Washington, D.C. – This week U.S. Senator Mike Enzi joined fellow Wyoming Republicans and Republicans
from every state in New York City for the Republican National Convention. Convention goers heard from President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democrat Senator Zell Miller and a host of other speakers in addition to attending a multitude of other convention events.
Enzi took time to answer some questions about his convention experience.
Q: What did you think of the speakers, the President, Vice President, Zell Miller, the First Lady, others?
Enzi: I thought the President gave a dignified and effective speech with substance and vision. This President is a man who backs up his words with action. He's a strong leader and that is what this country needs. The Democrats are blasting Zell Miller for his comments and insight but this is the same message he's been conveying since he got to Washington. The Democrats and Eastern media considered Senator Jeffords a hero when he changed parties. Zell didn't change but they consider him a traitor. I work with Zell and he is one of the people I would make a special trip to the Senate floor to hear his comments on an issue. He's a Marine and an historian and he carefully outlines any issue. This time he did it on the President's behalf. Dick Cheney showed his steady, focused and deliberate thinking skills in his speech. He showed why he is an advisor to Presidents. I was impressed with the other speakers too, particularly the diverse viewpoints and issues they covered. Senator McCain and Rudy Giuliani hit real home runs the first day paying tribute to 9/11, the military and George W. Bush. The second night Mike Steele was great on minority support, faith based initiatives and the President's focus and leadership. Governor Schwarzenegger's speech was moving especially as he related his personal hardships and how this country provided him with the opportunity to turn hardship into success. He dramatically increased pride in America. He exemplified the hope of people around the world. Laura Bush was a dramatic and direct advocate for values and her husband. She gave better insight into the difficulties of making tough presidential decisions.
Q: Do you think the convention will increase support for the President at the polls?
Enzi: Yes. President Bush should get quite a bounce from this convention and his opponent will get backlash from the violence of the protesters.
Q: What was a typical convention day for you?
Enzi: My typical day consisted of half a dozen meetings or receptions before the evening convention program began, followed by preparation for the next day's meetings. There were numerous opportunities to go to after-convention events, but for the most part I used that time to prepare for the next day. On Tuesday for instance I had two breakfast events, one of which was held in my honor and for the Wyoming delegation, followed by two brunches and another meeting before I had lunch with Mayor Bloomberg at his house with Senate leadership. Afterward I met with UN officials in my oversight role as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then I dropped by three afternoon receptions, had dinner with the Wyoming delegation and then participated in the convention events.
Q: Have you had a chance to visit with the Wyoming delegates much?
Enzi: I met with the Wyoming delegates several times a day. I followed their schedule as much as possible, but I also had to work in items from the Senate schedule, the Vice President's schedule and my own schedule.
Q: What was the city itself like? Was it tough getting around with all the extra security?
Enzi: It hasn't been any more difficult than normal getting around New York. I have been all over Manhattan including a special followup meeting on previous United Nations concerns. The New York City Police Department and Convention organizers did a tremendous job of securing the event and keeping it running smoothly. There were protesters and some attacked policemen and pulled out smoke bombs that look like real bombs. Then they acted surprised when they were arrested. One protester knocked a policeman down and kicked him in the head. That protester is under arrest. It's hard to believe anyone in America would side with these actions. People should be embarrassed by this brand of protest. For the most part though they had little if any effect because of the professional work of the police and others responsible for security.