The seating chart is out for the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland, and California’s 172 delegates will be right up front with their peers from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Alabama.
Not a bad consolation prize given that California delegates were placed at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, OH, which is nearly halfway between Cleveland and Toledo — about an hour’s drive from the action.
Why such good seats? For one, Trump handpicked the delegation, so even though a few of them are recent converts, they won’t be caught on camera giving him the stink eye or cooing for Ted Cruz. Also, they are a diverse lot, especially when compared to Trump’s prime time speakers.
That diversity is on display here in Sandusky, home of the GOP elephant towel:
I shared a bus over here with an Indo-American”Rockerfeller Republican” entertainment lawyer from LA, a Latino “law and order” couple from Rialto an the leader of tea party group in Fontana, who literally was dressed patriotically from head to toe.
The delegates I’ve met so far have been friendly, but most are following orders not to talk on the record to reporters. The Trump campaign wants its California delegates to be on message at all times (unlike their candidate) so they’ve picked who they want talking. Here is the memo that went out to delegates in June from Time Clark, Trump’s California state director.