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Inside The Republican National Convention

Westport resident Bob Zappi, the former chairman of the Westport Republican Town Committee, is attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. this week as a guest.

TAMPA, Fla. – I want to give a Republican convention update from a first-time participant. The Speeches: I am still energized by Paul Ryan's speech last night. The crowd of about 10,000 Republicans jumped to their feet numerous times exhibiting their true excitement for his ideals and his vision for our country. He's taken the bold step to make Medicare a topic we must discuss in order to get our financial house in order; promising to protect it for our parent's generation and those that follow.

He related his belief that with hard work we are not relegated to a station in life preordained by some central planner. Condoleezza Rice inspired with her foreign policy experience and sheer intelligence. From being denied a lunchtime hamburger to becoming Secretary of State; she captured the promise of America as an ideal, and not a person or party. Susanna Martinez was a wonderful bridge between these two obvious heavyweights. She made it real and reminded us that anything is possible and that it doesn't matter from where your family emigrates. Reflecting on the flow of speeches, I relate it to food as we are getting generous helpings of both and ask for your metaphorical indulgence. The first course was policy from Condoleezza Rice. Our appetites were whetted by Susana Martinez's story of her American journey (VP in 2020?) and finally we had generous helpings of politics from Paul Ryan. In my view, the speeches share the consistent theme of freedom to choose our own destination. And the promise of America is to allow us the opportunity to chart our own personal journey. Man-on-the-Street: On the way to dinner, we passed several groups of protesters, who while very loud and animated they were respectful. So much so that one group was deriding religious virtues while a solitary man coexisted inches away from them in silence holding a sign that simply read "Trust in the Lord." Inside Politics: I'm amused at the reporting from MSNBC that spin stories of a few gate crashers that pose as delegates to disrupt the proceedings with outrageous gestures. I've seen nothing but upbeat and courteous delegates and our welcoming Floridian hosts grateful to have a boost to their local economy. I hope to send another update tomorrow morning after Mitt's acceptance speech and I look forward to Marco Rubio's introductory remarks. Though the weather is beautiful in Tampa, my thoughts are with Louisiana and other states hit by Tropical Storm Isaac.

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