Delaware’s delegation to the Republican National Convention is on the ground in Tampa.
Most of today’s session has been postponed because of Tropical Storm Isaac’s presence nearby in the Gulf of Mexico, but First State delegates are still active. This morning, they met with Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s son, Josh, and former press secretary for President George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer.
Delaware Republican Party chairman John Sigler is part of the Delaware delegation in Florida. He says the abbreviated day one session will not keep the party from being ready to get down to business tomorrow.
“The energy is at a fever pitch down here. Everyone is ready to go to work,” said Sigler. “A lot of work has [already] been done. All the committees have met. The platform has pretty much been finalized. The rules committee has met. We’re ready to go.”
Sigler adds the GOP is ready to move past the distraction presented by Tropical Storm Isaac – and by last week’s political storm involving Missouri Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin’s comments about rape that had many in the GOP establishment encouraging Akin to leave that race.
“The issue in Missouri is mostly a local issue. It’s a Missouri issue and Missouri voters will deal with that issue,” said Sigler. “The national press did a good job trying to blow it out of proportion. But the delegates, alternates and guests that are here in Tampa understand exactly what the issues are. The Missouri issue is not a national issue.”
Delaware’s delegation is looking forward to one of its own addressing the issues before a prime time audience tomorrow night. Lt. Governor candidate Sher Valenzuela is slated to discuss the role of small business in revitalizing the economy, using the experience of her company, First State Manufacturing, as an example.
Sigler has not spoken with Valenzuela directly in recent days, but has been told she is prepared for her moment at the podium. The Delaware GOP party chair also dismissed suggestions that First State Manufacturing use of Small Business Administration loans and no-bid government contracts undermines the GOP message that government needs to get out of the way of small business owners.
“This wishful thinking on the part of those who are critical and would spin it,” said Sigler. “The truth is that Sher and her husband [Eli] did what any good entrepreneur would do. They found the the financing that was available and used the contracts that were available to grow their business. I wonder how large that business would be today 0 how much more successful it would be today – if government truly got out of the way.”
Valenzuela will speak at the Republican Convention during the 9 o’clock hour Tuesday night.