The Elephant in the Room: Richland County GOP delegate Tyson Grinstead shares an inside look at the Republican National Convention. Grinstead, 30, is director of public policy at a solar energy company, and Richland County GOP’s Executive Committeeman.
All week, bundles of balloons were strapped high above the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena. All week South Carolina’s delegation had been eagerly awaiting the moment with the Republican ticket would walk on stage and the sea of red, white and blue balloons would fall. Yesterday was that night.
One of the evening’s first speakers was South Carolina’s own Mark Burns. Rev. Burns, from Easley, set the theme of the evening by emphasizing that “all lives matter.” He worked the crowd into a frenzy as the convention floor started to fill with delegates, elected officials and dozens of reporters.
Former NFL quarterback Fran Tarkenton, PayPal founder Peter Thiel and businessman Tom Barrack were some of the best received speakers of the night by the South Carolina delegation. Tom Barrack’s speech about Donald Trump’s character and business acumen was personal and executed without notes or a teleprompter. He spoke immediately before Ivanka Trump and it was clear the excitement was beginning to build even more during his speech.
The delegates from South Carolina cheered and applauded as Ivanka Trump came onto the stage. Ivanka talked about Donald Trump the father and businessman. She presented the Republican nominee as a person who cares about those around him and someone who fights for women, especially mothers, in America. When she introduced her father, and the arena went absolutely wild.
All week, the South Carolina delegation has been debating how Donald Trump would approach the big night and most had high expectations – he didn’t disappoint. Our delegates thought Donald Trump was inspiring, full of personality and uplifting. The packed crowd responded with applause as he laid out his agenda and interacted with them from the stage. When the speech concluded, the Trump and Pence families walked out onto the stage, and the millions of balloons finally started to fall onto the delegates, covering the floor and concluding a memorable week.