Former Republican Minority Leader Rep. John Burris from Harrison is an Arkansas delegate and passes along this word from Tampa.
Greetings from Tampa.
Wednesday (Day 2) of the Republican National Convention most likely provided the attendees and viewers the most electric atmosphere of the convention.
Spirits were already high, as a result of a little sunshine and good weather. The cooperative forecast allowed many in our delegation to finally explore numerous booths and exhibits that fill the convention halls. When the dust had settled on the day and the Tampa Bay Times Forum was filled for the evening’s festivities, expectations were high.
A great line-up (including former Arkansas Governor Mick Huckabee and Condolezza Rice) prepared the audience for the climax of the evening, the keynote address by Congressman and Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan. This is where I’d like to focus my attention for a few sentences.
Simply put, the speech delivered. Here’s why:
1) Presentation: Ryan looked confident and at ease, a sometimes difficult combination. He was sincere in his attitude and relaxed in the explanation of his ideas.
2) Energy: While others speakers were talented and significant in their own right, it was clear that the crowd was ready to see the person who altered the course of this election. His jokes connected (younger people especially enjoyed the quip on “elevator music” and “faded Obama posters”).
3) Content: This is the most important part. His speech clearly articulated the choice we have in this election. It was a speech about two visions of America. His theme was hope, not division. Leadership, not blaming. Opportunity and dependency.
Several delegates who had attended previous conventions were heard chattering about another “Morning in America” while exiting the convention floor.
Standing in a hall with thousands of Americans concerned for their country’s future, it was impossible not to feel as if maybe they were onto something. Maybe the country is ready for a choice. One path is the continued path of the last four years. The other is a path of hope and renewed optimism for a country and its people.
Congressman Ryan energized and encouraged the delegates in my proximity. It was enjoyable to watch.