What to Wear, Ann Romney Edition
In the hours leading up to her speech on Tuesday, Ann Romney still didn’t know what to wear. Not that it’s an easy choice for a potential first lady, whose outfits receive the scrutiny of both the fashion press and the national political media.
When asked how she would select her final ensemble, she explained that both husband Mitt and campaign adviser Stuart Stevens (who she says “wears his shirts inside-out”) were intimately involved in the decision.
“Well, frankly, I didn’t realize that Stuart had to weigh in on this—or my husband. It was going to be like my wedding night; I wasn’t going to let him know what I was going to wear. But now, they have opinions.” Doesn’t everyone …
Inside the GOP Control Room
At the Republican National Convention, one grabs a desk where one can—even if it means sitting where a team of sweaty men hang their jockstraps.
The program’s control room, which directs the convention’s all-important TV presentation, isn’t in a plush skybox at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. It’s in the locker room of the local arena league football team. That means the dozens of men and women responsible for making the GOP look good to the millions watching at home have crammed their expensive, high-tech equipment (as many as 13 TVs lined one wall) in between dingy metal lockers. It seems unlikely the producers running the Academy Awards face a similar plight.
And don’t think only the rank-and-file are banished there. Phil Alongi, the show’s executive producer, has his office in a cramped storage closet adjacent the lockers. The shelves are still marked “XXL Shorts” and the like.
No word yet if control room workers celebrate with high fives or the snap of
Rubio’s Not the VP, But He’s Funny
If this political thing doesn’t work out, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., might consider a career in stand-up comedy. “I don’t know if I’m a rock star, but I did trash my room last night. [Pause.] I brought my four kids,” he told the South Carolina delegation on Tuesday.
But wait, there’s more. Rubio’s youngest son celebrated his birthday this week. “It cost me about 300 bucks at the Cracker Barrel,” he said, second only to the Chick-fil-A for birthday celebrations. That drew cheers from the Palmetto State delegates, who support Chick-fil-A’s socially conservative positions on religion, gay marriage, and abortion.
There were political jokes, too. On Vice President Joe Biden: “I hear he was in North Carolina and said he could win in Virginia.… So anyway, welcome
On his own election: “Very few people thought I would win. One was Senator Jim DeMint [of South Carolina]. The other four lived in my house.”
One wonders if he has a version of that joke for every state.
Baldwin Vs. Baldwin
30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin is known for his liberal politics. Less well-known is that his younger, blonder brother, Stephen, is a devout Republican. Stephen Baldwin is pressing the flesh in Tampa and holding meetings about his work for Calvary Chapel, the evangelical mega-church with thousands of congregations worldwide.
Sporting jeans and a greased-back ’50s ducktail hairdo, Baldwin evangelized on Tuesday about the virtues of Mitt Romney.
“He’s the solution for all the problems we’re facing right now,” the younger Baldwin said. “I think he’s going to get this country back on track. I love that he’s brought Mr. Ryan on board. I honestly don’t think he could have a made a better choice,” he said. “If Obama gets reelected, it’s going to get worse; it’s not going to get better.”
Asked if the Baldwin siblings’ conflicting politics ever leads to clashes, he exclaimed, “Oh Lord-howdy!”
He continued, “Obviously, Alec and William are both liberal Democrats. For the most part, because they can both still beat the crap out of me, I don’t really push the envelope too hard with them.”
Baldwin said he expects plenty of push-back for his participation at the GOP convention nonetheless.
“I just told my mom that I was coming here. When I’m done, the next two weeks will be pretty rough on Stevie B, ’cause the boys will be coming down hard on me for some statements that I’m going to make here over the next couple of days.”
The Nightlife of Speaker Boehner
It was a “secret warehouse party” in a previously unoccupied building in downtown Tampa. It sported pirates, a rotating carousel of alcoholic beverages, and a VIP overlook from which scantily clad hotties shrugged at the unlucky wannabes turned away by the door cop. Fishnets and breasts were the order of the evening—hot-pink fishnet stockings, pink fishnet tops, black corsets, and bustiers. Heads turned and jaws dropped when one of the well-endowed women pranced into the ladies’ decked out port-a-potty. (She didn’t come back out, suggesting a secret back exit).
Then, who should appear but House Speaker John Boehner. At first, he hung out in the VIP lookout, ignoring waves from the partygoers who thought to look up. But later, he proceeded through the throng, shaking hands, flanked by security staff. It was impossible to tell whether he was heading to the back parlor that housed a country and western band (lady lead singer: blue cowboy boots, a short skirt), getting his photo snapped with a superimposed elephant, or simply checking out the guys’ port-a-potty.
Nancy Cook, Coral Davenport, Fawn Johnson, and Alex Roarty contributed contributed to this article.
This article appears in the August 29, 2012, edition of NJ Convention Daily.