Republican Delegates

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A worker carries the state standard for Ohio on the floor of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
A worker carries the state standard for Ohio on the floor of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Across the country and here in St. Paul, big sighs of relief that Hurricane Gustav did not turn out to be Katrina II. Today the GOP conversation began to get back in gear.

We caught up with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Here’s the message he said needs to come out of this convention to rally the Republican base: "We got fired in 2006. We need to get back into the good graces of the American people we failed when it comes to managing your money. We’ve gone native in Washington. We’re going to change things, we’re going to shake things up. We’re going to be the party of a strong national defense, but we’re going to be the reform party."

Tonight, President Bush will speak by satellite link from Washington. In primetime, former Tennessee senator and presidential candidate Fred Thompson will speak. So will former Democrat now independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. We’ll check in on them.

But first, we turn to Republican delegates from battleground states across the country — including right here in Minnesota — where John McCain needs to win. This hour, On Point: We’re live from St. Paul with delegates from the front lines of the McCain-Obama battle.

Are you on the front lines? From a battleground state? A state on the fence that John McCain needs to take? What’s the word? Whose message is resonating where you live? Join the conversation.Guests:

Riding along with us tonight is Ken Walsh, chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report. He’s logged his share of miles out on the campaign trail.

Also with us here in St. Paul are four GOP delegates:

Minnesota delegate Tony Sutton is 40 years old, married with three kids, and CEO of Baja Sol, a regional chain of Mexican restaurants. He is secretary-treasurer of the Minnesota Republican Party, and was state co-chair for Mitt Romney. He's now on board with McCain.

Alci Maldonado is a delegate from Lakeland, Florida. She’s a divorced mother of four and is chairman of Florida’s Republican National Hispanic Assembly. Born in Colombia, she came to the U.S. at age 2. Early on in this campaign she was a big Rudy Giuliani supporter and served on his state advisory committee. She’s with McCain now.

Thomas Moe is a first-time delegate from Lancaster, Ohio. He’s 64 years old, married with three children, and is chairman of Ohio Veterans for McCain. He served 30 years in the Air Force andwas a fighter pilot in Vietnam. He was shot down in January 1968 and spent five years as a prisoner of war, including time in the same prison camp where John McCain was held—the infamous "Hanoi Hilton."

Michigan delegate Judy Todd Johnson is from Kalamazoo, Michigan. She’s 62, a mother of three, grandmother of five, and vice-chair of the Kalamazoo GOP.

Later this hour, looking ahead to Senator Joe Lieberman's speech tonight, we'll be joined by Gerald Seib, assistant managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. He's co-author, with John Harwood, of "Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles in Backroom Power."

This program aired on September 2, 2008.


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