The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Rocky On The Road: "Where Maine goes, so goes the nation"; #GOP12 Features Party Leaders on 2nd Day #yourconvention

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The Rockefeller Center is happy to bring you first-hand coverage from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this year.  Ester Cross '15 shares observations and reflections for this "Rocky On The Road" blog series. 

 Read on for Ester's most recent update.

Hello, in today’s post, I would like to talk a bit more about the convention atmosphere.

Wednesday, the second full day of the Republican Convention, began with a slow morning and afternoon. Many state delegations took tours of the area or attended events specially hosted for their entertainment. Media outlets interviewed party leadership, researched stories and prepared for primetime news.

At 7 p.m. the convention floor became enlivened by delegates, alternates and their guests cheering and assenting to speeches presented by Republican Party leaders. Speakers preceding Paul Ryan’s keynote address to the nation included leaders who were on Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential shortlist. Senator Rob Portman, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice drew the excitement of the RNC crowd. Secretary of State Rice was met with overwhelming support from the crowd chanting her name and rising in support of her statements throughout her speech. See more photos here.

Yet another commotion broke out during convention proceedings on Wednesday when a few dozen Ron Paul supporters marched outside of the convention hall chanting “Where Maine goes, so goes the nation.” Paul’s supporters have been outraged by the decision of the RNC Committee on Contests and Committee on Credentials for denying ten Maine delegates a floor vote for Paul. However, the RNC committee decisions reallocated Maine’s 21 delegate votes for Ron Paul so that delegates were divided between Paul and Romney more equitably, according to Thomas Rath’67, a delegate from New Hampshire who is serving on the Committee on Credentials. Although Romney won the February 2012 caucus in Maine, the caucus does not dictate how delegates are allocated in Maine’s Republican Convention. Despite their vocal protests, however, Paul supporters are a small minority among delegates. See video of the Ron Paul supporters here.

The excitement of the RNC crowd this week has been undeniable. Delegates and alternate delegates have cheered and felt the excitement of the Republican nominees. However, journalists I have spoken to who have covered conventions in previous election cycles have expressed their disappointment with the RNC this time around. They have pointed to interparty divisions, the inconvenience of the Tampa Bay venue which divides the convention floor from where the media is housed by a quarter mile, and a significant number of empty seats in the convention hall as indication of disorganization within the Republican Party.

I am looking forward to Romney’s speech and the issues he will choose to feature as he makes his case to the American people.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences