As promised, I continue my diary as an attending PA Delegate to the convention, with tidbits, video and pics of my experience. As the days have continued, I will share some of my thoughts on being new to this nut house and my Q/A responses from a brief encounter with Ted Koppel.
In order of events, it's probably best to start with Monday night and the incredible experience of watching Ted Kennedy and Michelle give heartfelt, moving speeches from the floor. Their courage, tenacity and sensitivity always amaze me and the excitement and anticipation on the ground was electric!
Tuesday morning, the PA breakfast delegation was treated to visits from Claire McCaskel and Chris "Tweety" Matthews. Claire as always was fired up and hammering the unity theme to fight McCain and win the White House. Chris hung around and chatted up with his fellow PA kin. I had a chance to speak with him briefly and he was excited that I was new to the process and funny enough, guessed that I was an Obama delegate because of my newcomer status and noted that most likely because of his insurgent campaign, it was the only way I could have been able to participate.
What I have observed these past few days is a sense of old school vs. new school democrats. There is a sense of a silent resentment from the old time committee folk. Election season after election season, the same people, the same officials attend. I can only assume that in 1992, the now same, Bill Clinton delegates, had the same feeling. How quickly they forget. It's like a sorority/fraternity house mentality in many ways. It is astounding and in a way disturbing how many people during the breakfast meetings and then on the convention floor are just present. It is a weird conundrum of non-stop chatter, banter, and inattention to the task at hand! When Senator Casey has to attempt to silence those in attendance to hear speakers, it's like a kindergarten teacher talking to children with 10 second attention spans. In a year when so much is at stake, it would be quite a statement of solidarity of cause to honor those men and women who stand upon that stage with their critical message of change and just shut the %#@% up! Eeeh, I'm just too mission oriented I guess.
I headed downtown to walk around to some wonderful .org tents and buses. I stopped by One.org, Big Tent and the MSNBC stage. I ran into Mike Smerconish, a fellow PA guy. As we talked, he asked if he could interview me for his radio show. Sure thing! He asked if it's the media driving the story about the Hillary delegates not coming on board, and I replied that unequivocally, 'Yes'! It is airing on his show today if you want to check it out - Mike Smerconish radio show
Tidbit: Now this is important folks... a very important protest for the sanctity of all bird life and a real campaign blow to McCain is afoot in Denver!! For all of the bird watchers here, beware, you have been called out!
Continuing my Q/A quest, I accidentally ran into Ted Koppel taking a breather from the booth in an outside area outside of the Pepsi Center. Sitting with a co-worker I approached and asked if I could interview him with my two questions. Of course, he obliged smiling! I didn't videotape it unfortunately, but here it is:
Q: What book would you like the American public to read this season?
A: "The Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius
Q: What lessons from history do you feel we, as a nation, are not heeding facing todays challenges?
A: Paraphrase: "That all great empires in history rise to unprecedented power, fall. Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mongul, British, Mayan...we are, or maybe heading to be the fastest empire to rise and fall in history..."
Me: Thank you so much for that answer, it was exactly what I was seeking, a reflective response, a historic response. I do thank you so much.
If you missed my first diary, you can check it out here : Diary #1
I could go on to my thoughts about Tuesday night and Hillary Clinton's speech, but so much has been discussed and written about, it would seem just a bit redundant, and actually, I'm tired of it. Well, I think that's about it for now and if anything comes up, I'll be sure to update!