TAMPA -- For some Republicans, attending this year's GOP Convention in Tampa set to kick off Tuesday, August 28th is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Never before has Wisconsin played such a big role in the Party heading into the presidential election -- as Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is set to formally accept the vice-presidential nomination. Wisconsin's delegates say they're excited to see what this year's Convention will bring.
Van Mobley went to the Republican National Convention four years ago, but the Thiensville village president and Concordia University history professor will not be in Tampa for the Convention this week.
"I'll be with them in spirit, if not in body, and maybe we'll see if we can go again. It's always a great honor to go to a political convention, either Republican or Democrat. I think we have developed some leaders in the state and they're doing a good job. It's just excited to be a part of history, even if we have to watch it on TV," Mobley said.
Robert Spindell's first Republican National Convention was in 1952 -- and he's only missed one since! Spindell says this year may be his favorite, as Wisconsin is drawing national attention through the trio of Gov. Scott Walker, Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus and now, vice-presidential candidate Ryan.
"We are the center of Republicanism in the United States of America. All the delegates, once they learn we're from Wisconsin, they wanna come up and talk to us about 'how'd you do it? We're so proud of what you've done in Wisconsin,'" Spindell said.
Even better for Spindell this year is great seats. The Wisconsin delegation will enjoy a great spot at the Convention due to the fact the VP candidate is from Wisconsin. Spindell said he measured the distance from his seat to the podium and it's about 30 feet.
UW-Milwaukee Professor of Governmental Affairs Mordecai Lee says it's easy to understand why Wisconsin's top conservatives have earned the admiration of Republicans nationwide.
"These three guys from Wisconsin have figured out the secret of how to talk about Republican priorities without sounding like Rush Limbaugh -- like some scary Dr. No," Lee said.
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