Randy Orr is a truck driver and a member of the Teamsters Union. He is also a Republican delegate from Houston. This is his first convention, and he is delighted with it. "I never finished my degree in college. I remember the one class I took that I enjoyed was political science. It was a Democrat that taught it, and he talked about being a delegate. Now I'm one."
He decided to become active in Republican politics because of his faith. "I grew up in the church, and after about four or five years, I realized that anything that affects you or me, God is interested in it," he says. He wasn't that happy with John McCain, who, he says, wasn't his first or second choice--but when McCain chose Sarah Palin for his running mate, Orr and his fellow Republicans came around. "Christian principles mean everything to us," he says, "When the Senator appointed her as vice president, we came together." After McCain picked Palin, Orr says, "I went back to my room, and I felt he was the right choice."
He says he enjoys arguing about politics with his fellow Teamsters. "I tell them that we want the same thing, but that we aren't going to achieve them through the Democratic Party," he says. I ask him what some of those things are, and he cites illegal immigration. "On our border issue, the Republican Party is very strong about making this a legal process," he says. "I tell the guys the Democratic Party says, ‘Come on in.' The Republicans not the Democrats says this is driving down wages."
Orr claims that some of his fellow Teamsters will vote for McCain rather than Obama even though they are Democrats. "Several of them said it was because of taxes, but most say it is the leadership quality. When they saw the deal about the church and about his former ties with certain people, they felt very uncomfortable with that."