Republican National Convention
Friday, August 04, 2000

Convention Notes


Meeters, greeters and souvenirs

By Howard Wilkinson and Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Boone County Jailer John Schickel, a GOP delegate from Hebron, got a big thrill Wednesday night when he was chosen as one of the official greeters for the arrival vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney.

        Mr. Schickel joined three other delegates and former Secretary of State George Schultz in welcoming Mr. Cheney and his wife, Lynne, when the couple arrived at the First Union Center just prior to the candidate's acceptance speech.

        Mr. Schickel wasn't sure how he was selected for the honor but he believes Kentucky's two U.S. Senators - Jim Bunning of Southgate and Mitch McConnell of Louisville - arranged it.

        “I was sitting in the arena and heard an announcement calling John Schickel,” he said. “I figured there was another John Schickel in the place. I had no idea this was coming.”

        A former Democrat, Mr. Schickel was likely chosen because he switched parties four years ago. The national GOP sent out a press release on Mr. Schickel's party switch just prior to the convention.

        “We just kind of stood around in what they called the Green Room for about 30 minutes,” he said. “The Cheneys came in, we said hello and shook their hands and they had a few pictures taken. It was really great.”

        Mr. Schickel said he couldn't resist telling a little joke when Mr. Schultz asked him how he knew Mr. Cheney.

        “I said we were old fishing buddies,” he said.

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        Delegate Cathy Flaig of Hebron, a Boone County Commissioner, was most impressed by meeting George P. Bush, the nephew of Gov. George W. Bush and the son of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

        “He is so articulate, so smart and very, very nice,” Mrs. Flaig said. “He is a teacher and just connects so well with people. I'm sure he is wonderful in the classroom.”

        Asked about the young Mr. Bush's movie-star good looks - a big topic of discussion in the newspapers here this week- Mrs. Flaig just nodded, smiled and said, “Yes, he's very handsome.”

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        Delegate Mike Duncan, an eastern Kentucky banker and a Republican National Committeemen, made sure the delegation's 31 alternate delegates spent at least some time on the convention floor this week.

        The floor is typically reserved for delegates, but Mr. Duncan arranged for some passes so everybody here from Kentucky was able to experience being on the floor during the convention sessions.

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        One of State Rep. Jacqueline O'Brien's top priorities this week was finding souvenirs for her young grandchildren back home.

        The Anderson Township Republican found the perfect thing, and cheap, too.

        At a vendor's booth in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, she grabbed up a handful of novelty campaign buttons featuring pictures of George W. Bush for president and Harry Potter, the hero of best-selling children's books, for vice president, which were going for $3 each.

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        Hamilton County Republican Finance Committee chairman H.C. Buck Niehoff said that eagle-eyed Republicans could have spotted one sign weeks ago that George W. Bush might pick former defense secretary Dick Cheney for his running mate — and that it wasn't a last-minute pick.

        “If you had looked at the list of hotels where the state delegations are staying, you would have found that Texas and Wyoming were in the same hotel,” Mr. Niehoff said. Mr. Bush is from Texas and Mr. Cheney from Wyoming.

Back to Convention Page



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- Convention Notes