Last night proved to be more of a red meat night. The speakers were more critical of President Obama's performance at job creation and controlling government spending. With the theme of "We Can Change It," it came as no surprise that the party would begin contrasting the two candidates' positions on the economy, job creation and foreign policy.
Condoleezza Rice brought the house down and is clearly one of the most respected and loved person within the Republican Party. She brought a sobering perspective on the United States' weakening voice in foreign policy and that impact on our economy. My favorite quote of the evening came from Rice. When speaking of coming out of poverty to become the Secretary of the State, she said, "America has a way of making the impossible, inevitable."
The Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, also gave a wonderful speech and told yet another story of a multi-generational fulfillment of the American Dream. She spoke of changing her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in her political career after being attracted to the free enterprise, limited government platform of the Republican party. Her story, like so many others, of her rise into politics gives me more faith in our democratic process. She is a testament to how an ordinary person can get involved to make a difference.
Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan also brought the house down. For me, having a family with young children, I felt he connected to the issues that I'm most worried about-the future of the American Dream for our children.
Overall, I thought the speakers were fantastic. A lot more punches were thrown last night, but I think the speakers did a great job of staying focused on a positive alternative to the current administration.
Tampa residents have been extremely friendly and helpful. Getting around the city is somewhat challenging because the events and hotels are spread across many miles so you can't be in a rush to get anywhere.