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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DNC Convention Day 2

Another day, another party or two. We slept quite late after the late night Sunday night, and got downstairs to catch one of the DNC buses by 2 or so. But after an hour wait for a bus, we gave up and just called for a taxi, which, luckily, another couple split with us. The ride into town is only about 15 minutes, but the last 10 blocks take longer than the first 5 miles, so we just got out and walked the rest of it. The transportation system has been a complaint from everyone. Very hit or miss.

When we made it into town for the street party - CarolinaFest - Cheryl, to my dismay, wanted to go into the Convention Center to buy pins and goodies, so I agreed we could get that out of the way, under the assumption that the good stuff would sell out by week end. So we spent way too long on that, predictably, but it was all for the best, because while we were in line to pay, Charlotte got hit with a huge rainstorm. So we lucked out, both by missing the rain, but also, when we then went out to the street party, there were far fewer people, tho still quite a lot.

CarolinaFest was fun, lots of corporate vendors, but also lots of food and fun stuff too. We bought $5 pork BBQ sandwiches - the only thing we'd eat from when we woke up until 8pm. We then had to choose between hanging around to see James Taylor perform at the festival, knowing we'd barely be able to see him with so many people wanting to be there, versus going back to the hotel to change into "business casual cocktail chic". You know, the things you wear for business cocktails. Why can't I work at a place that serves cocktails? But then I'd have to buy a whole new wardrobe to drink them apparently, so it's probably not worth it. Or maybe it's for casual cocktails, which are what - beers instead of mixed drinks?!

Anyway, with two parties to get to, we decided to get back to the hotel, and this time the bus arrived to pick us up within minutes of getting in line for it and minutes after that, it started pouring again, so we lucked out yet again.

Back to the hotel, we changed into our fancy duds and again took a taxi to get to the first party, splitting it again, this time with the Bucks County Dem Party Solicitor - a guy named Randy who has a major crush on Debbie Wasserman Schultz - but when the traffic was just too bad to get to it, we audibled and went to the other one instead. And it was a really fun event. We met all kinds of nice folks, from Senator Casey to local PA candidates running for State Rep to various other people from all walks of life.

Again, it was probably 30% people of color, again, not needed to scour the country for the 5-6 African Americans willing to vote for Romney, knowing that would mean they would be put right up on stage to give a speech, trying to justify their choice. I get the impression from Rs that they are oh-so-proud when the can find a person of color on their side. For me, I love the diversity of our party, reflecting the country we live in.

We again spent a lot of time with the always entertaining Bill Scott, and his lovely wife Linda, who took Cheryl on a tour of some of the exhibits in the art museum.  Kathi Cozzone was also great to hang with, as usual, going out of her way to introduce us to people like State Treasurer Rob McCord who I have admired for many years. Her husband Victor is a lot of fun too. It's nice to have local faces to hang back and people-watch with.

I also spent some time with Dan Wofford, who I'd met a number of years ago. I think of all the great Chester County political people I've met through the years, people I don't know on a personal basis like Kathi and Barb McIlvaine Smith, he's my favorite. There's just something very genuine about him and down to earth. He also introduced us to a number of people either in office or running for office. I asked how hard it is to remember all the names and he said he's actually not too bad at it, unlike his dad, who is one of my political heroes. I also asked Dan if he had any memories as a kid of the Kennedys and he said he does have one small memory of JFK, and his dad tells him that JFK once put young Dan on his shoulders! What a great story. Shame there's no pictures.

As we were waiting...again...for a bus to go back, we met a beautiful young woman named Katie Schurr, who is a student at Guilford College, a sort of sister college to Earlham, where I went. She knows Grayson Hall, a friend of ours who graduated from Guilford last year. Katie introduced us to another of my political heroes, State Senator Daylin Leach, and she also asked us if we wanted to go uptown with her to hit some bars, but knowing Cheryl had to be up at like 6am for the PA delegate breakfast, we decided to just head back to the hotel, somewhat to my dismay. Postscript: We saw Katie at the breakfast this morning, and let's just say, she seemed like she probably had a really, really good time last night! :-)

That's it for Day Two. Tonight the actual convention starts and Michelle Obama is one of the featured speakers. I am volunteering in the arena and I'm hoping I don't get stuck on some ramp guiding people. I just want to be in the actual arena area so I can see the speeches.

Oh, and great news. Cheryl got me a credential to the final night when our President is giving his speech and the Foo Fighters are performing. Wahooooo!

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