From the Floor: One Day Down
Chrisi West is a Virginia delegate to the Democratic National Convention who will be blogging for Virginia Politics from Denver. She is from Alexandria, in Fairfax County.
The first day of the convention was phenomenal! The day really started after the delegation breakfast meeting, when I was lucky enough to attend the Unconventional Women panel. Female leaders including Sens. Claire McCaskill and Barbara Boxer, and Republican Governor Jane Swift discussed the issue of women in politics. There was a special spin on several of the panels, focusing on women in politics with an entire council of Colorado Girl Scouts in attendance.
I came out of the session with a recommended reading list for myself, including Ruth Bader Ginsberg's dissent in the Lily Ledbetter Case, and a book by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, "Rumors of Our Progress Are Greatly Exaggerated." Looks like I have some homework to do!
After that I headed to the Pepsi Center for the rest of the festivities. Although many high-ranking elected officials spoke, the night's overarching themes seemed clear by the signs the delegates were given to hold up during speeches: "Common Values Common Purpose," "One Nation" and the campaign theme "Change We Can Believe In." To illustrate this point, senators, represenatives and women, state officials and other party leaders all coalesced on the Democrats message of unity. This included former Republican Rep. James Leach from Iowa, who endorsed Senator Obama and called on him to institute some real change within the party and the country.
Caroline Kennedy introduced a moving short film on the life and political contributions of her Uncle Teddy. As the delegation, guests and press all watched, I couldn't help but look around at all the teary faces around me.
When Ted Kennedy himself came out onto the floor the entire crowd erupted into cheers from a sea of blue and red "Kennedy" signs. He addressed us all as the orator we know he is, revving up the crowd and instilling a renewed hope that the country we all deserve is the country we'll get when we elect Barack Obama as our next president. His recent illness took nothing away from his huge presence, both on the political stage and the physical one.
The star of the show though, was Michelle. Introduced by her brother and poised as always, she helped everyone in attendance see who she really is; a mother and wife who worked hard to get where she is now, but still remembers to help those around her in everything she does.
Words couldn't describe the emotions she captured in her speech last night, both in the Obama delegates and the ones I spoke to who supported Senator Clinton in her historic run. As a potential First Lady, Michelle was graceful, intelligent, inspiring, and captivating in a way that was undeniable. She made me want to "do".
My friend Kip best described her speech when he said, "My feet are tired, but my spirit is lifted."
And he's exactly right.
-- Chrisi West
Posted by: AlexandriaBP | August 28, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse
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