Themis Klarides represents Orange, Woodbridge and Derby in Hartford and serves as Deputy Republican Leader. Along with those duties, she recently made her second appearance at an RNC convention, acting as a delegate in Tampa. -- but that was before she started popping up in a variety of media outlets, including a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance on The Daily Show (you'll catch her laughing about the "terribleness" of Maine at about 2:52 -- it's all in good fun, Maine.) We caught up with Rep. Klarides after she returned home.
What were some of the most memorable moments of the convention for you?
Well, it was all great - it's always a long week because there's so much going on between breakfast and lunch ... it's almost like the last couple weeks of the legislative session. But I really enjoyed Rubio, and I really liked Christie. Those were my two favorites.
What's it like to be interviewed by The Daily Show? I've never actually talked to someone they interviewed. Did they tell you who they were?
Well, you saw that piece was about different states so when they found us, they were looking for people from states that were more affluent, quote-unquote successful -- and they were looking for the states that were at the bottom -- and they talked to some people in between. So they just came up to us and they said, 'We're from The Daily Show, would you like to speak with us?' And then we were with them for maybe ten minutes. [The sketch asks delegates which states should be booted from the union.] It was funny -- the person with me onscreen is my chief of staff -- he joked, 'Keep the lobsters and get rid of Maine.' Of course, we were just joking.
[B]ut I was also on GQ online and Bloomberg Online. I started getting all these e-mails and texts from people, telling me to read the news, and then I saw I was in the Wall Street Journal, too! … On the convention floor, Connecticut was right on the corner where there was so much media -- they had all set up there. I ended up on the jumbotron like 20 times. There was a running joke -- they'd say, "Who do you know? How can you get me on the jumbotron?"
Clint Eastwood drew a lot of attention -- both good and bad. It seems like nobody knew what to make of it. What did it look like from where you were on the floor?
Well, it's Clint Eastwood. He could just stand there and be Clint Eastwood. There was all this speculation about Tim Tebow, Nancy Reagan, Joe Lieberman - but Eastwood is an icon. We were a little taken aback -- his hair was a little messy, his tie wasn't straight, he just seemed a little off. As far as the whole president in the chair thing, I thought that was funny. Eastwood wasn't there to make a policy speech, he was there to get the attention of people and get people excited.
Was there anything in Romney's speech or any other speech that really brought it home for you and made you think of issues we're facing in Connecticut?
Romney made a comment about how Obama said he was going to save the oceans. Everybody chuckled about the fact that whatever he said he was going to do, he didn't. Then Romney said, I'm here to help your families. To me, whether you talk about the platform being abortion or civil unions -- whether you're Republican or Democrat, in Connecticut or Idaho, the bottom line is people want to live a better life. They want to have jobs, pay for their mortgage, send their kids to a good school and have the health care they want. That's what it's about -- taking care of their family.