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Day 1: Live from the RNC

OPINION

  • Florida National Guard soldiers stand watch Saturday in Tampa, Fla.
Florida National Guard soldiers stand watch Saturday in Tampa, Fla. (Getty Images )
August 27, 2012|By John Giokaris, @johngiokaris | For RedEye

What's really going on at the Republican National Convention? John Giokaris, political director of the Chicago Young Republicans, is in Tampa, Fla., and giving RedEye a behind-the-scenes peek at the event.

With all the work being done by day and partying at night, you wouldn't even know about the hurricane until you stepped outside, but we're all confident that the storm will blow through by Tuesday.

The whole area is like a quarantined zone. Secret Service, military personnel and even the Coast Guard are everywhere. The fencing stretches sky-high, so unless you have all the proper badges and credentials, no one's getting in the perimeter.

My first assignment Sunday was a memorable one: Along with three other drivers, I was instructed to drive Mitt Romney's sons and their families to church and back.

My favorite joke of the weekend: I was chit-chatting with a Secret Service agent who's worked both conventions in the past. When asked if one is more fun than the other, he replied, "Well I'll tell you this: I've never been fed at a DNC in my life."

RedEye special contributor John Giokaris is the political director of the Chicago Young Republicans.

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