Republican National Convention Diary: Day Three 

On Tuesday of the Republican Convention, the rain had stopped, so they put the tents up. Just take a minute with that. 

After my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day on Monday, getting out of bed on Tuesday seemed like an altogether dumb idea, but the fact that a course of action is ridiculous never stopped me before, so I got up and called for a taxi. "Not a shuttle ok? I need a real, actual, taxi cab," I (over)explaind to the bewildered concierge. 

Arriving obscenely early for the shoot, I proudly texted my producer, "Here and ready to go!" 

"Okay," came the reply.

I suppose it was silly to be disappointed that she wasn't more thrilled with the fact that a 30-something woman managed to be at an appointed time and place.

But I was taking every sign of progress I could get. 

After the shoot, I found the singular vegetarian item for sale in the forum, a spinach and artichoke empanada, and had it for breakfast. I'll admit, it was a first for me, but it was good. Now, maybe its because AT&T Park has such amazing choices, but the food at the Tampa Bay Times Forum looks worse than my high school concession stand.

In addition to empanadas, hot dogs, chicken fingers, candy and soft drinks are the only choices. At least Pebblebrook High School had the decency to serve nachos. 

I sat down to work on my column and the woman who shall forever be known as "the tripod lady" came over, pointed to a nearby balcony and very sweetly told me that there was an area for writers to film. I smiled and thanked her ever so much. This is what is known as a WASP handshake. We were all good. 

Dave is the writer who is assigned to the seat next to me. We like Dave. He's quiet but he laughs at my jokes and we guard each other's stuff during bathroom breaks. 

We watched the Ron Paul brouhaha and then the speeches until it was finally time to leave. First I stopped at a hotel nearby to get a little food. The bartender was futzing with a remote control, completely lost because for the first time ever, she had been asked to turn the television from ESPN to C-SPAN. She looked up, "how the hell am I supposed to know what channel it is?" 

The man next to me and I laughed and began chatting. He is a pollster. After eating, we walked outside as he waited for the valet to bring his car.  At the curb, I asked, "So according to the numbers, who's gonna win?"

He practically whispered, "Obama." 

Then jumped in his car and was gone. 

I found a taxi and spent the drive to my hotel asking the driver questions about the conventioneers. They are nice, he told me. And ok tippers. Except for Michael Steele. "He's a bad tipper," said the driver. He had not left any tip at all. 

I gave the driver enough to cover me and the former chairman of the Republican Party.

Who now owes me four bucks.

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Melissa Griffin

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