Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Denver recap: An incredible four days

Last night in Invesco Field was as exhilarating as anything I've ever witnessed (outside of the birth of my daughter). Although I was and still am a vehement Hillary supporter, and although I still believe Hillary is the better choice, I will unhesitatingly cast my vote for Obama on November 4.

As for the convention itself, I have only three words: WOW, WOW, WOW. I don't know what things looked like on television, but the atmosphere on the floor was electric. Washington's delegation had decent seats, though the view from some was blocked by a camera platform. I got there early enough to get a seat with a view. I thought the first two hours would be dull, since primetime starts at 5 PM.

I thought wrong. How can one be anything other than moved listening to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s two children. Walking around drinking in the ambiance was a popular past-time. My delegate credential gave me access to virtually everywhere in the stadium (as has been the case the entire week), so I could move about with ease. The musical entertainment wasn't too shabby either - Sheryl Crow and Stevie Wonder were great. I don't like Michael MacDonald (former lead singer for the Doobie Brothers), and apparently neither did anybody else around me.

I am proud to say that the Washington State delegation led the way in dancing in the aisles. How many people can say they danced to Stevie Wonder live! And even our superdelegates got in on the fun. I have pictures of U.S. Reps Jay Inslee and Jim McDermott, and Governor Christine Gregoire, shakin' and bakin', and even State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz got in on the action.

And I had a chance to talk with Representative Adam Smith, whom I worked with from 1993-1995 in the Seattle city Attorney's Office. I spent the entirety of Obama's speech yelling my voice out in wonderment alongside Rep. Rick Larsen, and laughing with him. I asked him if Obama's speech made him proud to serve in the House; he said it made him proud to be an American.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the famous people I saw, photographed, and was photographed with. Washington was seated next to Massachusetts, so I got some good photos of John Kerry.

I also got a photo with him, and with Patrick Kennedy. If I had been faster on the draw, I would have gotten a picture of Jesse Jackson.

Al Gore was enjoyable to listen to, but the build-up to Obama's speech went like clockwork. Obama was electric, and the audience reaction was one of spontaneous, energetic and unwavering support.

As I gathered with several of my fellow Clinton delegates, we examined Obama's speech under calmer circumstance.

We did find some things that still left us concerned about the general election. Some of Obama's proposed timelines seemed too ambitious. For example, promising that we will end our oil addiction within ten years seems a a promise unlikely to be kept. I can't say whether that is the result of a quieter setting for our analysis or a subconscious continued preference for Hillary over Obama. I can tell you that I screamed myself hoarse, and still can't talk twelve hours later.

The bottom line for me is this: I participated in one of the most, if not the most, significant national conventions in American history for either party.


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