Editor's note: This dispatch describes Wednesday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Day 3 started with Tim Pawlenty, Cory Gardner and some Olympians. I'm not sure if I've been clear about some of these meeting. All of the breakfast meetings are Colorado only. So when I say Tim Pawlenty was there, he was there in a room with about 80 people. Same with the late night events - that's why the Trace Adkins concert was so small - we shared him with one other state.
At 5 p.m. we got on the bus for a big night of speakers. Security had obviously been stepped up, and that combined with rush hour traffic caused a 30-minute ride take 2 1/2 hours. What a colossal drag. But it was all worth it. We had McCain, Rand Paul (Ron on video), Mitch McConnell, John Thune, Rob Portman, Luis Fortuno (the governor of Puerto Rico - would love to see more of him!), Tim Pawlenty (again! twice in one day seems like we're old friends), Mike Huckabee (who doesn't like Mike?), Condoleezza Rice and Susana Martinez. And up until this point, the ladies stole the day.
I've seen Susana before and she has a powerful story. But since I saw her the first time, she's gone through a transformation. New clothes, new do (hair that is) and she's has a more commanding presence. And it really works - she's definitely one to watch.
And then Condi. I thought the roof would come off. She's so unassuming and almost seems embarrassed by the attention but so smart and self-assured that she she's a real icon in Republican politics. And she too has a story that truly makes you believe in America.
But clearly the night belonged to Paul Ryan. It takes you a minute to get past how cute he is. And of course he comes packaged with the picture perfect family and the all-American story which once again makes us all believers. However, his message is what will make the difference. By all accounts, he's a numbers nerd. He thinks the drudgery of studying numbers is fun. And he has it down pat. There's no ruffling Paul Ryan because this stuff is in his DNA and for me that's the good news. No more guessing games. No more catching up. This guy will hit the ground running and he'll be going forward and not back.
By the time we returned to the hotel, everything was closed so Claudia and Bob Beauprez and I borrowed a car and went through the McDonald's drive-through window.
So much for the glamor of Tampa!
So just a minute here to go back to Chris Christie's speech of Tuesday night. There's been a lot of criticism but it's coming from those who apparently don't (but should) know what his role was. He was the keynote speaker. He was chosen not only because of his speaking abilities but also because he has been able to articulate and practice what the Republican mantra is - small government, individual liberty and personal responsibility.
It was not his job to promote the Romney/Ryan ticket. That's the specific role of Marco Rubio and I'm sure Rubio will deliver that message in spades because that's his job at this convention. Christie did exactly what his job was and everyone here knew that. It's too bad that that the media didn't understand that too - because they should have. This is not their first rodeo. Shame on them.
Eagle County Republicans Chairwoman Kaye Ferry, of Vail, is a delegate at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. She is sending dispatches to the Vail Daily.