Final prep for the GOP convention

There was a slightly unsettled feeling in our press gallery in the U.S. Capitol Thursday while my fellow reporters packed for the Republican convention in Tampa, as delegates will begin swarming into that Florida city this weekend.

One of my colleagues was spitting nails in the hallways, as she recounted how she had worked diligently to get almost twenty people in her organization credentialed for the convention, only to see those in charge forget to book her a hotel room.

I could only shake my head and think how lucky I was to have found out two weeks ago that my hotel reservation for Tampa no longer existed - I could only imagine my blood pressure if I had flown down there this weekend and appeared at the front desk, only to be told there was "no vacancy."

I will be trying to keep tabs on four state delegations this year for my radio stations in Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Oklahoma; I should say thanks to delegates from those states who have already contacted me about their trip - more contact information is always appreciated.

(As are tips about any real news that might occur during the convention.)

The press releases started to arrive more frequently from GOP convention officials in recent days, outlining the schedule for the podium and other briefings for reporters.

Republicans will use this gathering to give high profile attention to certain candidates for the House and Senate - as for those not on the list right now, it makes you wonder whether GOP big wigs only want to give time to people who have a legitimate shot at victory in November.

The Senate candidates addressing the convention include Rep. Rick Berg of North Dakota, who was once considered a lock to win that seat for the GOP, and Deb Fischer of Nebraska, who won a surprise victory in the Republican primary.

Not on the list right now are such big names as Rep. Connie Mack of Florida and Josh Mandel of Ohio - both of them trailing in their bids to win seats for the GOP in the Senate.

We'll see if they get added in coming days or not.

As for the impact of the tropical system known as Isaac, the latest model runs from the hurricane center show the storm moving more to the west of Tampa and offshore into the Gulf of Mexico - which probably means the convention can start on time next Monday.

"The Republican National Convention and the Republican National Committee, working in consultation with the Romney/Ryan campaign, are in regular contact with the National Weather Service, Governor Scott and local emergency officials in an effort to track and understand the potential impact of the storm," said William Harris, the CEO of the GOP convention.

Some of my news media friends though may see their final destination re-routed to the Gulf Coast - as if Isaac were to pick up strength and get out in the warm waters of the Gulf - we might have a big storm on our hands late next week.

So for now, it looks like I will be able to focus on politics and not on hurricane coverage.

But just like in politics, you never know what a storm is going to do. Hurricane Hugo showed me that in 1990, the first hurricane I ever covered.