Convention: A wet time in Tampa

Ruthie Johnson says adjustments are being made

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The National Republican Convention so far has been welcoming, according to Ruthie Johnson.

And wet.

After Sunday evening's kick-off party in Tampa, Fla., said the Hayden Lake woman and Idaho delegate, convention activities on Monday were canceled due to the persistent winds and rain.

"From day to day they're making adjustments," said Johnson, speaking over the phone on Monday from her Tampa hotel.

So instead of convention proceedings on Monday, she and other delegates took in a movie, one at least politically themed, the conservative documentary "2016: Obama's America."

"(The weather) has caused a lot of changes of plans," Johnson said, adding that some participants still hadn't arrived as scheduled on Sunday because of the storm. "They've done a real good job in working that out."

Johnson hopes Tropical Storm Isaac will veer safely west, she said.

"Maybe I'm just stupid," she said with a laugh. "You don't know, because hurricanes don't react how they're anticipated to react, but it seems like it's going to be all right. We'll see what happens."

She still hadn't seen the presumptive nominee Mitt Romney yet, she added, though one of his sons, Matt, addressed the delegates on Monday at breakfast.

One of Idaho's 32 delegates, Johnson is looking forward to the convention proceedings today, which she said are scheduled from 2 to 11 p.m.

"I just want to go through the platform," she said.

After connecting with old political pals on Sunday evening, Johnson said most seem to be supportive of Romney as president.

The Hayden Lake resident supports him, too, she said, adding that she hopes he could apply his business acumen to solve the nation's deficit.

"I'm not only partisan this time. I'm worried for our country," she said.

Johnson, 88, has attended 13 national conventions since 1964, she said, usually as a delegate, though sometimes as an alternate delegate or guest.

She admitted that national conventions have become less thrilling than they once were, now that primaries are held so early the presidential nominee is a foregone conclusion come convention time.

"I remember when it was terribly exciting, when you decided. I think Reagan when he ran against Ford, he lost by 100 votes," Johnson said. "(Now) it's all decided by the time you get to the convention."

She regrets the transformation of the process, she said, adding that today worthy presidential candidates are pushed out of the fight early on.

"It's still necessary to make that decision," she said. "It doesn't matter what time of the year the convention is held or where it is. We need to decide who the candidate is going to be."

The convention runs through Thursday. Weather permitting, of course.

"I just thought if it hit, they'd make adjustments," she said of Isaac. "And we're pretty rugged from Idaho. I'm not used to hurricanes, but it's all right."

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