Sophomore Attends Republican National Convention
After volunteering all
summer for Sen. John McCain’s
presidential campaign, Sarah Perkins ’11 attended last
week’s Republican National Convention, at the Xcel
Center in St. Paul, Minn., along with delegates from Georgia.
She wrote about her experience for The Gate.
[ by Sara
Aboulafia ’09 about her experience
at the Democratic National Convention.]
By Sarah Perkins ’11
I would have never thought that I would be blessed to attend
the Republican National Convention (RNC) the first week of
September. I enjoy politics and love watching the debates,
but being so close was extraordinary. I was among celebrities
and political figures that were all so friendly and willing
to listen about making America better. Being at the Republican
National Convention allowed me to see democracy and freedom
at its best. As a guest of the Georgia and Maryland Delegation,
I was able to see history every night.
As a volunteer with the McCain campaign this summer and
at the convention, I was able to encounter so many senators
and watch from the skybox and sit with delegates.
As I arrived at the Xcel Center in downtown Minneapolis
the first night, I was greeted by angry protesters. The boos,
jeers and broken glass thrown at me only made me stronger
and more grateful that soldiers died for their right to protest.
As I entered, I saw delegates and fellow conservatives as
the crowd cheered “Viva La McCain!” Sen. Joseph
Lieberman gave a great keynote speech.
As we cheered, “John McCain” and “USA,” I
was overjoyed and knew that my vote for McCain was solidified.
As a strong social conservative, I had felt that I could
not vote for McCain, but he is truly a real hero and has
a great economic plan, as reaffirmed by Senator Lieberman.
The next day, as morning fell, butterflies arose as I knew
that Gov. Sarah Palin would address the nation that night.
That night I saw a woman who wants to see America prosper
and be an advocate for families with special needs. She will
govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and
a servant's heart.
Sarah Perkins ’11 (on left) poses with Sen. John and
Cindy McCain at the Republican National Convention.
That evening as I rushed to my seat on the floor, I noted
the diversity in my delegation from Georgia: African Americans,
Asian Americans, women and youth. Former Speaker of the House
Newt Gringrich gave me a hug and told me to keep up the good
That night I heard from some of the greatest political figures:
Fred Thompson spoke, as well as former presidential candidate
Michael Steele, former Lt. Governor from Maryland, and my
favorite, Mike Huckabee, who gave me even more of a reason
to become a Republican. He spoke of personal accountability
and not waiting on the government for a handout.
Then, Sen. McCain spoke.
McCain did not give a speech, but rather words of change
and hope to the country. He spoke of how in his administration
he would be held accountable by the people and would preserve
sanctity of life. “When
we tell you we're going to change Washington and stop leaving
our country's problems for some unluckier generation to fix,
you can count on it,” he said. “We've got a record
of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment
and backbone to keep our word to you.”
Earlier that day, I had met with John and Cindy McCain.
The highlight of my week was spending time with them and
McCain told the convention
crowd that night of how he will help the economy grow. “Keeping taxes low helps small
businesses grow and create new jobs,” he said. I and
the crowd cheered.
As McCain closed the convention and confetti fell, I was
heartbroken to see it end. I know that change is coming and
hope is alive in this campaign season, but the change and
hope I want is John McCain, who is a real American hero and
maverick. With Sarah Palin by his side this country will
see that women are able to be in charge of the boardroom
and the home.
This convention changed
my life and taught me to put my country first. Being a
part of the Smith Republicans helps foster my passion for
my party. The Republican Party is not perfect, but it’s
the perfect party for me.