TAMPA (KCBS) – Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan are the main attractions Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, but one of the youngest delegates is from Santa Cruz, a 17-year-old who is taking in the sights and sounds of the week, all while counting her blessings.

Cheyenne Marani is about to be a high school senior and she’s getting a crash course in American politics right now.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

“I’m going to meet so many people. It’s going to be such an experience,” she said. “I’ve never seen this many people in my life or anything this amazing. It’s really cool.”

Marani said most of her classmates are liberal Santa Cruz Democrats but they and her teachers respect her beliefs and are supportive of her trip to Florida.

She said she’s been fascinated by politics for years and the experience is turning out to be everything she hoped it would be.

“I met John Boehner just now. He was a really nice guy, super friendly and obviously very happy to see some young Republicans enthusiastic to be here,” she said.

Marani was able to score a floor pass to get close to the action. She was nonplussed when she discovered that one of her fellow California delegates is “The Bachelor” Andrew Firestone.

Unlike some of her “star-struck” companions, she said she doesn’t watch reality television and had no idea who he was.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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