The Show of A Lifetime

As many of you may have noticed, I haven’t posted in a while. There’s a very good reason for this.

I know that early on my plans with this blog had been to cover the Valley’s biggest conservative and Republican events. I like to think I had some success with that–however, when I took my present position with the Republican Party of Virginia as a field representative, I became PART of the events, not just an outside observer.

This past weekend held one such event: The 2009 Republican Party of Virginia State Convention. From Thursday to Sunday I was in Richmond helping to set-up and execute the convention. You may have seen me or my colleagues in orange hats, some of us in radios, running around, directing people, and generally helping where possible. I hope that I was courteous and professional to all I came across, if not always helpful, and I am sure that my colleagues were as well.

For those of you who are political professionals, think of a rally on steroids with the additional kink of having to run in a certain way. Over 7,000 people (guests included) filed into the Coliseum over two days. I had to be there on Thursday night for the sign war in the Coliseum–talk about a sign war! No one has any idea on what the count was on downticket signs, and frankly, I think most of us can sleep better at night not knowing.

The RPV staff (Kim Jorns in particular) did an outstanding job of having everything organized and ready to roll so that myself and the rest of the Victory Staff were simply able to come and do the work of keeping the show running. Their eye for logistical detail and watching for problems before they started kept people happy and things moving. The McDonnell campaign also played a pivotal role in the logistics and had the demos and video presentations timed very well.

Of particular interest was the voting for the contested elections. All the campaigns were as civil and understanding as could be expected from an atmosphere were rival campaigns supporters are sitting right next to each other. The voting did not go to a second ballot as anticipated, and actually ended up being timed perfectly with the end of the scheduled presentations. The few kinks that did occur did not delay voting; rather, they were simply for the record books for next year.

One of the biggest surprises of the weekend: the final speech by VT Cadet Adnan Barqawi. He spoke of coming to America just a few years ago, and how our principles and values had made so much possible for him, much of which he could barely concieve of just a little while ago. His unabashed pride in America and his surety of principle (as well as his incredible presence) made for a perfect cap for an event where conservatives united behind their shared ideals and principles. I was counting ballots with the Sixth District during his speech, but even what I heard then reminded me why I became involved in this party and why I am proud to be an American and a Republican.

I have always told people I wanted to go to a legendary contested convention, like the ones in 1978 or 1993. I finally got my wish and a bit more, and I couldn’t be happier about what I saw. In my seven years of political work, both as a volunteer and a professional, I have never been more proud of any organization I have been part of than the Convention and this campaign. We did it gang–now let’s get back to work.

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