I’m going to Tampa, baby! I fly out this weekend for the Big Guava, Cigar City, St. Pete’s Twin City, the City of Champions, the Lightning Capital of the World—whatever nickname you prefer for the City of the Buccaneers. Lookout, Tamponians, I’m coming to the Republican National Convention!
No, I’m not going as a delegate. I tried, but of the hundreds who campaigned back in May to be at-large delegates, I came in 28th—just three measly slots away from being one of the 25 at-large delegates our state gets to send. I’ve had a couple of close votes this year, come to think of it.
But not being a delegate is not stopping my plans to go to the big convention. From press credentials to guest passes, there are plenty of ways for a non-delegate to be there for the big show, if one were so inclined.
I’m pleased to announce that I will be the official Republican National Convention correspondent next week for not one but TWO unique Beehive State publications—Salt Lake City Weekly and Utah Policy Daily. Why write simultaneously for two so very different pubs? Why not? It’s fun, and it’s no secret I love to write.
It is also important that those high-minded progressives who read City Weekly get the inside scoop on what is really happening at the RNC. It is imperative that they know what Delegate Carl Wimmer is up to these days, and how Gayle Ruzicka is dealing with her newfound prominence in Democratic billboards. Besides, they may be so inspired as I dispense the red Kool-Aid from Tampa that they may actually cut their long hair and vote Republican this November. (Hey, a Repub can only hope!)
As for the Utah Policy Daily readership, no ounce of political tid or bit is too minor. The caucus-attending, delegate-wannabe political cognoscenti who read UPD are waiting with bated breathe to get the briefing on what Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart wears to the Florida beaches, how State GOP Chairman Thomas Wright does his hair for the event and if George Zinn will make a mysterious appearance in Tampa. And, as a fellow political junkie, it is my solemn duty to supply the morsels in my dispatches to help them get their fix.
That’s right, City Weekly and UPD readers, you will be getting the straight scoop. And, it will be directly from me, unfiltered, and without a pen name (I’m never doing THAT again!).
Despite being a lifelong politico, I’ve never been to a national convention, and what a historic convention it will be! As the author of Presidents and Prophets: The Story of America’s Presidents and the Latter-day Saints, I’m excited to witness the nomination of the first Mormon for president by a major party. How will Brother Romney do? How about Sister Love with her big speech? And that already-being-talked-about LDS prayer for Thursday night? Will we really get to hear “nourish and strengthen our bodies” over the pulpit in Tampa?
So, come along for the ride. You can read my posts each day next week, with a special final post the day after Labor Day. That is, unless Jim Dabakis’s prayers are answered and Hurricane Isaac wipes out Mitt Romney and the entire Utah Republican delegation ...
Mike Winder is mayor of West Valley City and former candidate for Salt Lake County mayor (he came in second to Mark Crockett in the recent GOP primary race). He also made a name for himself recently writing under the infamous pen name of Richard Burwash, as a Deseret News writer, a lapse he hopes to atone for in his forthcoming reports from the RNC convention.