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Jim Roddey: 'Run out the guns and prepare the boarding lines!'

| Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, 8:59 p.m.

Editor's note: This is the third in a series of commentaries from the chairman of the Allegheny County Republican Party on the GOP convention.

TAMPA

In addition to Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has another running mate. His name is Isaac. At a time when Republicans have gathered here to put the final touches on their plan to defeat President Obama, the spotlight has shifted from Mitt to Isaac.

The buzz at the DoubleTree Hotel, the temporary home of the Pennsylvania delegation, is mostly about the weather. At breakfast I overheard several delegates complaining that the party aboard a boat in the Tampa harbor had been canceled.

Curiously, no one seemed to care that the start of the convention had been delayed.

There are several theories about the origin of the storm, the most interesting of which was that Barack Obama was born in Haiti, learned voodoo and had put a hex on the GOP festivities in Florida.

Many convention attendees, including myself, modified travel plans to avoid flying or driving into torrential rain and high winds.

I moved my flight up one day but my biggest concern was not so much the weather as it was losing my luggage (I packed an extra suitcase full of party clothes).

I remember the tale about a US Airways holiday promotion — when it put mistletoe over the baggage check so you could kiss your bag goodbye.

Perhaps Isaac was more of a godsend than a misfortune. We are overcoming the challenges of severe weather just as we will battle the storm of Ron Paul. Delegates still are trying to gain traction for their candidate and prepare for the storm of Democrat protesters attempting to disrupt the flow of events at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The other night, I dreamed of myself as a grizzled old sailor heading fearlessly into the rising sea and wind, singing sea chanteys as I hoisted the Romney-Ryan pendant to the top of the mast.

Somewhere out there, in distress, is our flagship. It was captured in 2008 by a band of corsairs and it is being navigated by a reckless captain who has charted a disastrous course. We must overtake them, defeat their crew and steer the ship away from the rocks on the leeward shore.

Captain Romney and First Mate Ryan command us to “Run out the guns and prepare the boarding lines!”

It's amazing how a little wind, rain and rum can stir your imagination. Especially when you are a Pirates fan and you are in a city where they call their football team Buccaneers.

Jim Roddey, a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, was Allegheny County's first elected chief executive. He lives in Oakmont.

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