Election 2012: The Convention Before the Convention
Ron Paul rallies supporters in Tampa
TAMPA, Florida — One day before the official start of the 2012 Republican National Convention, Tampa, Florida, hosted a different type of political party.
Yesterday, former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul staged the We Are The Future Rally at the University of South Florida Sun Dome. The rally featured numerous sessions on issues in the Republican Party, performances from singers and musicians, and a keynote address by Paul.
The goal of the rally was to remind Americans that Ron Paul and his supporters are "the future of the Republican Party," according to Jesse Benton, Paul's 2012 National Campaign Chairman.
"Dr. Paul's delegates and supporters are coming to Tampa under the watchful eye of America and the world," Benton said. "No matter the convention outcome the Congressman and his fellow patriots will be heard, and as more people in politics are swayed there will be a net benefit to the nation."
The event began with master of ceremonies Doug Wead's opening remarks. He said everyone was there to hear "the clean boat in a sea of garbage" (meaning Dr. Paul) speak on his view of politics and this year's elections.
When the name Ron Paul was mentioned, the crowd shouted and clapped their hands enthusiastically. It seemed more like a rock concert with screaming fans than a political rally.
Singer Jordan Paige sang songs he had written for the Ron Paul campaign. The crowd shouted in acclamation at his inspiring words in the song "Liberty." The song speaks of the freedoms Paul believes every American should have. When Paige was finished, cheers erupted throughout the Sun dome.
Finally, after hours of waiting, Dr. Paul made his appearance. He spoke about how it was time for a new person in office who will actually stand up for the American people.
"They have been bending the rules and breaking the rules and rewriting the rules for too long," Paul said. "That's what we have stop from happening."
The rally gave Paul a chance to address Republicans and other supporters. He wasn't given a speaker's spot at the Republican National Convention.
"Seems to me, they would be begging and pleading for us to come into the party," Paul said. "The worst thing we could do is be silent."
The one thing the people who crowded into the Sun Dome weren't was silent. The rally was energetic and Paul's fans and supporters made their support heard — as loud as they could.
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Shelby Fallin is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.