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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has over 40 years ...

Recruitment Genius: Weekend Factory Operatives

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This high quality thread manufacturer is curr...

Recruitment Genius: FP&A Analyst

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A market leading acquirer and m...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fully qualified electricians re...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific