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John North blogs from the RNC

September 5, 2008 4:41:33 PM PDT
Join ABC7 Eyewitness News as we blog from the Republican National Convention:Fri., Sept. 5 @ 2:37 p.m. CDT:

We are on on way back.

McCain and Palin were in Wisconsin, where McCain apparently glossed over the latest unsettling unemployment figures.

He did single out Todd Palin to call him crazy for his 2,000-mile snowmobile races. And he praised his running mate again as someone who will shake up Washington.

Palin attacked Obama for praising the success of the surge while he was on The O'Reilly Factor Thursday night. Obama has done that before but McCain and company constantly go after him for opposition to the surge.

Apparently Obama thought it would be a good time to appear on Fox News while McCain was giving his speech.

Oh, the video of McCain in front of a Walter Reed sign was actually a school with the same name, but the campaign billed it as the infamous military hospital. And there have been other reports that the video of troops and a funeral shown at the convention was actually produced and then staffed with actors.

- ABC News: McCain calls Palin a "spectacular running mate"
- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

 

Fri., Sept. 5 @ 12:00 a.m. CDT:

It's over. Two almost unprecedented weeks of back-to-back conventions.

John McCain was on his game with a mixture of new lines and old. And he has Sarah Palin to spin lines off of, like warning Washington that change is coming. McCain was preaching to his choir and there were very few people of color singing in the Republican Convention ... as delegates.

McCain really got the audience fired up as he started urging them to fight and never quit. Nearly two months to go.

Most polls show Obama didn't get much of a bump out of his convention. It will be interesting to see how many people watched McCain. Obama had a record audience. But his stadium speech also seemed to get a record amount of publicity.

Cindy McCain introduced her husband. She will be a formidable campaigner.

- ABC News: McCain calls Palin a "spectacular running mate"
- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

 

Thurs., Sept. 4 @ 6:37 p.m. CDT:

Big gaggle of people on the floor in front of the Arkansas delegation. Balding guy in the center is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. We are talking a hundred people stopped in the aisle as one of the cable networks interviews him.

I've been watching people in the hall. Interesting that most were not paying attention to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. But as some cheered, they would stop talking to their seatmate to cheer and clap.

Two hours from McCain's speech and it looks as if half the seats are empty. They will fill fast.

- ABC News: McCain calls Palin a "spectacular running mate"
- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

 

Thurs., Sept. 4 @ 5:53 p.m. CDT:

OK, it's the big night. Convention-goers and journalists are still talking about Sarah Palin's speech. She had a public event today but as reporters tried to ask questions, an aide turned off the camera lights. Wonder how fast they are trying to brief her?

Palin has a debate with Joe Biden coming up in mid-September. He knows his stuff even though he has been trying to raise expectations about Palin today.

Palin was just formally nominated by acclimation.

- ABC News: McCain calls Palin a "spectacular running mate"
- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

 

Thurs., Sept. 4 @ 8 a.m. CDT:

The reviews are still pouring in for Sarah Palin. Words like "electrify" cross the headlines about her speech introducing herself to America.

Republicans and the American voter did not know what to expect. They got a well-written speech that was well delivered. She introduced her family -- including pregnant daughter Bristol and her soon-to-be-deployed son Track, who leaves next week for Iraq.

She attacked Obama, comparing herself to a pit bull, and attacked some more. It helps that she smoothed over unease among party faithful in the aftermath of her introduction to the American people. The perception will be what counts. She is off to a good start.

- ABC News: McCain calls Palin a "spectacular running mate"
- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

 

Wed., Sept. 3 @ 6:50 p.m. CDT:

Jon Voight is in our skybox now. He is being interviewed by Sam Donaldson -- two survivors.

More than two hours to go before Sarah Palin speaks. It's curious that so many people have opinions about Palin. Few have ever heard her speak.

- ABC News: McCain calls Palin a "spectacular running mate"
- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

 

Tues., Sept. 2 @ 5:50 p.m. CDT:

Three more nights. The Republican delegates are more punctual than their Democratic counterparts. But they didn't have anything to do all day but go to breakfasts, lunches and lobbyist-hosted events.

These conventions have turned into large, long-winded infomercials. But they give the parties a chance to introduce their nominees. It's also a jumpstart for the fall.

McCain was put on the defensive again over Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. There has been speculation she wasn't vetted or checked out properly. McCain's people are trying to talk to reporters on background to convince them there was no rush and that they thoroughly vetted Palin.

- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

 

Tues., Sept. 2 @ 9:35 a.m. CDT:

It's pouring rain in St. Paul, where the humidity is horrible. The California Delegation is about to board buses for Lake Minnetonka. The gift shop moccasins?

The Republicans will be more or less back on schedule tonight. They will see President Bush by satellite. Then Joe Lieberman, the Democrat turned McCain lover. He traveled with McCain throughout the primaries as a surrogate. Fred Thompson will also speak tonight.

And if anyone but me cares, the top on my latte came off and ruined everything. You will now see a lot of the same two ties and shirts.

- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

 

Mon., Sept. 1 @ 10:14 a.m. CDT:

So far, not much grumbling from GOP delegates about the stripped convention. One delegate, John Ziegler, thinks it's pure political correctness to strip the convention. They lose an hour of prime-time coverage.

Nobody is too upset that President Bush won't speak, even though it is his last hurrah. Numbers are so bad it reminds people how much trouble he has brought to Republicans.

- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

 

Sun., Aug. 31 @ 8:19 p.m. CDT:

What do we do now? No president or vice-president.

We may get Laura Bush along with Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin sightings. All the women are here in St. Paul now. Word is Laura Bush may speak at tomorrow's opening session.

There is a possibility McCain won't be here. He said in one interview he might do his nominating speech from the Gulf states. Why? Why not come to St. Paul where thousands of party faithful have come to kick off the general election and pay homage to their nominee?

We'll have to see how the Gulf states do. Here in St. Paul, Republicans and the city that worked so hard on this can only wait.

Many journalists have been pulled out to backup colleagues in the Gulf States.

Yet the people here could be nominating the next president and vice president. Still there is a lot of head scratching over Sarah Palin.

- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

 

Sun., Aug. 31 @ 2:10 p.m. CDT:

It's official. Monday, first day, no President Bush and no speeches. At best there will be a two-and-a-half hour afternoon session to fulfill Republican party rules.

We saw McCain via satellite saying its time to take off party hats and put on American hats. They are worried that a night of Obama-bashing would backfire.

And if the storm is big it will suck all the air out of the convention coverage anyway. We don't know about parties. But the NRA plans to go ahead with its party tonight for delegates.

- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

 

Sat., Aug.30 @ 2:17 p.m. CDT:

We just arrived in Minneapolis and are doing the long walk, tram and elevator rides to the rental car counter.

Partner Edgar Alcala and I shipped the heavy stuff so it will be waiting for us at the ABC compound. Everyone is talking about McCain's choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The headlines indicate McCain camp did just what it intended, and wiped Obama off the front pages and out of the headlines.

And the debate rages about what Palin will do for or against McCain.

Just a final flashback: We left Mile High Stadium in Denver at 12:30 a.m. Journalists still on floor, delegates coming out of parties, no transportation.

The DNC told us busses would run until the place was empty. They stopped running at midnight!

L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina had an aide trying to find a nearly non-existent cab. We talked our way onto a shuttle headed for Pepsi Center.

It's all good. Republicans next!!



- See a slideshow of John North's behind-the-scenes photos while at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
- See a slideshow of the Republican National Convention

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