A Week to Remember!



Last week, I was honored to serve as a National Delegate from the Fifth District of Georgia to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.  There were threats of violence to happen from protestors and a looming threat of a hurricane.  But, we were spared both, thank the Lord!

Three of my dearest friends went with me, Debbie Moscato, as my guest. Catherine McDonald served as an At-Large Alternate, so she took Cheryl Lavette. Three of us are hosts of the Freedom Five show which airs on Americaswebradio.com.  We were like children at Christmas.  We were so excited to be a part of  this process, as we all are political junkies.

We arrived Saturday night, and got settled into our hotel, where the entire Georgia Delegation was staying. We had a nice dinner at a seafood restaurant on the property. It was balmy and breezy.

Sunday was the beginning of all the festivities. We had a breakfast that morning honoring our Governor.  It was fun to see many friends I had not seen since our convention in May. There was talk that day of cancelling the first day of the convention because of the hurricane, which they decided to do.

Sunday afternoon, we attended  The Faith and Freedom Coalition’s event at the Tampa Theatre. It  was fantastic! Some of the speakers included Mike Huckabee, Pam Bondi, the Attorney General of Florida, Ted Cruz, Governor Scott Walker, Newt Gingrich, and many others. It was interesting when Scott Walker was speaking, he was interupted by some protestors, but the security team was right on them and removed them immediately.

Sunday night, we went to the Tampa Stadium for a welcome party. The security was extremely tight, and one of our friends and Fulton County Chairman, Roger Bonds was detained because he had gone for a stress test that past week, and his body still was radioactive. That made us feel secure. We got a great chuckle out of it, until later in the week, Roger was scolded for telling the story because it got out to the press.

My good friend and author, Steve Penley was there as he was commissioned to do several paintings for the week. We had him be our special guest on our Monday morning show. Cheryl, Debbie and I called into the station where Amy  Peil and Nancy Saunders, the other two co-hosts were holding down the fort. It was a great and lively show. Steve is hilarious, but also made some wonderful points about our great nation and our party. We had a terrific banter back and forth, and had many laughs.

The weather never did get bad down there, but it was just as well, they did cancel the first day for precautions.  Monday night, AT&T hosted a reception for the GA Delegation. The food was great, and the view from the restaurant at the top of the hotel was gorgeous. We were all so thankful that we dodged the hurricane!

Tuesday was a long and packed day. I went to a pro-life event honoring Michelle Bachman, Rick Santorum, Congressman Louis Gohmert, and my dear friend, Governor Rick Perry held at the Tampa Aquarium.   I rode over with Melanie and Robbie Crozier.  Melanie also was a delegate who won from the floor of her District Convention.  She is a dynamo, and we became fast friends and had a blast together. We got to meet and visit with Tony Perkins, Chairman of Family Research Council, and an amazing role model, Phyllis Schafly.  We had a wonderful time, got moved up to VIP status and sat right up front.

We rushed over afterwards to get to the Forum to make roll call at two o’clock.  The electricity in the building was contagious, and I could just feel the energy. This was my third convention, but it was my first as a delegate. There is something entirely different about being on the floor, and getting to cast your vote. It was awesome.

That day, I had on a red, white, navy and gold coat by Elizabeth McKay, and I was stopped constantly with the question, “Are you from Maryland?”  I discovered my coat looked just like their state flag.  I was interviewed by a Maryland radio station, and he wrote a blog about me calling me ‘ The Accidental Maryland Fashionista.”  Of course, I was constantly giving a plug for Ginger Howard Selections, and even had cards made up to hand out just for the convention! The Tuesday speeches were great, and it was so exciting to be there. Newt Gingrich hosted a reception for the GA Delegation,  where he spoke and Mitt Romney’s son, Josh did too.

Later on that night, I actually did run into Governor Perry again, and we were able to have a quick visit.  He is such an incredible man, and I am sorry the country did not get to know the man  I do.  But I am thankful, that all of our previous presidential candidates and supporters are rallying behind our nominee, Mitt Romney! One thing is for sure, we must win this election and be united and fight to take back this nation to restore it to its founding principles!

One caveat to Tuesday night, our bus left the Forum at 11:15 pm, and we arrrived at our hotel at 2:15 am! Needless to say, there were some VERY angry folks. The group I was with made it fun and funny. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard at all the tweets and facebook posts.  Let’s just say that the next night, things went extremely well, and it was like night and day from Tuesday night. They really did fix that problem, and it was a big problem!

Over and over again, as I was interviewed this week  by the BBC, the Associated Press, NPR, The Washington Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, etc. I was asked who I supported before and was I behind Mitt Romney? I told them over and over that this is what is so wonderful about these conventions: unification.  One of the best things about our primary process is we all start out and there are many wonderful people running, and everyone has a horse in the race, but once the convention rolls around and we have chosen the nominee, that is the time to UNITE and all come together as a winning team! That is what I did, and most everyone else that was there. Now, there are so Ron Paul supporters that have not joined the team, but that is another story, and I hope and pray, for the good of our country that they will come around!

Wednesday morning, I received a call from my shop that NPR had called and wanted to get in touch with me to do an interview about Ann Romney’s speech, which by the way was FANTASTIC!  I called the woman back from NPR, whom I had met at the airport, when she came up to me and told me I was the most stylish person she had seen yet. I explained to her that I have a clothing store. She asked me if I would be willing to come on a panel with two other women. She then said, “Ginger, you seem quite spunky, but are you going to be able to handle being on with others who don’t agree with you?”  I assured her I would!

That morning, I met my precious friend and wife our our Senator Saxby Chambliss, and we went to a luncheon hosted by Target honoring the Georgia Delegation.  Senator Johnny Isakson spoke, and I think that was one of my only real meals all week.  It was fun to catch up with Julianne and her friend Kathy Young. Their driver took me over to the media center at the convention hall for my interview. Security was so cool,  we all had to show our credentials, then they opened all four doors. He had to pop the hood and the back of the SUV when a dog jumped in to check us out, and his tail swooshed Julianne’s hair!  They drove me right up, and the girl from NPR was waiting for me.

We went in where all the media and radio stations were set up. It was really neat. I was being interviewed with a girl that interviewed me the day before. Another girl from Polictico called in, so there were three of us, and of course, I was the only conservative.  It was really fun, and I believe I held my own with those gals. The interviewer even called me later to thank me and told me I did an excellent job! We can have civil discussions with liberals, and who knows, maybe we can bring some over to our side!

After the interview, I had several hours to kill before the program began at seven. I walked around the media center, and then found a comfortable chair to rest. My feet had horrible blisters from being in the same shoes the day before for fourteen hours.  I then headed over to the Forum, and I just missed Paul Ryan practicing his speech. That day because I was there early, many reporters were looking for interviews, so I was interviewed at least six times before seven, and then several times afterwards. I love to talk to people and get our conservative message out. I had the best time!   The funniest interview of the night, was from a guy who had done a Youtube video of me in Iowa saying Rick Perry was going to be the nominee. He said in his wonderful English accent, “Ginger, the last time I saw you, you were sure Rick Perry was going to be the nominee.”

I ran into my friend and brilliant political mastermind, Nick Ayers.  We had a fun visit and tried to go and find Governor Perry again, but just missed him. Nick is one of the nicest guys in the political world, and it is so refreshing to know good, Christian men who make a difference in that  arena.

The speeches that night were incredible, and Condoleezza Rice was so inspiring! What an amazing story. My most fun and memorable moment of that day was an email I received from my brother that said my twin nephews,who are not quite three, saw me on a big TV at his mother-in-law’s and they ran and put their hands on my face and said, “Aunt Ginger!” It brought tears to my eyes.  My sweet mom also saw me on TV and called and left me a message of how much fun she was having watching me talk and talk! HA, imagine that?

After the convention was over, we went to a party called “The Taste of Southern Hospitality” hosted by Georgia, Missippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. Mike Huckabee played “Sweet Home Alabama.”  We got home around three in the morning!

The last day of convention, we had a breakfast honoring our Speaker of the House, David Ralston. Sue asked me to say the invocation, and I was thrilled to do so. I never turn down the chance to pray!  We had a surprise guest, John Boehner, who came and spoke.  That was such a fun surprise!

We had a few hours of sunshine that day, so Debbie and I went to relax by the pool. I really wanted to take a nap, but that was not an option. A few of us went to another event that afternoon honoring pro-life  women. Michelle Bachman was one of those being honored. I talked with her, and she told me I had on the right color for the day, red!  I met Ed Gilespie too. We left around six o’clock to make sure we were there early to get a good seat.

I cannot explain how exciting that night was. It was the grand finale, and the anticipation and enthusiasm was all over that place. We were beside ourselves with excitement!  And by the way, we all thought Clint Eastwood was fantastic!  The Washington Post took our picture with our sunglasses on that we had gotten from the pro-life event and holding our signs. We were dancing and singing and having a grand old time. After all, we  are the Grand Old Party!  Marco Rubio gave a wonderful speech, and Mitt Romney did what he needed to do!  He gave his best speech yet. The balloons fell, and I did not want to leave that floor. Being a delegate is a once in a lifetime experience, and it was more than I ever thought it could be.  I was interviewed afterwards by our hometown stations, WSB, Channel 2, and 11 Alive. That was fun too!

Once we finally left the floor, we got back to our hotel around two am, and we had a band that was super! We danced until three am, and I did not get in the bed until five!  But it was so worth it!

We arrived back in Atlanta absolutely exhausted, but resolved and determined to WIN! My friend who picked us up asked me if I got the number of the bus that ran over me! HA!! I felt like a mack truck ran over me, and she confirmed that I looked like it.

Last week truly was a week to remember.  I made new friends, reconnected with old friends, and was able to experience how our democratic process works. I love this country, and I am willing to fight with every fiber of my being to make certain that Barack Obama is a one term President.  And I feel very confident, that the majority of the delegates and alternates who were there, are united with me. Let’s do this together, let’s take our country back and restore the values our founding fathers sacrificed their lives, fortunes and sacred honor for!