The convention started with speech after speech, but then the business started. First we took care of state business, including approving the new officers who were suggested by the nominating committee. Then we took a break to go to our senate caucus.
At the caucuses we had more business, including electing a chairman to run our meeting. Paul Braswell won that. I'm not really sure what else we did in the senate district caucus; it was all kinda confusing to me. But we must've been doing something fairly important because went over our ending time, and we missed the first 45 minutes of our breakout session. We had different things we could choose from, but I chose to go listen to Dr. Ron Paul along with what seemed like at least a fourth of the other conference attendees.
It was sad not to catch his whole speech, but he pretty consistently says the same things in every speech. People were still coming in the door all through the speech, and there may have been more people there if the other caucuses weren't all running long, too. We missed the 2nd breakout session for some reason or another, and that pretty much took care of Thursday's business. In the evening, I went to a reception for Senator Estes, and then I went to a place near the stockyards with Joseph for a Ron Paul thing with music and drinks. He didn't speak as long that time. Then it was time to get back downtown to the Marriott hotel where I was staying with Pauline and Kimsie. The next morning at 7am, I went to a prayer gathering with Kimsie at the convention center.
It was a very encouraging service with praying and singing and even a speech by George Washington. So maybe it wasn't President Washington himself, but the guy talked about how Washington used to spend an hour in the morning and an hour each evening in prayer. After that, we had another general session and then it was back to our caucus.
Bob makes us all wear matching shirts as a county - denim with our Cooke County on the front and on the back. We think maybe it's to help him keep up with all of us. I haven't seen any other counties that do this. Anyway, after the morning of meetings, I went to the Texas Federation of Republican Women's Tribute to Women Luncheon.
I wasn't planning on going, but our county had extra tickets, so I went. The food was pretty alright, although the fancy salad was kinda bitter. Anyway, it dragged on and on and on. I stayed 'til the end, though, and it made me late for the next general session.
Being late wasn't a big deal 'cause that session went from 2pm to 5pm. Our agenda, after a couple more speeches, was to approve the permanent rules and to approve the permanent platform for the Republican Party of Texas. We were told that if we didn't finish before 5pm, which was the set time for our congressional district caucuses, that we would have to come back to finish our business at 9pm. Well, we didn't finish. We finally mostly agreed on a platform around 11pm Friday night.
Our business in the first round of congressional district caucus meetings was pretty similar to the senate district meetings. In the second round the following morning, we got to elect 3 delegates and 3 alternates to represent us at the national convention. It was quite competitive, and each election for each spot had a runoff election, so we had to vote 12 times. Then we voted twice more to recommend to the nominating committee someone from our district to be one of the 44 at-large delegates. It was EX-hausting! That lasted from 8am to 1:45pm on Saturday.
The process of electing delegates was very interesting. Our district passed a motion that the candidates for delegate should be asked about who they support for president. This makes sense to me, although I voted against the motion. You shouldn't have to be afraid to admit who you support. But the truth of the matter is that the majority blocked out every single candidate who admitted that he/she supported Ron Paul. Even if the candidate adamantly said that they would, at the national convention, represent the 71% majority in Texas who voted for Romney. Voting strength of the district was 197, and you could count on 44 votes for each Ron Paul person for each delegate spot, and 22% just wasn't enough to send a Ron Paul delegate from our district. We fought hard, though!
The final general session, which was supposed to start at 1pm but was delayed due to the last caucus meetings going over time, started with some speeches from more elected officials. Then they gave Ted Cruz (candidate for senator) a chance to speak, since his opponent, David Dewhurst, got to speak on Friday as the Lieutenant Governor. Well, Cruz got the crowd all excited. Then, for some unknown reason, they gave Dewhurst another chance to speak. It was...not his fault that the convention received him so poorly. I'm not sure who thought he needed to speak again. He said a lot of the same things that he'd said the day before, and you couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Anyway, all that speech stuff ended around 4pm, and Munisteri, our chairman, came out and said that Tarrant County's district was STILL in their caucus (which had started, like ours, at 8am). So we took a break until 4:30pm. Then we had to take another little break. I'm not exactly sure when the final list of delegates finally came in and we could FINALLY say AYE to approve the list and go home.
I will definitely try to go to the next state convention, which will be in 2014 in San Antonio. It won't be a presidential year, so I'm sure it won't be quite as wild and fun. It certainly was fun, but I'm also glad to be home.