By the time you read this, the Democrats will have concluded their partisan partying down in Charlotte, having learned what Tampa now knows about the pro’s and con’s of hosting a national political convention. At press time, Charlotte was already getting a more positive spin than Tampa ever did — they’ve got street fairs, public transit, bigger protests, what fun!
But before Tampa Bay’s extraordinarily weird week fades from memory, here’s part two of our RNC diary, excerpted from our online coverage on The Daily Loaf and cltampa.com. Because, from Clint to the Honey Badger, from Republicans for Planned Parenthood to hugs for Newt Gingrich, this was a week we don’t really want to forget. —David Warner
Tues. Aug. 28
Honey badger enters 2012 presidential race
There are many ways to not give a shit.
This election season, Randall — narrator of the viral mock nature documentary about the honey badger — wants American voters to be like the tough-as-nails mammal when they go to the polls. As Randall famously said in the video, “The honey badger don’t care.”
Randall thinks the best way to do this is by voting for the honey badger, whose presidential “candidacy” was announced at Ybor City’s Roosevelt 2.0 on Aug. 28.
Randall (last name not given) isn’t joking, either.
The environmental advocate said he doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t give a shit about politics — quite the contrary, actually. He wants voters to care so much that they fearlessly choose the leaders that represent their interests, instead of settling for a well-funded candidate who seems less evil.
“All we have right now are two different people telling us what’s best for us,” he said.
Wearing an enormous pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses and a vintage tweed jacket, he urged the several dozen in attendance to write-in the badger on the 2012 presidential ticket.
For Roosevelt 2.0 co-founder Bryan Roberts, having his space serve as the animal’s campaign headquarters was a no-brainer.
“We’re using humor to bring to light some very serious issues,” he said.
“A smaller, less douchey Miami”
Some may remember Erin Gloria Ryan’s article “10 Reasons Why Ryan Lochte Is America’s Sexiest Douchebag” on Gawker-owned website Jezebel. Now she’s in Tampa for the RNC — she just wrote an article called “Everyone at this Hooters is terrible and I will die in my hotel: Tales from Tampa” — and last night she showed up at Wonkette’s meetup at MacDinton’s in South Tampa.
Arielle Stevenson: So what do you think of Tampa so far?
Erin Gloria Ryan: I’ve spent time in Miami and it reminds me of a smaller and less douchey Miami.
The Daily Show at the Straz
Though Rubio faltered at one point with a “You people all say that,” the debate was friendly and civilized and ended on a humorous note when Stewart suggested that Sen. Rubio take over the job as boss of the state.
“Florida deserves a governor with hair,” Stewart said.
Wed. Aug. 29
Five minutes with Arianna Huffington
Arielle Stevenson: What advice do you have for someone covering a political convention for the first time?
Arianna Huffington: First, go to bed. Get enough sleep. If you don’t, you won’t enjoy this. I had to wake up early yesterday and I was dragging all day long. I was supposed to go on Morning Joe today but canceled so I could rest.
Two conservative groups fight for marriage equality
At a brunch co-hosted by Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, Margaret Hoover, the great-grandaughter of President Herbert Hoover, said she thinks that marriage between any two people is a boon to society.
“If you want to have societies based on strong relationships, a fundamental relationship in any community beyond the individual is the partnership we create with a spouse. I believe every American should have that freedom,” she said.
AFL-CIO leads a march that warns of “Romney’s America”
On Wednesday the Florida AFL-CIO — and other unions from across the state and country — showed their anger toward the Republican Party.
“We are labor unions, people working together in their own best interest,” said Dennis Bonilla, a retired letter carrier from Ormond Beach, FL. “Now Republicans are trying to destroy that at every level. They’ve done it in a multiple of states: Wisconsin for one, Pennsylvania another, Florida another. They’re going out after people who organize in their own best interest and attempting to vilify us.”
Recalling when Republicans partnered with Planned Parenthood
At Wednesday’s Planned Parenthood rally in Julian Lane Park, longtime Republican activist Randy Moody reminded a crowd of nearly 200 supporters about the shared history of Planned Parenthood and the Republican party. He pointed out that none other than the godfather of the party’s conservative wing — the late Senator and presidential candidate Barry Goldwater — led the fight to establish a Planned Parenthood chapter in Arizona. At the federal level, a Republican president, Richard Nixon, signed the nation’s first federal family planning bill into law in 1970.
Adrian Wyllie was not mentioned. He is running for Governor.
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