Utah Republicans came to this famous party city for good food and politics.
They got the good food Monday at a four-course brunch in the famous Brennan's restaurant in the French Quarter - a tribute to Gov. Norm Bangerter hosted by Delta Airlines.They got the politics Monday night in an emotional farewell speech by President Ronald Reagan and Tuesday afternoon in a Mississippi riverfront welcome in Spanish Plaza for Vice President George Bush.
Utahns have given Republicans the greatest majorities in the nation in recent years, and so the Utah delegation has the best seats in the Superdome as a reward.
But the delegates found that even though they have front-row seats, the view often isn't very good because of all the people walking in the aisle in front of them. Utah delegates sometimes had to stand up to get a good view.
When Young Republicans jammed in front of the delegation to cheer on Reagan Monday night, several youngsters almost landed in the laps of Bangerter and Sen. Orrin Hatch as they jumped up and down in enthusiastic response to Reagan's speech.
Earlier in the day, Hollis Harris, Delta Air Lines president and chief operating officer, told the Utah delegation that Delta is a strong supporter of the Utah economy. When Delta, an Atlanta-based airline, bought Western Airlines, executives decided to keep Western's hub at the Salt Lake International Airport. The firm, which employs more than 55,000 people, has expanded its Salt Lake operations several times since.