At 4 a.m. every day during the Republican National Convention, University of South Florida professor Dr. Susan MacManus will start her day walking through the doors of WFLA, Newschannel 8 in Tampa. She has served as the station's political analyst for the better part of the past 20 years. Her days won’t end until well after the 11 p.m. broadcast is over.
In between shows, MacManus will be the subject of dozens of radio, print and broadcast interviews. She'll also spend time today briefing 100 foreign journalists on behalf of the State Department.
MacManus will be answering a lot questions about “why Florida is such an important place” during this 2012 presidential election, said MacManus, who is also a professor in the USF's Government and International Affairs department.
So far, the first day of the convention has been a good dry run for her. She’s been able to see how long security takes, as well as how long it will take her to travel between the TV station and the convention.
The convention being held so close to her home does pose some challenges she hasn’t encountered at other conventions.
“Having the convention in my hometown is great for the excitement,” said MacManus. “But getting around is more difficult.”
When she travels away from her home in Lutz, she says it’s easy to take the buses and shuttles everywhere she needs to go. While she’s here in Tampa, she has to battle traffic and parking in her own vehicle.
You can catch Dr. MacManus on WFLA during its coverage for the RNC Monday through Thursday.