The nominating speeches of Senator Jeff Session and US Representative Chris Collins reiterated the themes and the rhetoric of the entire Trump campaign.
Representative Collins thanked Speaker Ryan for introducing forward thinking policies but did not make any specific reference to any of those policies.
The future is described in scary terms. The present described as a disaster. But the nominating rhetoric is that the subject of the nominating speeches is a leader who will lead, a winner who will win,
The convention needs to swing toward a mention of more specific policies and actions if it is to win over the wavering.
Hoosier citizens in Cleveland are seeing some familiar figures providing security in Cleveland. Indiana State Police officers are helping to assist Ohio and federal law enforcement personnel along with State Police from Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina and numerous other states.
Troopers of the ISP have special commissions issued by the State of Ohio in order to carry out their duties during this week of the convention.
Lt General Michael Flynn's speech was at times a strung together of political cliches and he lost an opportunity to deliver a concise and powerful critique of HIllary Clinton's national security policies and record.
Leading the "Lock her up" chant was not a high point of Monday night's convention. Veering into lesser rhetoric diminished the power of his other points by undercutting his strengths and authority.
Donald Trump is in the building to introduce his wife, Melania. She, in turn, introduced Senator Bob Dole to the most heartfelt applause of the evening.
She followed a fiery and effective presentation by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Her presentation is charged with humanizing her husband.
The Monday evening presentation by all the speakers has been largely uneventful. If the goal of the of the convention organizers was to eschew drama and give reassurance that a Trump convention would not end up being a chaotic affair, they have succeeded.
This week, the Fort Wayne Observed weblog will be among the throngs of media in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention.
This makes the third straight time that Fort Wayne Observed will have media credentials at the Republican National Convention. However, it will be the first time that Fort Wayne Observed will be reporting from dedicated media space within the convention arena.
In 2008 and 2012, FWOb had assigned filing space within the media filing center. In 2008, it made for a long day as I may have been the only person attending who had both Delegate credentials and media credentials. After the convention session ended, I was in the filing center composing posts and editing photographs. It is a great opportunity to meet journalists from around the nation and around the world covering the proceedings. In 2012, the media center was at some distance from the convention arena.
Days were particularly long in Minneapolis/St Paul because I was the only Republican National Convention attendee who took up the invitation of TJ Rybak, then mayor of Minneapolis and current Democratic National Committee member to take part in three days of early morning physical activity in Minneapolis. In what Mayor Rybak termed a 'triathlon' the events consisted of a 5K run the first day at Minnehaha Falls, a non-competitive bicycle ride on the trails near downtown Minneapolis, and then a canoe or swim competition at Lake Calhoun.
I got up early at the Indiana delegation hotel near the Mall of Americas, negotiated my way in the dark through unfamiliar streets, and became familiar with the Minneapolis transportation system.
As the sole Republican person to take up the invitation that had been issued to every other attendee, I had the opportunity to be on two live morning broadcasts of Minneapolis television on consecutive days.
Which brings me to a more serious point. There have been extensive stories in recent weeks about security at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
One friend, (a young "Republican operative" as one newspaper once referred to him), in responding to my mentioning that I had credentials for Cleveland, messaged: "Oh, wow, you gonna go? I am seriously concerned something terrible's going to happen."
One media report had about half the delegates polled expected riots or other security incidents. Delegates who have attended past conventions are among those who have voiced concerns.
So, this is where I will continue the story about Minneapolis. The first night of the convention, I rode the delegate bus from the Indiana hotel with the other members of the delegation. An armed security person was on the motor coach. The motor coach took a designated route to the convention arena; armed police were visible on overpasses along the route. The motor coach turned into a parking lot with security personnel,and a chain linked fence with other security features visible. Delegation members walked to the crowded entrance where hundreds of other delegates were waiting in line to go through scanners and inspections.
The next evening, because I had attended another event in downtown Saint Paul in the afternoon, I drove my car to a largely vacant parking garage just a few blocks away on the other side of the arena from where the delegates entered who were on buses. I walked a few blocks and entered the much less crowded entrance on the opposite side. I quickly got through the scanners and inspections. There were a few protesters encountered on that side but most interactions were amusing, not threatening.
On each subsequent night, I offered rides to other members of the delegation. Each declined due to security concerns.
The problem is, that experiencing the most security, subjects begin to build up concerns about security.
Obviously, recent events show that security concerns are real. The reality is a sobering one.
FWOb would just advise, however, to put ramped up media reports - and particularly, media IMAGES - about security concerns into perspective.
Photo of Governor Mike Pence with Mitch Harper above. Photo credit: Bart Lomont
Christian Skordos, a Fort Wayne attorney, is withdrawing his candidacy for Indiana State Representative in the 80th District. The southcentral Fort Wayne legislative district is presently represented by Phil GiaQuinta, who had succeeded his father, Ben, in that seat.
Mr. Skordos made the announcement yesterday on his campaign's Facebook page. Mr. Skordos was endorsed in the primary by the Allen County Right to Life Political Action Committee.
The political landscape in Indiana is reeling with all of the recent changes in candidates. Sadly, I must add to the fireworks with the equivalent of a sparkler.
For a variety of reasons, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy for State Representative. I have tremendous respect for the awesome responsibility of political office. A respect, I fear, many do not share. Nonetheless, my decision was made without concern for how seriously others take their duty to constituents. I am withdrawing because, in light of my promise that my family will always come first, I believe I am not in a position to represent the people of District 80 as well as they deserve. I am making no judgments against State Representative GiaQuinta, but I wish express my hope that he will take seriously his continued obligations to the people of this district and to the State of Indiana.
I'm not sure if my future includes a term of elected office, but I will always remain committed and involved with my community. Thank you for your support and God bless.
This has been an Indiana political year like no other.
Former Congressman Baron Hill, was nominated in the Indiana Democratic Primary for the US Senate Seat that Evan Bayh had relinquished in 2010. The seat is currently held by US Senator Dan Coats and had been held by Coats from 1989 until 1998 when he chose not to run for re-election. Senator Coats had defeated Baron Hill for the seat in 1990.*
Today, Baron Hill resigned his candidacy and Evan Bayh declared his candidacy for the seat that he had quit just 6 years ago.
Who says there are no second chances in life? Well, Baron Hill, as of today.
While Senator Bayh may have felt that it would have been too risky to run for re-election in 2010 it is a different salad this year. A salad tossed by a presidential candidate once thought highly unlikey to win the presidential nomination and an incumbent Republican governor facing a tough re-election battle against the first well-funded Democrat since Bayh and Frank O'Bannon. Add the possibility that the aforementioned governor may be named tomorrow or within days to be the running mate of the once unlikely presidential nominee, may resign his gubernatorial candidacy to run for vice-president and be replaced on the statewide ticket for governor by a Lieutenant Governor who wasn't the lieutenant governor with whom he started the year or by some other candidate to be picked by the Indiana Republican State Committee.
Both major party nominees for the presidency will be campaigning with huge negative numbers. But Mr. Bayh is fond of Mrs. Clinton in a way he never was of President Obama. The desire to help her candidacy and to serve a role in the Senate he never would have been able to with Mr. Obama is surely appealing. But the real factors are that the seat has better odds of him winning than he would have faced if he had run for re-election in 2010.
And, he hasn't had to run in a primary. If he had, the more left leaning activist groups that had taken to criticizing him roundly in his own party would have warmed to the task again. It will be interesting to see if the Bernie supporters he avoided in the primary may react to his candidacy after today.
FWOb reached out to Senator Bayh's 1998 Republican opponent for his US Senate seat - former Fort Wayne mayor W. Paul Helmke. Paul Helmke told FWOb:
Only time a Bayh has lost statewide was in the GOP wave year of 1980 - this is not that kind of year (at least for the GOP). He will be very tough to beat.
Mr. Bayh starts off with a substantial cash cushion that he was maintained the last eight years.
It is expected he will have to start addressing several questions, some of them unpleasant, over the next few weeks. One set will arise from questions regarding how the Bayhs accumulated substantial wealth while he was governor and senator. Former Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Washington Bureau reporter Sylvia Smith wrote a lengthy examination of Susan Bayh's corporate board memberships that was published in the December 16, 2007 issue of the JG.
Four years before Evan ran for the US Senate, his wife, began serving on corporate boards. Sylvia Smith chronicled the details of membership on the boards of 14 different corporations which were in the pharmaceutical, broadcasting, insurance and other industries. Many observers at the time thought the Sylvia Smith articles were a factor in his decision not to seek re-election.
The Journal Gazette does not have an active link to the Smith article. It might be of service to citizens if the JG restored the link.
You may see former Fort Wayne Observed articles on the topic here and here.
*Changed from the original 1992. Dan Coats defeated Baron Hill in the 1990 special election; he defeated Joe Hogsett in 1992.
This past Sunday, we caught up with US Olympic Marathoner Meb Keflezighi at an Indianapolis reception held in support of the Meb Foundation.
FWOb had a good-natured exchange with the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon champion about the chance of following the new training regimen of his 2012 US Olympic teammate Ryan Hall. Mr. Hall, 33, announced his retirement from running competitively in January 2016.
Ryan Hall was in the news recently as he revealed that post-retirement he has taken up weightlifting and has gained 40 pounds of muscle from working out. Ryan Hall posted a photo on Twitter April 21st of that then got Men's Fitness, Runner's World and the rest of the running community's social media talking about it.
So, we asked Meb Keflezighi: "You mentioned Ryan Hall today. He set off quite a sensation this weekend. Are we likely in the future to see a bulked-up Meb?"
His reply: "A bulked-up Meb? Uh, I don't think that's going to happen, to be honest. I love running. I think Ryan has the stature of tall and physique that could to be a great muscleman. But for me, as short as I am . . . I have the desire to be able to be bulked one day. But I'll be able to just enjoy [to] keep running for a long time. [ . . . ] Ryan's doing 12 miles a week; I will do 6 -7 miles a day [ . . . ].