At a time like this, I find myself reminiscing about another long-ago Florida GOP convention, my first as a reporter. Covering the 1968 Republicans in Miami Beach for The Michigan Daily, my college paper, I recall interviewing the youngest delegate, who was supporting perennial loser Harold Stassen who opposed the Vietnam War. I still recall with embarrassment the lede for my column the next morning, “As I walked down the hotel corridor and knocked on the door, I didn’t know what to expect.”

Forty-four years later, I pretty much do know what to expect. And that is why I’m heading to Tampa with a sense of curiosity, anticipation and, yes, a stubborn case of journalistic butterflies.

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Walter Shapiro just chronicled his ninth presidential campaign. He writes the “Character Sketch” political column for Yahoo News. Follow him on Twitter @WalterShapiroPD.