My name is Jim Brown. I am an attorney from Dillon. At present, I am the Republican Party's legal counsel. I am also a delegate for the 2012 National Convention. This is my second time attending a national convention. I was also a delegate in 2008 when the convention was held in St. Paul.
It is presently 10:45 in Florida. I am writing from the Holiday Inn in Clearwater, Florida. The Montana convention delegation is housed here. We are sharing the hotel with the delegation from Washington State. Tomorrow, the Montana delegation will take a bay cruise with the delegation from Wyoming.
I arrived in Tampa about 5:20. I flew out of Helena this morning at six a.m. There were several other members of the delegation on the flight. In Minneapolis, we ran into several other members of the delegation. There are 46 of us in the Montana delegation, 23 delegates and 23 alternative delegates. What's the difference between a delegate and an alternative delegate? The answer is -- not much, beyond the fact that a full delegate gets to cast his or her vote to nominate the Republican Party candidate for President of the United States. This vote is, in most ways, meaningless in today's political world as the party's nominee, Mitt romney, was settled on months ago. Both delegates and alternates get to attend all convention events. And it is customary for the delegates and alternates to swap credentials throughout the convention. This allows both delgates and alternates to experience sitting on the convention floor.
Two notable events occured upon arrival in Tampa.
First, as i was picking up my luggage, i noticed that Karl Rove was waiting for his luggage. So, i introduced myself and informed karl that I reside in Montana. He responded by stating that he had just visited the Treasure State. He also remarked on the importance of Denny Rehberg winning the Senate seat in order for Republicans to regain control of the Senate. Karl was very approachable and friendly.
econd, upon arrival at the hotel, Will Deschamps, Chairman of the Montana Republican Party greeted several of us who had shared a ride to the hotel. Will promptly notified us that the National RNC decided to cancel all convention events slated for this Monday in light of the fact that that day is the day the hurricane will be felt most strongly in the Tampa area. A bit of a disappointment there, but the cancellation was not unexpected as all of us were aware prior to flying down to Florida that we would be dealing with a jurricane situation. The rest of the convention should not be impacted, so I am informed.
Tomorrow, Sunday, we will meet together for the first time as a delegation. we wil receive our convention credentials, discuss the agenda, and spend time with the Wyoming delegation, as mentioned above. I'm not sure what is in store for us Monday given today's cancellation of events. But, I know this much, having been raised in Montana, this will be first time to experience a hurricane. I'm actually looking forward to the experience.