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Down Day in Tampa


TAMPA, Fla. — The Republican National Convention began today, but lasted for all of 27 seconds before it was recessed due to Tropical Storm Isaac.

The decision to postpone the opening session was made before the storm began to veer west and away from Tamapa. Many other events were likewise cancelled leaving delegates and guests looking for things to do on what became an unexpected down day.

The weather constantly shifted between sun and rain as the bands of Isaac swept through, so outdoor activities were not a viable option. Some delegations spent their day putting together relief packages for those about to be hit by the storm. Others took the opportunity to socialize and reconnect with old friends or make new ones.

Not all the events were cancelled, though. I attended a panel discussion on job creation put on by the American Action Forum headed up by Virginia’s own Fred Malek and former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) kicked it off with an inspiring recount of his own experience starting a business. McCarthy was the youngest of five sons of a firefighter and a stay at home mom. After he graduated from high school, there wasn’t any money for college, so he opened up a deli after he won $5,000 in the California lottery and had saved up some additional money from jobs he worked.

Eventually, he found success, sold his business, and put himself through college. While in college, he applied to be a DC intern for his Congressman. He was turned down. Today, he holds that seat in Congress.

There are a few more events happening tonight with one of the highlights being an event featuring The Busboys and Otis Day (“Hey, Otis, my man!”)

Things promise to really ramp up Tuesday with Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the night’s featured speakers.

Jim Riley is the Southbridge Homeowners Association President and writes for

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