CLEARWATER, FL - By just about every measure, Tropical Storm Isaac was an overhyped bust that never came close to producing the disaster that organizers of the Republican National Convention feared when cancelling Monday's full day of programming.
But the top Republican in the Illinois Senate nonetheless came away with a healthy respect for the storm, which now is on a course for New Orleans and could evolve into a hurricane.
Radogno had a late flight from Chicago to Tampa Sunday, meaning she was arriving just as the storm's winds were whipping around erratically and her passenger jet was trying to land.
"We had to take three passes to try to land because the winds were too high," Radogno told the Chicago Sun-Times.
"The first time, they said we're going to land, and then they said we couldn't land because the winds are too high and they were going to try a different runway. So they went back, and it took them two tries to land on the second-choice runway," she said.
As soon as the plane touched down, the passengers, which included Daily Herald political reporter Kerry Lester, erupted into applause, Radogno said.
"As Kerry said when we landed, that was terrifying," Radogno said.
The weather didn't pose much of a problem for anyone else arriving to the Illinois delegation hotel, other than making Monday a lousy beach day. Indeed, by Monday morning, it was just windy and drizzly outside, making weather conditions in central Florida far less burdensome that the flooding in Chicago that shut down part of Lake Shore Drive Sunday.
"This isn't a hurricane," state GOP chief Pat Brady cracked of Isaac. "I've ridden my bike in storms worse than this."