Crimson on the Floor

Jessica E. Schumer

Delegate June Hartley proudly represented her home state of Oregon at the Republican National Convention in New York earlier this month.

The Crimson’s convention diary brings you the noteworthy and extraordinary from New York.

IN THE DOGHOUSE

Yale had a surprisingly rough time earlier this month at a convention fêting one of its own.

On the first night of the Republican National Convention—Monday, Aug. 30—a junior Bulldog found himself on a Secret Service leash after harassing Vice President (and Yale dropout) Dick Cheney. Thomas Frampton, a liberal leader on the New Haven campus, was arrested for assaulting federal officers after coming within 10 feet of Cheney’s private seating area and shouting anti-Bush slogans.

Frampton worked hard for his 15 minutes. The 21-year-old was credentialed as a convention volunteer, and had gone through training sessions over the summer “masquerading as a Republican supporter of the president,” prosecutor John M. Hillebrecht told the Associated Press. He’s out on bail—but is he in class? Yale’s calendar started Wednesday, Sept. 1—two days after the arrest.

Next on the Eli Walk-of-Shame came a more prominent Yalie: First Daughter Barbara Bush (Yale Class of 2004), who in her speech Tuesday night laid the smackdown on her alma mater’s politics.

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“When your dad’s a Republican and you go to Yale, you learn to stand up for yourself,” the brunette twin said in her national television debut. Absent from the remarks was twin Jenna’s school of choice, the University of Texas, which one assumes is not as liberal as its East Coast counterpart.

—Michael M. Grynbaum, Jessica E. Schumer and Joseph M. Tartakoff

LAUGH IT UP

Leave it to New York’s vibrant entertainment industry to inject some humor into a gathering of cowboy-hatted, straight-faced Republicans.

Camera crews from various comedy shows mingled in the hallways of Madison Square Garden, looking to catch naive delegates and savvy celebrities alike for a few minutes of face time. Working the crowd Monday night was Triumph the Insult Comic Dog of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”. The snarky pooch was missing his trademark cigar, perhaps confiscated by security in strict adherence to the Garden’s no-smoking rules. Triumph’s muse Robert Smigel kept a tight grip on his charge—the puppet never left his arm. Smigel, a longtime “Saturday Night Live” writer and co-creator of “The Ambiguously Gay Duo,” had collected a few Midwestern guests to speak with him about the demographics of the convention.

“Look,” Smigel/Triumph said, pointing to a group of Garden employees working a refreshment stand. “I finally found some black delegates.”

His interviewee, a red-faced man with a red, white and blue tie and a Southern accent, laughed nervously: “I’m just here to have some fun.”

Down on the floor, Jay Leno’s high-pitched, high-energy perennial intern Ross chatted with Commerce Secretary and Bush bosom buddy Don Evans.

Evans was cordial to his questioner, but after the late night gadfly scurried off, several convention staffers took note of his falsetto tone, effete gestures and flower-printed shirt. So this was the culture clash they’d been hearing about.

—Michael M. Grynbaum