Editor's note: This is Kaye Ferry's final dispatch from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. The Vail Daily will begin Monday running columns from Edwards resident Debbie Marquez, who will attend the Democratic National Convention this week as a "superdelegate."
Where to begin? Let's start with the bad. While I was sleeping, my bill was delivered. With the exception of one Diet Coke, the entire bill was for the daily rate room charge plus taxes for a grand total of $1,399.63 for five nights. When someone checked the website for this hotel, the most expensive room was $90. We had been told $179 but somehow $240 was the going rate for the convention. Talk about a rip!
By now you know I'm a Republican, albeit a pretty liberal one. And knowing that, you'll have to deal with my predisposition to think this event would be great. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, but it totally exceeded my expectations.
Oh sure, there was serious down time. And there were too many speakers that we could have skipped, but like many things, the TV coverage dictated much of what went on. But that aside, I was completely struck by what some of the newscasters are calling the supporting cast.
In reality, what they're referring to is the wave of new faces emerging in the Republican Party: people like Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Susana Martinez, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Nikki Haley and Marco Rubio. Even the not-so-new but also not so old: Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, John Thune, Bob McDonnell and Jeb Bush. They give us reason to believe that we have the human resources necessary to make a difference over the long haul.
And something you might have missed was the "theme" for the day. Every day, the banners on the wall were changed to reflect that day's message. Day 1: "We can do better;" Day 2: "We built it;" Day 3: "We can change it;" and Day 4: "We believe in America."
Then we have my favorite lines of the week, and they came from Clint. "We own this country. Politicians are employees of ours." Amen. Hallelujah. Right on.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the last night's concert. Journey. Old style lyrics you can understand. Songs you remember and some I forgot. Great fun night. But oddly enough, introduced by Tim Daly. No, I'm serious. He either came to the wrong convention or he got lost, or OMG, did he change allegiances? Remember all of the interviews with him at the Dem convention in Denver? He was a believer then. What about now?
And then Mitt. I believe he is the perfect candidate for our times. He's educated, qualified, and experienced. He's a serious man for a serious job. He comes with the tools necessary to hit the ground running, and he's not afraid to make decisions. His whole life has been spent as a problem solver, and God knows there's no short supply of those.
So for those of us who went to Tampa because we had a job to do, we came away energized to embrace this candidate and do what it takes to make sure he's elected in November. We as a nation, and the world at large, will be very fortunate to have Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan leading us out of the mess we're in towards a brighter future.
And that's what conventions are supposed to do: showcase the party and the candidates and energize the base. And they did that in spades. And I was there. Yeah!
Eagle County Republicans Chairwoman Kaye Ferry, of Vail, was a delegate at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.