From the Floor: Online and On Camera
Kate Maxwell is a Virginia delegate to the Republican National Convention who will be blogging from Minneapolis-St. Paul for Virginia Politics. She is from Midlothian in Chesterfield County.
Kate participated in a washingtonpost.com live online discussion from our media space in St. Paul, Minn.
Kate Maxwell: Hey, I'm Kate and I'm the youngest member of the Virginia delegation.
Fairfax, Va.: Is the convention as boring and stale as it looks on TV? I sure hope they liven it up a bit ... it is not playing well on TV, lots of empty seats, very senior citizens all over the screen. Are there many young people attending this thing? Why is the turn-out so low? Your opinion please.
Kate Maxwell: Well, I'm 20, so there are definitely young people out this year. I'm the youngest member of our delegation, but there are several others in their 20s and 30s. You do get a lot of older delegates because they after a lifetime of service in their home states, they are often considered most deserving of a spot. Don't take that as a lack of excitement among young people.
_I don't know how it's looking at home, but if you see any of those empty seats tonight,let me know so I can grab one. On the floor, I haven't seen any empty seats, but in the stands I know the alternates and guests are moving around a lot.
This is my first convention, so I don't have a point of comparison, but the energy has been contagious this week. I am having a great time here, and I can't wait to get home and share the optimism and motivation with the other College Republicans in Virginia. The delegates are so excited about John McCain and Sarah Palin - I think after this week, the rest of the country will be as well.
Aldie, Va.: Hey Kate -- are you a Taurus? Sorry, bad B-52's reference. Anyway, Obama seems to think Virginia's in play -- what are your thoughts? And how does Palin change the equation?
Kate Maxwell: I think it's pretty clear that Virginia is going to be competitive this year. We've had some tough losses lately, but I really don't buy the whole "purple" thing. Virginia is very cyclical politically - historically, we alternate Republican and Democrat governors, for example, usually putting into the power the party that isn't in the White House. We haven't gone for a Democrat in a presidential race, though, since 1964. I am by no means a political analyst here, but I think that is because we are a fundamentally conservative (if not Republican) state. I think Virginians strongly support the military, want a federal government that will stop raising their taxes, wasting their money on earmarks, and refusing to explore for new energy.
I think Gov. Palin would be right at home in Virginia. She isn't afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right, and she doesn't back down. She has traditional values, and I think she is going to motivate both independents and conservatives. Virginia has a political independent streak, but rests on conservative values - just like Sarah Palin.
New York: I am disgusted with the media's bias and sexism. Don't you think its time for republicans to go on the attack? Biden's five draft deferrals, his two brain aneurysms, his son's lobbying and hedge fund mismanagement, Obama's earmark to get his wife's salary doubled?
Kate Maxwell: I am with you on that, but if media bias does exist, then I don't know how successful we will be trying to out-attack the Democrats. I know I have been frustrated with some of the hypocritical coverage of Gov. Palin. As a governor, she has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket. More importantly, in her short time in office she has earned a reputation as a government reformer and a no-nonsense leader, along with an incredible 80% approval rating. What piece of legislation has Obama introduced or supported which backs up his rhetoric of change in Washington?
I think people realize this election is critical, and our strongest advantage is the fact that we have a candidate with the right stance on the issues and the wisdom to lead. That is the point we need to keep hammering. I think it's about drawing distinctions instead of "attacking," and I think if we stay positive, the choice is going to be obvious in November.
Read the entire transcript.
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