Upon arrival at 5:30 we found, much to our great pleasure and surprise, that we didn't have to buy dinner at all. The event was actually in a large tent behind the restaurant, and the ribs were free. Now I don't know if it was because they were free, but they were the most tender and delicious ribs I've had in a very long time. Seriously, they were fantastic!
We found a place in the tent to stand and wait for the candidate to arrive. We had our two girls with us, ages 4 and 2. Now here's where I have a negative thing to say. I am a stickler for timeliness. I don't like being late myself, and I don't like it when others are late, and I have noticed watching various rallies and town halls that Romney's events do tend to start late. So I was not surprised that we were waiting and waiting. Unfortunately, I think the waiting was too long, and we got started nearly an hour later than I thought. I'll cut him some slack because he is traveling so much, exact arrival times are hard to predict, but I still thought it was later than it should have been. Here I have to say a huge thank you to our smart phones, which provided ample entertainment to our girls and kept them happy while we waited.
While we were waiting we chatted with an older couple who were standing next to us. The husband was a Romney supporter, the wife was undecided, but said “call me crazy, but I like Gingrich.” I didn't say it out loud, but I thought, “Yeah, you'd have to be.” Even Gingrich's own supporters know it's crazy to support him.
When the event finally started, it was worth the wait. First Rob Portman, senator from Ohio, came out and made a few pleasantries, a few thank yous, a few shout outs, acknowledged the suffering of the people of Ohio and surrounding states, including my own state of Kentucky, as a result of the devastating storms that went through.
Then he announced Ann and Mitt Romney. I was pleasantly surprised that Ann was there too. I hadn't known that she was going to be there too. She spoke for a few minutes, and introduced her husband, Mitt Romney.
I thought it was cute they were holding hands. What can I say, I'm a romantic.
Romney gave a great speech. I had heard various parts of it before, as I watch as many of the rallies and town halls as I can, thanks to the efforts of Bosman making those videos available here at Right Speak. However, I did learn a couple of new things – that his high school mascot was a crane, and as unusual as that mascot, he said his wife's high school mascot was even more unusual, an aardvark. Those Michiganders . . .
One of the first things Romney mentioned was going to kindergarten. My oldest daughter, who is going to kindergarten in the fall heard him say that and looked at me with great excitement and said “Mitt Romney said kindergarten! That's us!.”
He touched on the issues that I believe are the most important – bringing back jobs, restoring our economy, restoring our military. He was inspiring, encouraging and patriotic. It was a great event. He talked about the Olympics, and his encounter with Derek Parra, the 2002 Olympic speed skater who won a silver and a gold medal, and world record setter, who was greatly honored to be one of the athletes to carry the American Flag that was at the World Trade Center on 9/11, and was so moved by the experience.
After it was over we were too far back to be able to shake his or Ann's hands, but we made our way out the side of the tent to wave one more time, and offer our encouragement to him in his campaign.
We went to retrieve our car, and again we were pushed back by security to let his car go by, and we had one last chance to wave at our next president of the United States.
It was a great experience.