Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Tracie Mauriello is covering her first political convention. On a day when the main convention events were cancelled, she made the most of every minute.
Yesterday seems forever ago, and I'm already pressed for time today, so here's a quick update:
Morning: I went to the delegation breakfast at the ridiculous hour of 7:30 a.m. These breakfasts, I'm told, sometimes feature surprise big names, so I didn't want to miss it. The speaker turned out to be Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, who I covered for years when I was in Harrisburg. He rarely breaks news in his speeches, and this one was no exception.
Afterward, I tried to nap, but couldn't sleep, so I caught up on what others have been writing about the convention. (Every morning a huge package of newspapers is delivered to my hotel room. A news junkie's dream, if only I had the time to indulge!)
Afternoon: Rob Gleason, the state's GOP party chair, offered to have lunch with Pennsylvania reporters and was quite generous with his time. He spent nearly two hours with us and let us exhaust all our questions. I was able to get a blog post out of it and to gather a lot of string for future enterprise.
Late afternoon: I came back to the hotel to make sense of my notes from the Gleason interview and to write that blog post. I wasn't on deadline so I decided to work in the hotel lobby instead of my room. Good decision: I met a few more of Pennsylvania's delegates.
Evening: There was a delegation party at the hotel. Reporters were allowed in so we could hobnob, but the event was off the record so I can't really tell you about it except that it was fun. I was able to get a couple of interviews I needed -- with Congressman Lou Barletta about immigration reform and with Gov. Tom Corbett for this blog post.
I also talked with delegate Walt Vogler for a yet-to-be-written post about being half of what we think is the only father-son pair of delegates at the convention. (I need to find his son Chris today.)
Late night: I ran into a Pennsylvania delegate who I'd been looking for all day. Two other delegates (separately) told me that he'd been to more conventions than any other Pennsylvanian. I was tired but the opportunity was in front of me. He started out by telling me about the first convention he listened to on the radio. That was 1948 and he wasn't old enough to vote, though he wouldn't tell me his age then or now. He told me, off the top of his head, the birth years of all four Republican primary candidates. Then he told me all about why Taft was a better candidate than Eisenhower in 1952. He told me who he supported in 1956, in 1960 and so on. After an hour, he let me interrupt to ask him how many conventions he'd been to. Two. TWO! My tipsters were wrong! Still, he's an interesting delegate so I may end up using him for a story or blog post.
And now ... time for this morning's delegation breakfast.
Blog posts: 11