Red State Convention 2015 Roundup

Red State 2015 Poster


By Jon Smith, August 9, 2015

Before I left for Atlanta I was asked by a bunch of folks to write about the Red State Convention. Well I’m back and here it is.

I went to Atlanta because I’m a political junkie and to those like me these events are fun. This was my first Red State and I shall not miss the next one. It was LOTS of FUN.

I’ll get right to it. We all know that the “debates” are carefully choreographed entertainment events designed to produce political sound bites and sell TV time. And this year was no different except for the addition of the Trump phenomenon.

So it was only appropriate that the convention begin with a debate party. After a few, I watched the debate on the TV in my room because I wanted to watch the debate. It was what it was, you watched it too, and it probably didn’t change your mind about anyone either.

The Fox News Debate did, however, greatly contribute to the Silly Season fireworks. It will probably be forever known as the Trump debate because virtually all the coverage leading up to it was about Trump, Trump and Trump. Regardless of how this turns out, we can thank the Donald for the added attention to this year’s Republican Primary.

Rather than describe the two days of the convention in detail I have located on Youtube those videos of candidates speaking at Red State that I could find. My apology for not being able to find Christie and Jindal on Youtube or anywhere else. I’ll keep looking. You can watch your favorites, none or all. Again, I’ll let you decide because you’re going to anyway and my opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it.

But you have a right to know where I stand. I stand in the middle of the road. The road in which I stand firmly took a turn to the right a long time ago and that’s why I was in Atlanta for Red State. My emotional favorite is Ted Cruz and the conventional wisdom is that has is too far to the right and has no chance. That may be correct but if it’s true that a man can be judged by the quality of his enemies, he stands tall.

The morning after the debate the convention began with the surprising announcement that Donald Trump had been uninvited to the conference (Fired). You can read the reasons here and here.

Not all of the candidates had been invited or did not choose to attend. I do not know who falls in which category and of course the Donald was dis-invited because of the Megyn Kelly twitter flap. I posted my comments on this along with the early responses from the other candidates on my blog here. Please feel free to go there and add your comments as well.

I can also recommend Maureen Dowd’s column ‘Trump the Disrupter’. I don’t often agree with either Ms. Dowd or the NYT but she has known the guy for a long time and gets it about right.

Of course all of the hot topics were discussed throughout the convention. Planned Parenthood, the Iran Deal, Defense, Energy, Government shutdown, and too many others to mention. All were covered in multiple candidate speeches and panel discussions.

Jim Demint of the Heritage Foundation appeared early with an energizing speech emphasizing the critical importance of pressure from outside the beltway in effecting change and the creation of an opportunity society through educational choice, a growing economy unleashing the energy sector, and a strong national defense including control of our borders. I have heard him speak many times but this was his most inspirational. (I can’t find the video)

Then our own Tim Scott spoke with eloquence and humor. (again no video)

Chris Christie had the lead off spot as the first candidate to speak. It was good ole Christie and as always fun to watch and listen. You can take my word for it. If I find the video I will edit it in ASAP.

Nikki Haley was next and described the days of the Charleston shooting.

The lineup was just beginning. The rest of the heavy hitters were lining up.

Here are the Videos. I’ll let you choose which candidates to watch. You decide. It beats the heck out of the debate.

    Rick Perry was next and delivered the speech he should have given when he was at Sun City. Watch it here (Skip the ad).

    Bobby Jindal was next. He was impressive. The whole speech is not separately available. All I could find was this short Q & A.

    Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts spoke with a memorable quote saying “Politics is run by the people that show up.” I am going to use that one.

    Then we had the pleasure of listening to Carly Fiorina. You can’t help but like that lady and not just for the number two slot.

Click here to see  Carly seems to be rising in the polls.

    Then there was Marco Rubio. Conventional wisdom says he’s number two behind Jeb. We’ll see.

    Which finished Day 1. And what a day it was. Wow. Just plain Wow


Day Two

    Day two began with Mike Huckabee. I ran into him in the hall. He was alone so I walked up to him and we began a short conversation. What a nice guy. You cannot help but like him.

He gave an awfully good speech.


    Between speeches there were some important speakers on a great number of topics and time for a cup of coffee.

The next speaker was the star performer at the convention, Ted Cruz. Consistent, conservative, persuasive just as you would expect. Anyone debating Ted has my sympathy, except of course, a Democrat. He brought down the house. And then he did something no other candidate did. He stepped into the audience and spent 35 minutes being photographed by admirers and signing autographs. His security people did not look happy but the crowd loved it.

Watch this one.

    Governor Jeb Bush spoke after lunch. He gave a good speech. Conventional wisdom says he’s in the lead. To me he looks like every other Republican Candidate we’ve put up since 1992, next in line. You decide.

    The final candidate to speak was Governor Scott Walker. His speech was full of good red meat spoken forcefully and as with all the governors running, outlined his successes in Wisconsin. He has largely cured the annoying bobble head that has distracted me in all prior speeches during applause line breaks.

    And that Ladies and gentlemen ended the candidate presentations. The Donald had been scheduled to speak and mingle that evening. That did not happen. There was a cocktail party instead.

So if you wish to comment on the foregoing, this is also posted on my blog Posted on my Blog and you are free to present your opinions and views. Hope to see your comments there and at the Red State Convention next year.


Paid for and authorized by the Beaufort County Republican Party.

Not Authorized by any Candidate or Candidate's Committee.