Move over capitalism – free stuff abounds at the GOP convention. Around almost every corner, companies galore are handing out an eclectic array of freebies. Delegates can score everything from leis to lattes and massages to magazines.
"It's all free," said The Huffington Post's Abby Huntsman. The Huffington Post has completely transformed Channelside's AJA night club into the "Oasis," a posh convention retreat awash in white touches that offers delegates, party officials, and reporters an escape.
"Why not do something that is completely opposite of what you see in the convention, the chaos the craziness," Huntsman said, surrounded by sheets of white fabric, white roses, and white orchids.
Inside the posh Oasis, visitors find free Yoga classes, free meals, and free massages. There's also a unique sound-absorbing chair where the weary can sneak in nap.
"People are in there all day long," Huntsman quipped.
Time Magazine and Google were also offering up free buttons, stickers, and coffee.
It's generosity that's on display, but it's all for publicity.
The same can be said inside the forum, where even certain delegates are offering up free mementos to fellow delegates.
Hawaii delegate Kimo Sutton is handing out flower leis.
"It's very Aloha," he said. Sutton is capturing the international television audience to show off a little Polynesian pride. The free leis pay for themselves, he said.
"In a sense of tourism," he said.
Delegates are all entitled to a swag bag that includes a diverse selection of stuff. Thirteen items are inside the canvas sack. Contents include: Mitt Romney's book, a can of Coca Cola, a pair of sunglasses, and a rain poncho.
"It's a hurricane resistant poncho," joked Jim Freyvogel, CEO of the MacDonald Training Center.
Tampa area residents with developmental disabilities filled the bags via the MacDonald Training Center. Workers formed an assembly line to fill 14,000 bags in a quick two-week span.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," he said. "These people love to work."
Each sack also includes books, pamphlets, and trinkets that spotlight the Tampa Bay area.
"You go through it, and you have to keep going through it, It's just full of things," said Tennessee delegate Kathleen Starns. "It's so generous. And we know a lot about Tampa."