This morning, after I told my cab driver that I am covering the RNC for a Jewish magazine, he innocently asked “do all people who work there have to wear those?” He gestured to his head, tracing a skullcap. “Because I have Jewish friends, and they don’t.” I quickly explained how Jews are a diverse bunch with varying religious (and political) commitments—and then assured him that Tablet is in fact an equal opportunity employer when it comes to Jewish headgear or lack thereof.
With any luck, though, my yarmulke will prove less exotic to locals after Rabbi Meir Soloveichik—sporting a kippah even larger than mine—opens the convention proceedings a little after 2pm. Soloveichik was originally scheduled to deliver the closing benediction after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s keynote address, but with the convention shortened by the weather, he was moved up. It’ll be interesting to see if the text of his prayer bears signs of its originally intended place in the proceedings. (Stay tuned for a full report.)
I’m also very much looking forward to today’s speech by the Mormon mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, Mia Love. A rising star in the Republican Party, Love is a remarkably charismatic and self-assured politician: She once tried to hit up BuzzFeed reporters for campaign contributions after they interviewed her. She’s also female and African-American, and if she wins in her November race against Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson in Utah’s 4th Congressional District, Love will be the first black Republican woman in Congress. (It will be interesting to see how—or if—she references her Mormonism.)
The night will be capped by Ann Romney’s speech, followed by what promises to be a bombastic keynote from New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie. If you’re looking for good places online to watch the proceedings for yourself, here’s a comprehensive listing of your viewing options.