WBUR

Mass. Delegates Tout Romney At Republican Convention

Campaign buttons of presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are displayed ahead of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday. (AP)

Campaign buttons of presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are displayed ahead of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday. (AP)

TAMPA, Fla. — Massachusetts delegates are in the coveted spot of being the home delegation of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. It’s an honor state Republicans haven’t had in 88 years, and it comes with perks and responsibilities.

The honor comes with rooms in the nicest hotel, tickets to the best parties and seats on the convention floor right below the podium.

Massachusetts Republicans haven’t had it this good in decades, says Beth Myers, a senior strategist for Romney who first worked in the party in Massachusetts in 1980. She spoke to the delegates as they gathered for breakfast Monday in an ornate chandeliered ballroom at the Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina.

“We’ve had some ups and downs but all of you have stood by and I hope you take great pride and great pleasure in being where you are in Tampa today,” she said. “And you got a good hotel location this time.”

Typically the Massachusetts Republican delegation is housed miles from the convention and is seated in the rafters. Delegates here know they are in a favored and historic position — one that may not come again soon.

“Massachusetts is a very blue state and I think this is the first qualified candidate we’ve had at the right time,” said Barbara McCoy, of Bourne, Mass. “This is Gov. Romney’s time right now.”

This is the first time since 1924 that Massachusetts has put forth a Republican nominee for president. Back then it was former vice president and former Gov. Calvin Coolidge, who was nominated to the presidency.

The long drought reminds Massachusetts GOP Chairman Bob Maginn of another historic drought.

“Being a Red Sox fan, I feel like, wow, they had to wait from 1918 until we got another World Series,” Maginn said. “We waited even longer to get a Republican nominated from Massachusetts for president of the United States. So I think we deserve a round of applause for sticking with it.”

Maginn and other Massachusetts Republican officials told the delegates that with their elevated position also comes a responsibility to be as former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey put it, “truth tellers” about Romney to other delegates.

“And make sure that they know firsthand from someone who knows Gov. Romney that when he came into office there was a $3 billion budget gap and he closed that without raising taxes,” Healey said.

Also making the case for Romney with the delegates this week are his sons. Craig Romney paid a surprise visit to the Massachusetts breakfast.

“It really is a testament to you guys sticking with my guys all these year,” Craig Romney said. “It’s not easy being a Republican in Massachusetts, so we commend you for it.”

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  • comment

    Where’s the “Brown”! Hiding from his close relationship with Mitt Romney and his own Republican Party?

    Lack of VISION for our Commonwealth and our great country, driving down the highway with nothing to say.

  • Seanslobster

    What a farce. The Republican voters elected different delegates to go to Tampa, but the MA RNC decided to throw out our votes and our delegates. They stole my 94 year old grandfathers vote, which he made weeks before his passing, so that their establishment hacks like Kerry Healey (who grandad was so proud to have tossed out on her behind) could go to Tampa and have a grand old time as if it wasn’t the outright stealing of an election by the party elite/insiders that got them there. And WBUR buys right into it. Disgusting. 

  • Cris

    Many elected delegates were prevented from going because they had originally backed the wrong candidate, Ron Paul. I was at one of the state caucuses that chose to send three new faces to Tampa rather than party hacks. Their disqualification was a pure and simple despotic manipulation of the rules by a tiny, ineffective party filled with people who would rather hold on to positions of “importance” in a small pond than to embrace party growth. Sad but understandable, it is the story of little people everywhere.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XI6P6DS2K6NRDMVCURFNHS6LIY Douglas

    God is taking His hands off of America. We’ve had so much light and we’ve rejected it. – Ravenhill.

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