I was going to do something using Cover It Live for the convention, but because the iPad doesn't do multitasking like computers do, I decided against it. I'll do this instead, updating as I go.
9:45 am. The convention is about to convene and if I were a betting man, I'd say Bob Bennett is a dead man walking. I like him a lot and think he's a good man, but he's fighting against a lot today.
10:15 am. We had the prayer and pledge, and I love how interesting it is to hear prayers from other religions.
10:20 am. I'll post a picture later, but the Cherilyn Eager shirt is the nail in the coffin for me. The tag says "made in the USA because it matters." Ugh.
10:25 am. And here comes the annual delegate challenge from people who don't like what we do and how we do it. When will they stop? Fact is the party is fine with it and so are the delegates.
10:27 am. Chairman Dave Hansen just shut down the annual debater on automatic delegates in a way that was just stupendous. Thanks so much for doing it how you did. I've never seen it handled so well.
10:35 am. I have to say that I am again impressed by Chairman Hansen. He has done the best job of running a convention of anybody I've ever seen. He just diffused the usual acrimony and booing that would happen after the mudslinging fiesta we've had in this Senate race.
10:45 am. I don't think that Bridgewater's speech is doing him any favors. He's got some clap lines, but nothing that makes me think "this guy has to be my Senator."
10:47 am. You can always count on some big applause when you rail on the UN.
10:50 am. Wow, Bennett just pulled Mitt Romney out of his pocket. I think that has to help him. I think that right now he's got higher poll numbers here than most deities.
10:54 am. I still don't see any way that Bennett will make it out of the convention. He's got too many people who are done with him here. Also, AT&T has terrible service here at the Salt Palace. I've got full bars but no connection.
11:00 am. Jeremy Friedbaum seems like a nice guy, but he's got too many religious references. It has made things a bit uncomfortable.
11:05 am. Friedbaum wants a Congressional power grab from the Supreme Court. Whether his ideas are good or not, that's a bad idea. The last thing we need is more Congressional power.
11:15 am. Perennial candidate Merrill Cook is speaking and he's got to be the Don Quixote of Utah because he's going to go out on the first ballot. Nothing new here, move along. Although the interesting thing is he had somebody introduce him that nobody knew. Why was that guy up there?
11:20 am. David Chiu just compared Sarah Palin to Abraham. That is a huge dis on Abraham.
11:25 am. Mike Lee has the most interesting speaking cadence. He sounds like a storyteller a la Ken Burns, not a politician.
11:27 am. Based only on applause, I think that Mike Lee is going to win this thing in a walk. We will see what ballot it will be on. I don't think he's my first ballot candidate, but I think he is it for a majority of the people here.
11:32 am. Cherilyn Eager just told an amazingly pointless story about some kid with an unnatural desire to hold a globe.
11:33 am. And there's Eager's isolationist streak again. If it were up to here we would be back in the 30s with high tariffs and a useless League of Nations.
11:34 am. I might have misinterpreted this, but it seems like Eager just blamed Mexico for terrorism in the US. Near as I can tell there hasn't been a single terrorist attack perpetrated on our nation that has come from Mexico. She just sounds shrill to me.
12:09 pm. In other convention news, Bennett is beating Lee in the "best spread for the delegates." Lee was ahead this morning thanks to donuts and muffins, but the cookies, chips, and soda of Bennett's are putting him in the lead. He could win something today, even if it is something as ridiculous as the spread Sorro likes the most.
12:21 pm. Richard Martin is speaking and bringing up some good points, but nobody's really listening. I do feel bad for him in this regard. Being the first after balloting is a bad position to be in. I hear his criticisms, but he doesn't have any plan to fix it.
12:23 pm. "I've written 33 books" is not a good reason for me to vote for you for Governor.
12:24 pm. Neither is "Thomas Jefferson is my grandfather" or "my father was in World War II."
12:25 pm. Super Dell Schanze is up...this should be good
12:26 pm. Some other guy is speaking for him. I am seriously disappointed.
12:31 pm. Oh yeah, I remember this guy now. He's just repeated his promise from 2 years ago and said that Super Dell will also help us "4x" to "100x" our income.
12:33 pm. Back to serious candidates now. We've got Dan Oaks up.
12:37 pm. Oaks thinks that Utah being the best managed state in the US is not a good reason to keep Herbert in. I think that he knows he's in trouble.
12:40 pm. Governor Herbert is up and it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that he will win. The only way he won't is if he gets up and proceeds to go on a killing spree in front of the delegates.
12:54 pm. Rob Bishop is speaking and his speech is just rambling enough that you know he knows he's safe.
12:56 pm. Mike Ridgeway is up. As he is a perennial thorn in everyone's side, I'm curious to see what he says. For those who don't know, he is the kingpin behind the anti-automatic delegate movement.
12:59 pm. Ridgeway's original beef is with Rob Bishop. It seems like he has pulled that out to the entire party, saying that the corruption from the time when Bishop was chair is still here today and that we are under the thumb of a tyrannical group. Whether Bishop was a problem or not, I don't know. Nevertheless, it's interesting to hear his history.
1:15 pm. Nothing much to report from the second district candidates. Nevertheless, I just saw one of the most amazing beards I've ever seen.
1:29 pm. I know that Jason Chaffetz is the golden boy of the Utah Republican Party, but I'm still not a big fan.
1:34 pm. Chaffetz' standard sendoff just seems so trite and focus grouped.
1:35 pm. Mike Lee 28%. Bridgewater 26%. Bennett 25%. Eager 15%. Now we are going to see Eager's people switch to probably Bridgewater with maybe some Lee. I think that Bennett is done, but you never know.
1:53 pm. I think Mike Lee just committed political seppuku with his speech. He spent his time complaining about how he's been beat up, and he has. Unfortunately for him, he came off looking like a spoiled child. Bennett's been beat up the most and you haven't heard boo from him.
2:04 pm. Just hit 50% on my iPad battery. That's 5 hours of total bad connections and updates. Not bad Steve Jobs.
3:20 pm. Now I'm just waiting for results. Let's get this thing done so we don't run into the Jazz.
3:30 pm. Bridgewater 37%, Lee 36%, and Bennett with 26%. It is pandemonium here. I've never seen such a cheer rise up from the delegates. This is one discontented group!