This week we’ll be doing things a bit differently with this column. It will be written each day from Tampa, the home of the Republican national convention. As such, the topics will likely delve directly into national politics as Republicans present their case for change and their version of Hope.
It will be my first time attending a national political convention. While I’ve been to more district and state GOP conventions as a delegate or alternate than I can remember, I’ll be in Tampa as a credentialed media member on behalf of The Dublin Courier Herald. It will be interesting to see the workings of a convention as a member of the media instead of that of a delegate.
I would imagine that my friend Representative Buzz Brockway feels much the same way. He too will be switching rolls a bit, as he will also be attending as a media member from PeachPundit.com, where he serves as Assistant Editor. The Republican National Committee has done an excellent job of identifying a process to include many members of alternative media. Perhaps having Buzz along in the media section can keep me out of trouble. But I would hate to put that kind of pressure on him.
Much of the press leading up to convention has been about a couple of potential disasters. As of now, it looks like the threat of a landfalling hurricane has subsided somewhat. Of course, if the storm is able to reorganize itself when over the Gulf of Mexico and continues on to the west, a landfall could still divide news coverage as well as remind us about Katrina and the poorly organized response in New Orleans. Issac thus still has the potential to push the week off message.
A much bigger threat to the message was delivered via Representative Todd Akin’s unforced error last weekend. His statement regarding “legitimate rape” and pregnancy remain inexplicably ignorant of basic biology. While he again helped change the narrative of last week’s news cycle, the swift and near universal call for him to withdraw from most factions within the Republican party may have limited the damage of his remarks to the Senate Contest in Missouri.
That, or course, is to say that Republicans may be ceding control of the Senate to the Democrats should Akin remain as the candidate in Missouri. At this point, he is the candidate unless he changes his mind and Republicans gain assistance from a Missouri Court to place a new candidate on the ballot. Pressure should remain on him for this to be the course of action. If he remains in, Republicans should cede the seat rather than to try to defend his remarks. His comments are not something that should be rationalized away as because the seat is needed.
As for other convention activities, I’m looking forward to seeing Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens speak in a prime time slot Wednesday evening. Olens was an early Romney supporter in a state that heavily backed former Speaker Newt Gingrich. His speaking slot, at minimum, is a reward and a demonstration of Romney’s loyalty. It may indicate more. Olens would likely be among the highest profile Georgians who would act as a conduit to the Romney White House.
And as with any conventions, there will be parties, dinners, and other assorted gatherings. There will be quite a few Georgian in attendance. In addition to the delegates and alternates, many of Georgia’s elected officials will be there. It should serve as a great opportunity to check in with a number of them to see how attitudes and opinions on various topics may have changed now that voters have sent some strong messages during Georgia’s summer primaries.
That’s the preview. I’m still expecting the unexpected. We’ll see how it all develops next week.
On to Tampa.
Charlie Harper is the Atlanta based Editor of PeachPundit.com, a conservative-leaning political website. He is also a columnist for Dublin Georgia based Courier Herald Publishing.