Today is the second day of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Here’s a roundup of some of the goings-on there, as reported by The Seattle Times’ Jim Brunner, The Stranger’s Paul Constant, and other journalists who are in town covering the convention from a national perspective.
At the Holiday Inn this morning in Clearwater (a suburb of Tampa) the Washington State Republican delegation heard from special guest Bob McDonnell, who is the governor of Virginia as well as the current chair of the Republican Governors Association (RGA). McDonnell apparently came primarily to sing the praises of Rob McKenna, the party’s candidate for governor. (McKenna himself is not in Tampa, having elected to stay home and campaign in the Evergreen State). According to the Seattle Times’ Jim Brunner, who was in the room and heard the speech, McDonnell singled out Wisconsin’s Scott Walker as one of the best governors in the country… and then suggested McKenna would govern like Walker:
He [Walker] represents what governing is all about. You look people in the eye, you have the courage to tell them the truth about what you can and can’t afford, about what policies you have to put in place… and then you get elected and you actually do it.
That’s what Scott Walker did in Wisconsin, and that’s what Rick Hill and Rob McKenna are going to do in their states as well.
Democrats have long suggested that Rob McKenna is a Scott Walker wannabe, while McKenna’s campaign has tried its best to dimiss the juxtaposition.
But now the chairman of the Republican Governors Association has made the very same comparison. That’s pretty telling.
Meanwhile, as if we needed another reminder that the authorities have resolved to put protesters’ First Amendment rights on ice during the national conventions, The Stranger’s Paul Constant reports that police officers shooed a couple of Working Washington activists away from the Clearwater Holiday Inn (which, again, is the host hotel for the state Republican delegation). The activists had not been planning on disrupting the breakfast meeting — they simply wanted to be in a place where Washington’s Republican delegates could see them. But they left after police told them to get lost and threatened to arrest them if they didn’t.
Two white supremacists were ejected from the Tampa Bay Times Forum after they physically and verbally assaulted a black CNN camerawoman. The two individuals — who have been described in some press reports as Republican delegates — reportedly threw peanuts at the woman and sneered, “This is how we feed animals.” The assault took place in front of several witnesses.
CNN confirmed the incident and said it had worked with the Republican Party to address the matter, but had no further comment.
The network ought to do us all a favor and actually report on this story instead of just saying, Yeah, that happened. Who are these racists? Are they delegates? Republican Party leaders? Or just guests at the convention? Is their ejection permanent? (Let’s hope they’re not going to be allowed back in).
ThinkProgress did a great job earlier this evening of liveblogging the RNC during the primetime speaking segments. They managed to keep an eye on the traditional media’s coverage while also highlighting some of the inconvenient truths ignored by speakers like Chris Christie of New Jersey, who gave the keynote address… and referred to himself more often than Mitt Romney. (For instance, key indicators show that New Jersey’s economy has not improved since Christie took office after defeating Democrat Jon Corzine in 2009).