GOP convention alternate delegate Jonathan Hoffman of James Island is writing a daily guest blog from Cleveland this week. He can be reached a
email@example.com and via Twitter @hoffmanforsc
Just when we thought the convention week couldn’t get any more entertaining, Sen. Ted Cruz comes to town.
It would be difficult to overstate the impact of his remarks on the assembled delegates. It was pure pandemonium in the Quicken Loans Arena when he non-endorsed Donald Trump.
It is no secret that many of the delegates elected from South Carolina are Cruz supporters – despite Trump winning a plurality of the popular vote in our primary. These delegates were excited to see Cruz speak and he did not disappoint.
However, there were plenty of delegates who thought he should have swallowed his pride and just endorsed. I have been to four conventions and this was by far the most fascinating event to take place on the floor of a convention.
Cruz’s speech was definitely the highlight of a night when many Republicans got to see their vice presidential nominee speak at length for the first time. Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana gave a solid speech, but it was lost in the Cruz debacle.
People are tired. It has been hot in Cleveland during the day and we have been going since Sunday. In addition to the formal daytime programs, after the session each night there are a series of concerts and parties that go until, in some cases, 4 a.m. Staff and delegates spend all day searching for tickets (you can’t buy them) and then spend all night bouncing from venue to venue.
Some of the biggest names to perform at a Republican convention are Kid Rock, Toby Keith and Blues Traveler. The talent is not like on the Democrats’ side, with Beyoncé and Katy Perry performing at their convention but we manage and have a good time.
I am not sure how many of our delegates made it to these late night events, but the number who have made it to the 8 a.m. breakfast meetings has dropped each day, so I am assume a few people are wandering Cleveland late into the night.