TAMPA – As soon as House Speaker John Boehner gaveled the 2012 Republican National Convention to a close late last night, delegates started grabbing everything with the convention or party logo in sight. Balloons and confetti from the convention are a cool souvenir but the tri-corner signs are the biggest prize at national party convention.
Reid Wilson of Hotline agreed, tweeting, "Rule no. 1 when a convention gavels to a close: Steal everything that ain't nailed down. Someone grab me a tri-corner sign."
Many of these items will end up in the collection of some political junkie while others will surely surface on Ebay and Craigslist. Any official sign with the RNC Logo will fetch a decent chunk of change from collectors. Still, pins and buttons are the collectors item of choice. Some more coveted items are protected by state party brass, too. One longtime Massachusetts Republican told me that he has tried at previous conventions to get the Massachusetts state sign but every time it was guarded by party interns on the final day.
While observing this scramble take place on the convention floor I happened to catch the Alabama delegation jumping the gun and, coincidentally, struggling mightily to get their tri-corner sign down.
Here's the video:
One delegate trotted over to the periodical press gallery to show off his RNC booty haul that included signs like "Restricted Area" and "Restrooms" all emblazoned with the RNC 2012 logo.
"I don't know how I am going to get these home!" he said.