Greetings from Cleveland, Ohio!!
I arrived here today after an 1160 mile drive from Plano. Security is evident everywhere, with officers clearly visible both on the street and on building roofs, and many streets already blocked. It took some time just to find an open street to the hotel, but I made it. So did our Texas elephant many of you saw at the State Convention.
The Delegates and Alternates were provided with their credentials, as well as many gifts, including but not limited to 2 Donald Trump ball caps, a set of two Donald Trump drinking glasses, a Trump t-shirt and bumper sticker, our package of commemorative pins, a commemorative medallion and some other Cleveland area souvenirs. We also have free admission to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just a few blocks away.
Today there were two events. Dinesh D’Souza premiered his latest movie ‘Hillary’s America’ a few miles from our hotel. Attendees walked the real red carpet and had their picture taken with Dinesh. I saw him briefly tonight in the lobby of our hotel.
Many delegates from around the country rode on buses to attend tonight’s event at North Harbor, capped by a concert by the Doobie Brothers. Our Texas delegates left the hotel at 5:30, and what should have been an 8-10 minute ride lengthened to 70 minutes as our route was blocked by a combined demonstration by Black Lives Matter and a group of Communists. When they let us off the bus at 6:40, half of those on the bus stayed on and rode back to the hotel.
Those of us who stayed then went through security, which took another 80 minutes. Each person went through a metal detector, had their wallet and cell phone checked, had their bag checked, and then was individually checked with a wand. As there were only 2 security stations for over 10,000 people (a third opened later), this took a great deal of time.
At the park the main food area was jammed and the food trucks were moving slow. After a total of over 2 ½ hours after getting on the bus I decided it was time to go back to the hotel in daylight. Even though I took a longer route to avoid potential problems, in just 16 minutes I was enjoying a cold drink and a great sandwich at the Marriott, accompanied by Tony Packo’s Pickles (the same Tony Packo Corporal Klinger raved about on MASH!)
The concert must have been a success. As I write this at 9:40 PM I started hearing loud noises…..I just finished watching the fireworks show on the shore of Lake Erie from my hotel.
As you may have heard we are towards the back of the arena. If you imagine the arena floor as the lower half of a clock, Texas sits at the 4:30 position. As our hotel is less than ½ mile from the arena this is fine….after all, California sits up front but their hotel is 60 miles away!!
Monday will be a busy day. We start with our daily Texas Delegation breakfast at 8:00 AM, and then bus to Progressive Field (home of the Cleveland Indians) for our ‘team picture’. Following the only afternoon session of the Convention the Texas Delegation will meet at House of Blues for a special event, then return to the Quicken Loans Arena for the evening session. We will therefore be on the go from 8:00 AM until after 11:00 PM.
Hope you have a chance to view part of the Convention on Monday. Look for my next installment in 24 hours.
Neal J. Katz
Collin County Republican Party