The Republican National Convention opened Monday afternoon as a hurricane pummeled the Gulf coast. It was a bit of an unusual event of politics and nature coming together as symbols of current events in our country.
I watched Republicans last week, on C-SPAN, meet and finalize the party platform for the convention. I watched some interesting exchanges between some of the most conservative voices in the party and some of a more moderate voice on the platform committee as they voted. In the end, the rewarding result is a party platform that coincides with the candidate's views.
The Republicans did not include drilling in ANWR as part of the energy plank. John McCain, while adjusting his stance on increased offshore and land drilling as he keeps current with the country's needs, still opposes drilling in ANWR.
The amendment to include denying citizenship to children born in this country to illegal immigrants was struck down. It will not be included in the platform. I was pleased by that. Granted, there are serious constitutional challenges to going down that path, but still. It was the right thing to do. We cannot condone punishing a child for the bad decisions made by parents.
"I want to give him a platform he can run on," said Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi.
The Republican National Committee will hold firm on its penalties against South Carolina, New Hampshire, Florida, and Michigan for going forward with early primaries against party rules. The credentials committee firmly expressed agreement that these states have all lost half of their delegates. When compared to the Democrats who caved in and allowed all of their delegates to vote despite being told otherwise originally, South Carolina state Rep. Alan Clemmons said, "I think Republicans are more accustomed to following the rules."
It was noted that South Carolina delegates don't seem to mind losing delegates. The state GOP Chairman, Katon Dawson, said, "We understand the penalties here, we're used to sitting in the cheap seats. We've got binoculars."
And, I applaud Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson as the reaction to Governor Sarah Palin's spot on the ticket was announced. "This reinforces that Senator McCain wants to be the independent reformer change ticket - he's not ceding that to Sen. Obama."
For those who fall for the line of criticism that Gov. Palin is not experienced enough for the role, Senator Hutchinson, the only woman in Senate Republican leadership, said the pick of Palin is "a bold and exciting opportunity." She spoke of women relating to Gov. Palin as a working woman and the challenges of raising children as she continues on in her career.
It is well known in the state of Texas that Senator Hutchinson has her eyes on the Governor's race coming up soon. She has acknowledged she doesn't plan to run for re-election for her Senate seat. She seriously considered running for Governor the last election cycle. Her mind is firmly now focusing on the governor's race in 2010. She doesn't "want to spend four more years in Washington." "My hopes and dreams are here in Texas."
Senator Hutchinson and her husband adopted two children, both as infants and now in pre-school years, a little while ago and she is determined to do what is best for her family. And her state. I will look forward to supporting her in her quest for the job she truly wants.