hosted by former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating (pictured below in the hat) along with a few other politicos- former Senator Scott Brown (MA) and Congressman Rick Lazio (NY)…not pictured below.
I am sad I wasn’t able to capture a pic of the many armed coast guard boats crossing the waters behind us. There were many and they received a loud round of applause and cheers from the crowd every time one passed our venue.
Ran into my favorite former Oklahoma First Lady! Love her.
At one point, a member of our delegation needed to find new batteries for a hearing aid. He asked one of the local volunteers where he could go to find some, but she personally took him to several places in search of some and ended up having a friend of hers track them down and bring them to the event.
Total strangers and a random act of kindness.
Next up was a Red Dirt Roundup for the Oklahoma Delegation complete with BBQ and a country western band. Did I mention Big and Rich played at the last venue? We Okies do love our country music!
Cliff enjoys talking with our Senator Inhofe..mostly about his airplanes. The Senator is a pilot and still flies the friendly skies.
This is our Oklahoma State Party Chairman. She is a rock star and I adore her. I really got to know Pam, not from all of Cliff’s campaigns, but through a little Facebook group of women I am in where we support each other in our efforts to be healthy.
These two beauties are also in our “Superwoman” group. They are rock stars and super fun!! One on the left works in Washington DC and the one in the middle works for the Governor. I am just a fly on their wall haha.
Protesting a Convention is overrated.
After the events, it was time to board the buses and head to the Q, but this time we had a little bit of a walk to get to the pick up location.
I chose to follow these guys and nearly wound up in the protest area.
When I realized the bus was behind me and about to depart, I headed back to jump on board. I use the word “I” because Cliff had been distracted looking at t-shirts and vintage campaign buttons being sold from various vendors or running for the Mayor of Cleveland….but at this point he was waving at me to get on board the bus…now!
Our bus pulled out and then came to a standstill and this is what I saw from the window.
A group of protestors were being allowed to halt traffic up ahead. When I say ” group,” I mean around 50 max. The police appeared to let them stand in the road for what seemed like a staged media opportunity. Then, just like that, the police escorted them off of the road and down the sidewalk where we watched and the hungry media followed. I am sure the headline somewhere read ‘thousands of angry protestors blocked convention delegates,’ but it was nothing like that! There were twice as many police and more cameras than protestors. And for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what they were protesting based on their signs and chants…not sure they knew either.
The Quicken Arena is a Safe Zone
Everyone in this sea of thousands has passed through lots of security to be in this room. Lots of security. If you don’t have your proper badge on (they call it credentials), then forget about it. Entry denied.
Until I made it down onto the floor with Cliff.
The theme was Make America Work Again just in case you couldn’t tell by the sign. There were lots of speakers, like notables Chris Cristie and Ben Carson and Paul Ryan and non notables like Natalie Gulbis, a professional golfer who talked about how she came to know and admire the nominee. Kelly Woolard, head of Trump Winery, who gave a powerful testimony about what it was like to work for Donald Trump and how he inspires everyone to be the best they can be. You get the idea.
Then, there was the Trump family.
The Trump Family is….gorgeous for starters!
The pundits are saying that Donald Trump, Jr. is a rising star and after hearing his speech last night, I echo their sentiments. Wow.
There were so many more takeaways from yesterday but I have to leave it with this..