Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thoughts on the RPV State Convention

Most of my thoughts on the first day I already posted. However I would like to add a few more thoughts and then list off the highlights from Saturday.
  1. I think it is ironic that a party that supposedly believes in transparency in government has so little in its actual operations. While Kay Cole James is an impressive person she was selected as the chairman of the convention. Why did McDonnell have to send out an e-mail urging people to vote for her, and why was her name written in the convention program as the temporary chair? What difference would it have made to have a regular vote on the issue? The disdain the party leadership has for people thinking and acting independently was driven home when a congressional district chairman came down and asked another party leader if he should consolidate a large unit so they could shout down any amendment to the rules, or effort to put in a different convention chairman. Who cares what the people think let's script and direct them as much as possible. Again I think Kay Cole James is amazing. This is simply a comment about the state of our party leadership that selects a party chairman and convention chairman for us.
  2. Some people jokingly referred to the convention building as the Temple of Bob McDonnell. This resulted from the fact that as an uncontested nominee he still won the sign war, and his staff were given special access to the convention hall that other campaign staff were not.
  3. As a Cuccinelli volunteer I have to say it was a very impressive operation. Friday night with a number of our supporters attending gala's and dinners we put fliers on every seat in the convention hall in under an hour. While the blue and red shirted Cuccinelli volunteers weren't as distinct as the neon green Brownlee supporters, they were everywhere passing out stickers, brochures, flags, and keeping track of their delegations.
  4. No matter how many things Republicans may disagree on or mess up, Republicans know how to be patriotic. Whether it was Lauren Giere, or the UVA acapella group singing the national anthem, reciting the pledge of allegiance with thousands of fellow Americans, the red white and blue everywhere, or Adnan Barqawi's speech Republicans know how to make one proud to be an American.
  5. This was Cuccinelli's convention. He was the reason many of those delegates were their. If anyone doubted it before Saturday, the loud sustained applause that erupted when the nominations chair said his name reinforced the fact. Just like at the Dulles rally, he received louder applause than anyone else. Ken is bringing the excitement to this party right now.
  6. Mike Farris's name recognition increased as a result of this convention. Bolling used Dr. Farris's endorsement repeatedly in the leadup to the convention and even mentioned him in his speech. (Bolling was also the only person to reference homeschooling in his speech. Thank you Bill for recognizing the importance of homeschooling.) Many people also mentioned how a certain energy has returned to the party that they hadn't seen since Dr. Farris ran in 1993. If Dr. Farris wants to run for office later this convention may of helped bring his name back into people's memories.
  7. Convention speeches matter!! While the organization before and during a convention are critical so are the speeches given by the candidates. Bolling's speech reminded voters that he is a tried and true conservative who has accomplished many things for the party and has won elections. It was a very uplifting speech. Muldoon reinforced the fact that he was running a "slash and burn" campaign. His speech was vitriolic and one long hit piece on Bolling. He failed to ever bring up his own revord and accomplishments. It drew a number of boos and probably lost him votes. In the AG contest Brownlee gave a very solid speech. He didn't use notes or a podium which was very impressive. However he essentially gave his stump speech which many of the delegates had heard before. While Cuccinelli talked about the same issues he has discussed on the campaign trail, he went about it an entirely different way. Using the Don't Tread on Me flags was a stroke of genius. It played well to the audience and reminded the convention that Ken is the candidate who will fight to limit the size of government. Some suspect that the speech pushed Ken over the edge and gave him a first ballot win. The final speech to mention was Bill Stanley's speech. Few people knew Bill and he needed to wow the audience. While he gave a good speech, his poor clock management probably didn't help him.
  8. I was very impressed with the RPV outreach to new media. They did a very good job with Blogger's Row, and the attention the candidates showed to the bloggers demonstrated that it wasn't just a show.
  9. Overall it was an excellent convention that recharged and united the party as move forward to victory in November.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A Convention Chairman is like a Master of Ceremonies. A Convention Chairman needs preparation before a convention in order for it to run smoothly. So, as a practical matter, the Convention Chairman needs to be selected ahead of time.

In Virginia, we have conventions with thousands of people. In other states with conventions, it is much more restricted in who can be a Delegate. In a small convention, political geeks will like to argue and vote over who is the Convention Chairman.

In a large convention, most people don't care who is the Convention Chairman, as long as it is someone who is well respected. Kay Cole James is certainly well respected. Most Delegates see this as a formality to be gone through quickly. Very few Delegates want to be bogged down in parliamentary procedure fights.

Most Delegates want a smoothly run convention where they can hear speeches from candidates and other luminaries, and to vote for candidates.