An amazing day yesterday - everything I could have hoped for. The day started early for Cheryl especially. Whose idea was it to schedule delegate breakfasts for 6:45am!? She was there for the start but I waited til 8:30 or so to go over, since I would be in an adjoining room as a guest, watching on closed circuit TV. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was the main speaker this particular morning and she was really fired up.
After the breakfast, I went to hang at the hotel for a few hours, but Cheryl went in to a Woman's Caucus luncheon. I finally headed in on a shuttle bus around 1, and with the route being blocked and re-routed due to a motorcade, it took almost an hour to get in. My volunteer shift was to start at 3, so I had time to grab a quick lunch of Bojangles chicken, which is a popular fast food around here. It wasn't bad, actually, consiering I never eat fast food.
So when I reported for duty about 15 minutes early (my co-workers at North American Land Trust will be shocked to read that since they have never once in ten years seen me arrive anything but late for work), I found about 100-200 other volunteers waiting to be walked over to the arena. We had to wait extra long, it was rumored, because there were protesters outside blocking our route.
When we finally all got up to head over, I was near the front of the line, which turned out to be a really good thing, since I was assigned a primo location about 20-30 yards to the speakers right, in a private suite where my main responsibility seemed to be to say "Sorry, you can't come through here." I was paired with an attractive 45 or so year old local woman who had rented out her house for a $4000 for the week! She needs it though, having 2 kids to put through college...not that she wouldn't anyway.
So there I was to stand for about the next 9 hours! And although I was on my feet that entire time, to the point where by the time Cheryl and I walked around until we found a bar to wind down after it was all over, I felt like my legs were a couple of fat ole logs.
As good as my news and location was, Cheryl's was not. It turned out she is a "standing committee person", sort of a quasi-delegate, who was not allowed to sit with the delegation on the floor! Totally sucks. We suspect a big money-type might have been squeezed in ahead of her. She was exiled up to the upper deck, where I was able to go up and find her on one of my breaks, which was really cool, so we could hang out for 10 minutes or so.
I took a number of other such breaks during the night, partially just to be able to keep my legs moving and partially just to see the sites and partially because we were told one of the supervisors would be coming around to rotate us to other locations during the night, so I kept an eye out for him, trying to stay one step ahead of him and out of sight as much as possible, whether that meant taking a quick unscheduled trip to the potty around a corner or going for a walk out on the concourse.
That was something I did two or three times, actually. And it was there, that at times, I was no more than an arm's length from: Senators Chuck Schumer, Mark Warner, Lincoln Chafee, Congressman John Lewis, Congresswoman Alyson Schwartz, and MSNBC folks Larry O'Donnell, Mark Halperin, Chuck Todd and Howard Fineman, who I actually walked out of the building with at night's end. If my phone weren't almost dead, I'd love to have taken a picture of him, considering he was holding two "We Love Michelle" signs. :-) That just proves once and for all that every single media person in the entire world has a left wing bias, fer sure, fer real this time! I also finally ran into Michelle Vaughn from Chester County, so we had fun catching up. I hope we get another chance to compare notes later in the week. She's always so upbeat.
But the biggest star I saw was Samantha Bee from the Daily Show. The first time I saw her, she was just standing with some co-workers, but the next time, she was actually interviewing a delegate for the show, which will probably run tonight. I made a point of going and standing directly behind them, so if any of you watch tonight, you'll probably see me standing there, trying not to look too dorkish.
I later did the same thing standing behind Chuck Todd interviews with Lincoln Chafee and someone from Ohio, I think it was.
As for the speeches themselves, well, they were just great. So many great moments, so many great speakers. Conservative Republican Joe Scarborough said this morning that there were 3 speeches last night that were each better than the best speech given in all 3 days of the Republican Convention and I have to agree. Heck, I think there were about 10 speeches better, including the woman with the daughter with a heart condition, who was great. I'm not the biggest fan of NARAL, but she was great, too. And Cory Booker, Lily Ledbetter, and Kal Penn and others I can't even remember right now.
But I think the 3 speeches he was referring to were probably, Deval Patrick, Mayor Julian Castro, and especially Michelle Obama. Wow, was she great. And the crowd just loved her. They were all amazing.
When the speeches were done and the people were filing out, I got into a little bit of a confrontation with a media member who was being an ass, trying to sneak through an area he wasn't allowed in. He just wouldn't take no for an answer and was becoming verbally abusive to me, but I held strong and eventually he backed off.
After it was all over, I found Cheryl back at the Convention Center, and we walked til we found a great bar and had a coupla beers and some chicken zingers - basically chicken fingers in spicy buffalo sauce - really good, the beer was great too - 10 Blocks Down it was called.
Finally home to bed around 2...and up again at 6-ish for Cheryl which is why she is now sleeping beside me, since we have a party to go to after the convention is over for the night tonight. We also just got the news that Obama will no longer be speaking at the stadium Thursday night due to predicted thunderstorms, which means the chances of my being able to get in to see him are now radically reduced. I had a ticket for the stadium, but only as a community guest, so I have a feeling I'll be among the first to be sliced off the invite list.
But I'll think good thoughts, which frankly is really hard not to do, given how well the convention and the week in general is going so far.