From the Floor: Over the Weekend
Jeff Richardson is the Vice Chair of the District's Democratic Party. He will be attending the Democratic National Convention and will be blogging for D.C. Wire from Denver.
From Saturday August 23
As I reported yesterday, the four D.C. voting rights scholars and I began our journey Saturday morning at 6 a.m. at Reagan National Airport. Excited, we checked in for our flights. As it was early and I was suffering from no sleep, the first leg of my trip is a total blur, but as I changed planes in Atlanta bound for Denver, I knew I was on my way because Obama/Biden was the premier topic of discussion. At the gate and boarding the plane all I heard were whispers of Obama and Biden. Of the many pieces of conversation that I overheard, there was one comment that I must admit tested my enthusiasm.
I overheard a woman very sternly telling the man sitting next to her, "Obama is too young. There should be another choice." I am not sure why this stood out to me, but it brought a stillness over me, and as I glanced around the plan I realized while Obama/Biden was in the air, energy and enthusiasm about the duo was not.
Now it may have been that it was 9 o'clock in the morning and most of these folks had been up since at least 6 a.m., but regardless, I began to wonder if this was what I was in for all week. Were the party leaders just showing up to the convention to fulfill their obligation? Would there be unity on the surface and complaining and backbiting below, or worse, could we really see a protested convention? I currently have no answers, but can only hope to receive a great welcome in Denver.
From August 24
Did I receive a warm welcome in Denver? Yes I did. After having stepped onto the plane in Atlanta and becoming a bit discouraged about whether the Democratic Party establishment was really 100 percent behind Barack Obama and if Joe Biden could help heal the wounds, I arrived in Denver to have my hope restored.
After a day of meetings and convention preparation, including a walk through the Pepsi Center and practice for the roll call vote (look for D.C. to the left of the stage upper level), I returned to our host hotel to be greeted by Gov. Tim Kaine taking pictures and speaking with the press, assuring us all that the Democratic Party would be 100 percent behind the Obama/Biden ticket.
Then Sunday evening I was energized and revived by Howard Dean at the delegate welcome reception, where he reminded delegates and friends that the Democratic Party will be united as we go forward and that with Barack Obama and Joe Biden at the top of the ticket we will not only elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States, but we will win seats up and down the ticket. And we will do so because this country is ready for change and is ready for real solutions that put all Americans first.
So, as of pre-convention Day 2, I am still a believer. Yes, neither Obama nor Biden were everyone's first choice in the party, but based upon my conversations with state party leaders and convention attendees, Democrats are quickly warming to the Obiden ticket and I believe Democrats will be united on Aug. 28th.
Stay tuned. The District of Columbia delegation will hit the ground educating convention attendees on our lack of voting representation in Congress on Monday. The delegation will target state delegations who have Senators who opposed the bill that would have given the District a vote in the House. The delegation will also target various events across the city.
P.S Katie Couric looks even better in person and was absolutely charming today on the floor of the Pepsi Center.
-- Jeff Richardson
August 25, 2008; 12:57 PM ET
Categories: 2008 Presidential Race
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