TAMPA, Fla. — Ron Paul delegates haven't had much praise for the establishment since arriving here in Tampa, but sometimes it only takes one conversation to remember that voters are, at the core, just people who are looking to connect to the politicians elected to serve them.
One such chat occurred Tuesday in the ballroom of the airport Marriott, when HOH walked up to a table full of Missouri GOP delegates, plopped down in the middle of their breakfast and began probing them for their opinions of Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), who had just finished addressing the room and is about as establishment as any lawmaker comes.
That's when a 48-year-old small-business man from Kansas City surprised HOH (while also getting a dig in about reporters, of course). He liked Boehner. And the thing he liked most were Boehner's tears.
"He has emotion when he talks. I mean, he's a real person. I know people in the media make fun of him for crying, but I love that part," said Mark Jones. "I don't always agree with [him on] everything, but you're not going to find anyone that I completely agree with. ... I'm a Ron Paul delegate, and so I'm not always happy with Speaker Boehner, but he is the leader and he is very diplomatic in the way he handles things. I am totally against raising the debt ceiling, 100 percent of the time, and he's voted for that, and so obviously that's part of my disagreement."
Hours later Paul delegates caused a stir in the Tampa Bay Times Forum, upset that rules had been changed to minimize their influence on the convention. Some even walked out in protest. Maybe Mitt Romney could win over more fans if he just succumbed to a good, old-fashioned cry?