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.


If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

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