Delegates Get Down to Business at the RNC

August 28, 2012

AAUW Director of Public Policy and Government Relations Lisa Maatz will report from the Republican National Convention this week and from the Democratic National Convention next week. Follow her updates at AAUW Dialog, on Facebook, and @LisaMaatz on Twitter.

The circus has come to Florida, and it’s called the campaign press corps. Of course, the media is all over the story of Hurricane Isaac, as they should be. But they’re all over Tampa, too. I met some people for drinks last night just outside the MSNBC stage — a gorgeous outdoor studio setting that, in hindsight, may not have been the best choice. Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Brian Williams, and other pundits and news people can be seen bustling in and out, and so can the politicians they’re grilling.

Speaking of grills, just as in past conventions, the CNN Grill is a favorite hotspot. Want to see and be seen at the 2012 Republican National Convention? Hang out here, and you’ll have a ringside seat to The Situation Room, where a string of politicians and reporters peddle their opinions on the airwaves. Yes, it’s really a restaurant, but it also has a small set where Wolf Blitzer, Candy Crowley, and company pontificate when they aren’t inside the convention hall — the Tampa Bay Times Forum. If the convention gods are with me, I’ll be eating lunch at the CNN Grill sometime today.

All the major news networks have studios inside the forum, along with roving reporters who prowl the delegate floor looking for notables to interview. Republican members of Congress and governors are automatically members of their states’ delegations, and reporters love to pigeonhole them on the floor. The reporters also tend to showcase the wackiest convention delegates. You know who I mean — the people who are outrageous both in word and deed and likely are dressed in some fantastic red, white, and blue costumes. Yes, the delegates like to have fun. They all stay together, state by state, in the various convention hotels. If you’re lucky, you’ll score tickets to one of the many state parties. Texas is always the big one at the GOP convention, while California is the hot ticket for the Democrats.

But delegates also have some serious work to do. They must finalize the party’s platform, a statement of the party’s policies that has received an unusual amount of attention and dissent after Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s comments regarding “legitimate rape” and reproductive rights. AAUW submitted comments to the Republican National Convention platform committee for their consideration as they put together their platform. Based on our own AAUW member-adopted Public Policy Program, these comments ensure that AAUW is part of the process in a meaningful way.

Today, the delegates must do the official roll call that formally nominates Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan for the Republican ticket. This traditional ritual has rules of its own, so watch for the media to key in on Michigan, Massachusetts, and Utah. These states will have pride of place in the proceedings because they have special meaning for Romney. And Wisconsin will get its chance to brag about native Ryan too. Speaking of delegates, today I’ll be searching out some of the AAUW members who are part of the convention’s delegate body. I know for sure there’s AAUW representation in the Ohio delegation — I’m not at all surprised that my home state had the good taste to elect an AAUW member to their ranks! For all of us, today the Republican National Convention really gets down to business — and the media will be there to dissect it in all its glorious detail.

By:   |   August 28, 2012

4 Comments

  1. maxine borom says:

    The Republican platform certainly does not represent any of AAUW’s mission and goals. Too bad!

    Maxine Borom, Schenectady, NY

    Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2012 16:44:24 +0000 To: omahborom@msn.com

  2. Narda says:

    What are your AAUW members saying about the Republican Platform? Do they see it as the 1890s or do they just pass it off as the economy is more important? And what do they have to say about the women in Texas who will not be able to go to Planned Parenthood for their medical care? What a pitiful country we live in when there is no respect for human life, existing women and children. And they want to give rights to fetuses? And they want to cut medicaid?

  3. Carolyn Smith says:

    How does the AAUW delegate from Ohio manage the tension between bills AAUW supports (Paycheck Fairness Act, STOP) and House GOP members against these? How does she manage the tension between AAUW’s stand on support for the welfare of all women, including those raped or in need of contraception advice, and the GOP platform’s opposition to these?

    • lisamaatz says:

      I can’t speak for her. But I do know that we’ll never address the rancor and partisanship if we don’t have women of good conscience in BOTH parties.

      Best,
      Lisa

      Lisa M. Maatz
      Public Policy & Gov’t Relations Director
      AAUW
      202-785-7720 direct
      202-306-4421 cell
      @lisamaatz twitter

      Typos courtesy of Blackberry!

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