Convention Diary: For some folks it's the 100-Grand Old Party

SNATCHES of conversation heard on the convention floor during an interminable speech by the Texas Senator, Phil Gramm:

'Darling you must be the most beautiful animal here tonight. That's just such a fabulous tan.' (One no-longer-so-young woman delegate to another, both with gold head-bands).

'No, no. I'm with BMW now. Actually, I'm the most senior American in BMW'. (Male delegate boasting).

'Back a bit. No, back a bit. That's it. No, she won't mind. Go on. Gooood.' Click. (Delegate forcing another to pose for a picture slap in front of Barbara Bush sitting in front row grandstand seats to hear Mr Gramm).

'No shi-it] No shi-it]' (One male delegate when assured that the self-consciously handsome man behind Mrs Bush really is Hollywood hunk Bruce Willis).

Well, they call it the Grand Old Party. For some it's a hundred grand. That's how much money you are expected to contribute to the Republicans' campaign for membership of the very exclusive Team 100 Club. These terribly rich people get the best treatment this week, including plush suites high above the throng on the floor, with leather sofas and deep white carpets. Fund-raisers are a bit disappointed with the turn- out, though. In 1988, Team 100 had a membership of 250. This year it has slipped to 180. Is that the recession or George Bush?

For the slightly less wealthy, there are plenty of other chances to shell out for the cause. The rewards vary from access to the convention itself - a modest dollars 2,500 ( pounds 1,300) is enough for two passes - to invitations to the balls and receptions around town. How about paying dollars 15,000 to attend a reception for former president Gerald Ford or dollars 25,000 for your own table at a Republican Governors' Association dinner tonight?

It is open season on the media among Republicans this week, who - surprise - hold reporters responsible for the popularity crash facing Mr Bush. New buttons sported by delegates offer such thoughts as: 'Media Puke '92'. Journalists are taking it on the chin, or rather the chest. T- shirts on sale in the press hall carry the message: 'It's all my fault . . . I'm from the media.

'It's a raid]', somebody yelled as the police officer approached the knot of people jamming the hallway through the media centre. There was trading going on, but not in anything toxic. The growing craze is for collecting lapel pins used to identify staff of different news organisations. 'I'm desperate for ABC. Has anyone got ABC?' gasped the officer, offering to trade with his shiniest Houston Police Department pin.

Among the hyperbole and simple mistruths about the wonder of 12 years under Reagan and Bush, Senator Gramm came up with surely the most absurd exaggeration so far. 'In any hut, in any village on the planet,' he intoned, 'one world leader is loved, honoured and admired above all others. Spoken in a thousand dialects, his name is George Bush.'

At his age you would think he'd know better. Ronnie has been caught misquoting Abraham Lincoln in his Monday night address. The supposed Lincoln passage, which began, 'You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong,' was apparently actually uttered by a Rev William Boetker from Pennsylvania. A spokeswoman for Mr Reagan said it was not really his fault; he had found the line, attributed to Lincoln, in a handbook of quotes.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower