Aug 27, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Tampa Bay Times: The Grand Old Party threw a hurricane party Sunday night at Tropicana Field as thousands of slightly damp delegates, media and guests boogied to the oldies and goggled at Busch Gardens’ gators and flamingos.
Despite intermittent rain from Tropical Storm Isaac, which had prompted a postponement of today’s Republican National Convention schedule, the Trop gathering brought the GOP faithful from around the country together in one spot for the first time — to chat, snap photos, make plans, and of course chow down on paella and other local cuisine.
Wyoming delegate Jack Mueller, 70, has been to 14 straight GOP conventions. He called the Trop party “fabulous” and said he liked the fact that everyone was all together instead of having the states’ delegations gathering in different places. His one complaint: “I ate too much.”
The Trop attendees included men in red, white and-blue cowboy boots and women with blue-dyed hair mingling with bead-tossing Gasparilla krewes, who had a little trouble explaining Gasparilla to the out-of-towners.
Busch Gardens contributed belly dancers, drummers and acrobats, plus a pair of baby alligators, a trio of flamingos named Pinky, Mango and Beaker and an eagle named Kamali. Henry Schwab, a Georgia delegate, wore a straw boater decorated with political pins dating to “I Like Ike.” In contrast to the grinning Schwab, a few grim-faced delegates wore “Todd Akin for Senate” buttons.