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Charlie and the Angels: My INGOP Convention Wrapup

This weekend’s Indiana State GOP convention feature three of the hardest working men in politics in Richard Mourdock, Tim Berry and Charlie White.  All three of them were nominated to be our candidates for Treasurer, Auditor and Secretary of State respectively.  But with no offense to Mourdock and Berry or even Governor Mitch Daniels anticipated keynote speech, Charlie White was the nomination most were looking forward to as Secretary of State is the open seat of the three statewide races.

But in addition to Charlie’s exciting speech, three others stole the show; Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, State Representative Jackie Walorski and Indiana’s RNC National Committeewoman Dee Dee Benkie.

On Friday night, during the district caucuses, Mourdock, Berry, White and Dan Coats made the rounds.  But each caucus also received a visit from State Rep. and 2nd CD candidate Jackie Walorski.  In anticipation of her convention speech, Jackie energized each caucus with a rousing red meat speech that got every one excited.  One delegate even mentioned that Jackie was so energized they could hear her down the hall.  Jackie’s speech only warmed up the crowd for what they would get from her the following day during the convention.  Upon her introduction, the crowd erupted into an excited roar as if Jackie’s excitement had rubbed off.  She continued to speak of march toward more government interventionism, busting federal budgets and increasing debt, but in the end you were left with the impression that Joe Donnelly has no idea what’s going to hit him in November.

Our Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman followed.  If there is a woman in politics in Indiana more loved and more admired than Becky Skillman, I don’t know who it is.  Becky was there to introduced Senator Dan Coats.  But outside of Mitch Daniels, Becky probably received the louded ovation from anyone who spoke.  She spoke of what the Daniels/Skillman team have accomplished in 5 1/2 years and what they plant to do in the future.  She also spoke of how she and the governor worked with their ally in Washington, Dan Coats, to help get what Indiana needed to continue to be competitive.  Of course, when Senator Coats finally took to the mike, he couldn’t help but allude to a possible higher calling for Skillman which led to more raucous applause for Skillman.

Finally, Dee Dee Benkie gave a rousing and supportive speech on behalf of Charlie White.  Benkie, a former Young Republican National Federation Chairman and current RNC National Committeewoman, has a strong base of popularity in southern Indiana, fit right in with the rest of the ladies who together stole the show.

All in all, Saturday’s convention may not have had any contested races (and after the primary, let me say how happy I was with a drama free convention), but it was a great time to catch up with local and statewide politicos and a great experience overall.

(Cross posted to Hoosier Access)

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