Former Sen. Jack Danforth said it best Thursday morning at the Missouri Delegation breakfast when he quipped, "Since the surprise announcement last Friday of McCain's VP pick Sarah Palin, she became an instant target. But guess what folks, this target shoots back!"
And shoot back she did at the Xcel Center with an energizing speech like nothing most of us in this delegation have ever heard. Palin took on her critics in the media and from the left with true grit and fire.
A quick look at the faces in the room told me all I needed to know - something big is up. Something is changing. We are in the midst of a happening.
If you saw Palin's speech on television, and I imagine most did, then you saw the faces too. Radiant faces, wide grins, unmistakable excitement.
I will go one further and say those faces expressed pure "astonishment" as well.
Yes, the crowd was astonished.
We could not believe that anyone would have the guts to say what most of us there wish we could say, and don't.
But Sarah did, and she did it with the kind of poise and moxie we can only envy.
This woman is fearless. We saw it with our own eyes. Who among us would have the courage to do what she did last night, as she walked onto the world stage under unimaginable pressure? Not many.
And a side note - Kenny Hulshof gave the announcement from the Show Me State that the great state of Missouri proudly cast all its 58 votes for John McCain!
Your Missouri State Delegation sends its warm regards to all fellow Missourians back home.
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We are getting used to political, media and Hollywood stars if one can get used to such things.
We wave to Bill O'Reilly and Karl Rove all the time, and they generously smile and wave back from their booth just above us. Those in the Missouri alternate-delegate section sit behind the VIP section with such notables as Jon Voight, Cindy McCain and family, and George and Barbara Bush. We are surrounded by famous folks everywhere we go it seems, and believe me, we are thoroughly enjoying every minute of the experience. Outside the arena, each evening we walk by a MSNBC live broadcast with "one whose name cannot be mentioned" and where his small audience gawks and points at us.
Just for the record, despite what you may read or see in the media, the police here took mere minutes to subdue the violent protesters and keep them away from delegates. These particular protesters are the "anarchists" who have been saving their urine to throw at us. Yes, you heard that correctly! The peaceful protesters, on the other hand, are complaining because the media is not covering them as thoroughly as they believe they deserve. I will leave that for you to judge. Personally, I think the peaceful folks have a point. Please do not get me wrong, our experience is not just about seeing and meeting famous folks, as pleasant as that is. No, it is rather about the "meat and potatoes" of this convention, an historic one at that.
Kay Hoflander is a 1969 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and a former Missourian reporter. She also writes a regular column for The Examiner in Independence. Follow her as she blogs from the Republican National Convention at lafayettecountyrepublicans.blogspot.com