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Lines: GOP convention whirlwind of amazing experiences
“Amazing,” “inspiring” and even “fun“ were how Jonathan Lines described the Republican National Convention that just wrapped up in Tampa, Fla.
Lines, chairman of the Yuma County Republican Central Committee, had a front-row seat as one of 29 delegates for the state of Arizona.
“It was great sitting next to (Gov.) Jan Brewer. She was the rock star of the convention.”
Also attending from Yuma were Lines' wife, Rosalie, and Doug Nicholls in an official capacity and Nicholls’ wife, Danette.
Attending was a dream come true for Lines. He had wanted to go to a national convention ever since his grandmother attended as a delegate in 1980 and 1984, when Ronald Reagan successfully ran for president and then re-election.
Lines proudly wore her pin to the convention, the one with Reagan's photograph and campaign slogan, “Let's make America great again.”
It's a slogan Lines believes has come full circle with this week's nomination of Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate for president.
“He hit the nail on the head with everything he said. I have extreme confidence in him. He has experience in private business and experience as a governor ... and did both extremely well. I think he will make an amazing president. He understands how to fiscally manage a business and create jobs.”
A special moment, Lines said, was when Romney's wife, Ann, spoke. “We were able to get to know Romney better ... the faith and trust she has in him.”
Another highlight for Lines was Thursday's speech by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
“It was an amazing speech,” Lines said, noting that Rubio told how his parents were Cuban immigrants. His father was a bartender and his mother a maid, and now their son is a U.S. senator.
It was inspiring, Lines said, to hear from the young and up-and-coming leadership.
Lines made international news when he was interviewed about the convention by a reporter for a German television station.
He also had been asked to sit on the National Platform Committee to craft the Republican Party's platform for the next four years. But he declined because it would have meant being away from his family and business for two weeks.
One week was pushing it, he said, especially for his mother, who bore most of the brunt of caring for the couple's 10 children.
Attending the convention was a whirlwind of activity and long hours, Lines said. Tuesday they were on the floor from 10 a.m. to nearly midnight, Wednesday from 2 p.m. to midnight and Thursday from 2 p.m. until he and his wife left around 1 a.m.
The convention was over at that point, he said, and people were just taking the opportunity to visit.
After three hours of sleep, the couple got up and drove to the airport to see off Romney.
With the political fanfare over, Lines said Friday afternoon that he and his wife were going to spend some personal time in observance of their 20th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago.
“We're going to take a couple of days just to be together.” Then they'll head home Saturday night.