BLOG: A day of surprises

September 7, 2008 7:55:49 AM PDT
Wednesday was full of surprises in St. Paul. Passes were almost impossible to get, but we somehow pulled through, and our car battery died... TWICE! Luckily, people are so nice around here. Just about everyone we asked for help was willing to lend a hand.

As we got off the shuttle bus the most surprising ad was placed right as we got off. It was an ad bashing McCain, not something I expected to see. I even saw some protesters, but nothing like I've seen on the news. These protesters were more peaceful. There were a lot of Ron Paul supporters and only two holding a sign for Barack Obama.

Security, again, was tight. But nothing was taken from me this time around. I got in and wandered around to get a feel for the night. The energy was definitely high. I was listening to Huckabee's speech, and a young man asked me to take his picture so it would be of him and the stage below him. He couldn't get over the fact that he was at the Republican National Convention and he was eating popcorn and drinking a huge cup of coke. If you think about it, it is rather odd, almost as if you were at the movies.

I continued to talk to this young man and found out that he was actually a young 21 delegate from Wisconsin. Then a sixteen year old boy walks by with a Ron Paul "Revolution" t-shirt on and the delegate yells out to him, "Nice shirt!" and then lifts up his right collar revealing a Ron Paul pin. I was baffled. I started talking to the sixteen year old and learned that his father is a Pennsylvania delegate. His father is also a Ron Paul supporter and is thinking about abstaining. Ron Paul supporters were everywhere inside the arena, and you would have never of known.

Protesters even got inside of the Xcel Energy Center and tried to get on stage when Palin was speaking. I believe there were two women, and one was wearing a bright pink dress. They were picked up and escorted out, covered by a "Palin Power" sign.

After Rudy and Palin spoke the crowd went wild. And then when McCain showed up, it was felt like I was at hockey game. People have been talking all week about how the Democrats were loud and the convention had the atmosphere of a party while the Republicans were the complete opposite, but I think this made up for the past two days. Then gentleman in front of me was hootin' and hollerin' as if he was cheering on his favorite sports team, and at every cheer made a comment to his wife saying, "Palin for president in four years baby!" or "They poked the wrong beehive!" and " Lay 'em down and smack 'em Sarah!" I swear, I couldn't make this up -- this Wisconsin man was pumped!

When we were headed to the New York delegation headquarters at the Marriott in Minneapolis our bus had to stop two blocks early because tear gas was let out due the to some rowdy riots that followed the Rage Against the Machine concert. The delegates on the bus were not happy and convinced the police officer on the bus to let us off and take the risk of walking. As we walked to the hotel we saw boys with missing shirts and police everywhere in riot gear.

We weren't allowed to leave the hotel, and the hotel is a half-hour away. We tried to see some action but were turned away. We ended up waiting in the lobby, which was an experience in itself because delegates and politicians were just drinking and getting ready to go out parties. We were finally allowed to leave around 2 a.m.

If Wednesday was this crazy, who knows what Thursday will bring!!

About Amanda: She began her passion in Journalism with KYW News Radio's News Studies program in Philadelphia during High School. She is currently a Senior at Hofstra University persuing a major in broadcast journalism and a minor in Political Science. Amanda is an active member of WRHU Radio Hofstra University, where she is the station's News Director and music DJ. After interning this summer with WABC-TV's "Seven on Your Side", her passion has only grown. She currently resides in New Jersey and is ready to graduate in May 2009.

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