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DNC08-Days 2 & 3 August 28, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in politics, Uncategorized.
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Day Two

Everyone, by now, knows that Hillary Clinton’s rallying call last night, to unite behind Obama is history, and that today the delegates will cast their official votes to select the democratic nominee for the Presidential election.

But back to last night for a bit. What viewers watching at home can’t see, is quite a spectacle. We were on the floor last night for the speeches, and after a day of other events that we needed to attend (along with the daily schelp to pick up our credentials), we arrived just in time to gain access to the floor before they realized that the were over capacity and closed the floor, regardless of credential level. (I imagine that key people, such as staff or press covering the event from the floor were still able to get in.) Being able to watch the event from the floor was exciting, but from the comfort-standpoint (and we were standing), sitting in the gallery as we were for Monday night was much better. We could see better, and, well … we were sitting. But it was still exciting to be in the “thick of it” even as we were all herded along to songs of “keep moving, folks, keep moving.”

Once the final benediction is given, and everyone leaves, the feeding frenzy starts. The staged media, with their “on location” sets have to do their post-mortem reporting. The “on the ground” media have to find delegates and members of the general public attending to interview. Camera crews film, or try to get back to their posts and catch up with their producers. And the political junkies swoop down like predators to carrion on the campaign signs that have been discarded and litter the floor and remain on the seats. They travel upstream, against the flow of traffic, nearly climbing over chairs, squatting on the floor to collect the very signs and slogans that you see being waved during the key moments when you’re watching on T.V.  Of course, many people keep the signs that they’re given, maybe grab one or two extras for the kids back home, or that loyal supporter/friend they have who couldn’t attend and said, “if you can get a Hillary-Obama-campaign-Michelle-whatever sign, bring me back one,” and then there are the crazy people — and believe me, there were lots. Being a political wife, I get the “celebrity” of politics, but I also know that these folks are just like us and put on their pants the same way. And, while I do share profound sentiments of admiration for many other professional public servants, I also try not to be that person, you know, that “fan” — the one who sees that you’re having dinner with your family, but decides that now is a perfect time to hover over you for longer than it takes to say, “hello _______” (insert title/honorific) and shake hands.

One of the amazing things are the people who are there, who just soak up being around political figures. (We actually had a tiny accident, because someone not with the people that we were traveling with learned that my husband’s a nominee and just wanted to talk and talk and talk. Which, in itself is not a problem, and my husband was being very gracious, despite the fact that we were trying to get a photo done in a space that was becoming increasingly crowded. To make a long story short, personal space was invaded, and my poor husband got knocked off of the chair that he was standing on (so taht I could get the photo), with such a commotion, that Katie Couric herself (who was behind us) turned around mid-broadcast to make sure that he was okay. (I turned all shades of red). The chatty one, bending my husband’s ear, didn’t quite realized that he’d caused the accident, and oddly enough, just watched instead of offering him a hand out from between the chairs. It was both the most personally embarrassing and comical moment of the trip. (So far anyway.)

Day Three

Yesterday was busy. We had morning and afternoon events to attend, as on the other days and made our way to the Pepsi Center around 6 p.m. after picking up our credentials. Security was tighter than the previous evenings, which we thought was because of protesters. Actually, when we were heading to our first event of the day, we had to cross a protest, where the police — fully outfitted in their swat gear — were ready for the first sign of trouble. (Not fun, having to cross that line.) Anyway, once again our credentials got us on the floor and briefly, were able to sit with the delegation, during Bill Clinton’s speech.  We watched the rest of the speeches from a different spot on the Floor. Inspiring is the best word that can be used to describe the day and evening.