Patrick Gower: Life inside the Republican Convention
In the delirium of the Republican National Convention, Newshub political editor Patrick Gower took some time out to debrief on the party's love-fest which has been "blowing [his] brain to mush".
Gower hosted his first Facebook livestream from the convention, where he talked about his very fleeting conversation with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, his experience with the local delicacy of pierogies and meeting top Republican Newt Gingrich in a bathroom.
"I shouted to [Trump], 'Is his speech going to be big?' And he said it was going to be 'quite big'," Gower said.
"It probably wasn't the best journalistic answer I've ever extracted, but it was something from the Donald. We had to wait about an hour in this kind of cart dock, we got pins and needles quite severely because I was squashed into this golf buggy in my little posse with the other journos from around the world."
Gower's been in Ohio covering the convention, and next week he'll be doing the same at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
He named Donald Trump Jr as his "favourite Trump", followed by Tiffany Trump, but that could be subject to change.
"Donny" even told Gower he'd like to visit New Zealand to go fly fishing.
But life at the convention is more than just the fanfare and overt patriotism. It's also about the food, and Gower and camera operated Dan Pannett have been trying the local fare.
What didn't get his taste buds going were the pierogies - "like a dumpling with mashed potato inside it. What is this? Either give us dumplings or give us mashed potatoes".
"Be careful of the pierogies," Gower warned.
He described the "sensory overload" of the convention.
"Just a shout-out to the Republicans for absolutely smashing my brain like never before - their cheering, their craziness, their hero worship, the fact they look quite brainwashed at times and their unbelievable levels of energy," Gower said.
"It's a cliche to say they're like All Blacks supporters."
During his stint in the Republican cauldron, Gower has met a number of leading figures in the party's elite and a few big players in the campaign.
He spoke to Don King, potential Trump Vice Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich ("he was in the john with me today"), former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani ("he was quite a nice guy. Said 'hi' to me again today") and former presidential candidate Ben Carson.