Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28

This was the fist night I didn't blog when I got home. I kept falling asleep at the computer!!!
1 AM). Now I'm up, and have had some coffee--so I'll try to reflect on yesterday! I had not purchased any Obama or Convention merchandise, so another Kansas Delegation friend and I went downtown and shopped! There weren't many meetings or symposiums yesterday. I've become a Denver "light rail" expert--too bad KC metro area can't work together to build something like it, that would serve areas farther south in the metro area. I talked to an attorney yesterday on the light rail who takes it to work everyday and he lives about a 30 minute drive away from Denver. While I was buying a sweatshirt at Walgreen's we ran into Kathleen Sebelius--she was purchasing sunscreen for Invesco Field. I have been wearing a Kansas for Obama button this week and everywhere I go people stop me and say, "We love your governor!"

An interesting side story: Everyone talks to everyone here no matter where you are--you just find yourself chatting to complete strangers! As I was walking down the street, I was talking to a woman and her son, and asked where they were from. When she said New Jersey, I told her my son and daughter-in-law had gone to Princeton. She replied that she was Anne-Marie Slaughter, the Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton!! Small world--and it's wonderful so many of them are Democrats!!!!!

Invesco Field:
We boarded buses at 2:00 PM and they took us to Invesco. Even as a delegate, we had to wait in line about an hour. I heard those with public tickets waited in lines 3 miles long for hours! Invesco was CRAZY. it seemed like Media and security outnumbered the delegates. The delegates were actually on the field, with the public in the rows above. It was VERY cramped and unlike the Pepsi center, difficult to get out to bathrooms and food! But again, the energy was electric!!!!!!!

Media: They are always watching us so I watched them for a while!

Nancy and Kerry--this one's for you!!! LUKE RUSSERT!!!!!
The energy in the arena was electric!!! I still haven't had time to fully digest Obama's speech-I want to hear it again, being in the middle of it is fantastic, but also frenetic and draining!! It was truly an awe inspiring, and historic speech. One of the Kansas delegation, an African American man was in tears--as were many of us! What a night!!

Now as everyone has been saying--we have 9 short weeks to "roll up our sleeves and get to work!!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday, August 27

This morning our breakfast began with Governor Mike Easley from North Carolina (our hotel sharing state) speaking to us, followed by Governor Sebelius. She said every state is in play this year. She told us in Kansas alone there are a million people who are either unregistered or just don't vote. She entreated us, upon leaving Denver, to get ready to "roll up our sleeves and work to elect Barack Obama and local Democrats!

Then I boarded a bus and traveled to the Project Cure warehouse for our Delegate Service Day. Our delegation could choose between Meals on Wheels or Project Cure. Project Cure was started in 1987 in Evergreen, Colorado by businessman Jim Jackson, after a trip to Brazil where he witnessed incredible poverty and lack of basic medical supplies. In our land of plenty (could I say excess and greed?) we throw away ridiculous amounts of everything including perfectly good medical supplies. Jackson started collecting those supplies, everything from scalpels to x-ray machines, and now ships them to 120 countries . The theme of the Democratic Convention this year is change, and Project Cure is about changing access to medical supplies around the world.

Our Kansas Delegation packed 40 large boxes for shipment to medical clinics in Iraq. Joe said when he went back to Iraq he was going to be supervising the rebuilding of schools and hospitals. Maybe in a small way through efforts like this. the United States can be seen as healing rather than hurting.

The Convention floor---Wednesday August 28, 2008--the culmination of everyone's hopes and dreams for Barack Obama. I can't even believe I am present to hear the words, "The state of Kansas casts 6 votes for Senator Hillary Clinton, and 35 votes for Barack Obama, The future President of the United States!!!!!!!" And I signed my name for one of the votes!!!!!!!!!!!

As the alphabetical roll call of states progressed several states "passed" (California and Illinois). This was to allow the state of New York, with Hillary Clinton announcing, to provide the tipping point for Obama to receive the nomination! At that point the roll call stopped and Nancy Pelosi announced Barack Obama as the 2008 Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party!!!!! Pandemonium broke out, people were crying and hugging. They played "Get on the Love Train" and everyone held hands above their heads and sang--very corny--but POWERFUL!!!! In the words of Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, all I can say is WOW!!!!!

The rest of the evening just got better and better!!!!!! President Clinton got a five minute standing ovation and was, as he can be, eloquent and inspiring!

He told us "The world is more impressed by the power of our example, than it is by the example of our power!!"

Then Joe Biden--he is TOTALLY wonderful,--- his speech, and then that perfectly adorable family and darling grandchildren--the Republicans will have to pull off the second coming to top this!

And then out came Barack---looking Presidential as usual--what a wonderful surprise!

OBAMA BIDEN 2008!!!!!!!

Tomorrow--Invesco Field!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday, August 26

This morning as the NARAL Pro-Choice America delegate, I handed out "Yes We Can!" cans filled with information on NARAL at our Delegation breakfast. The president of NARAL, Nancy Keenan spoke at the Convention last night and emphasized the critical nature of electing Obama; with the Supreme Court at an ideological tipping point over Roe vs. Wade.

Mark Parkinson the Lt. Governor (who, I was embarrassed to admit, I didn't know) spoke at our breakfast this morning. I guess other people don't know him either as he told a story about being at a fundraising event with a young man. After spending quite a while talking to him Mark asked why he was there. The young man said "My Dad gave a bunch of money so we could have breakfast with the Lt. Governor, why are you here? Mark said it keeps him humble!

The Union Pacific invited the Kansas Delegation to "Train Day" We toured a restored railroad car and they fed us an excellent brunch. While I was on the train a reporter from the Olathe News called me to do an interview. It may be in the paper Wednesday. If anyone sees it--save it for me!

I then went to my much anticipated Emily's List reception. Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Michelle Obama were speaking. It was very disappointing--a "special event" nightmare. It was the only event I paid to go to ($50). We stood for three hours, packed into a ballroom with no food, chairs or restroom facilities, unless you left the room and wet back through a LONG and tedious security line. My friend Syd said for $50 we should get a chair!!! We actually left before Michelle spoke because it was three o'clock and we had to catch a bus and be on the Convention floor by 4:00.

The Convention was great tonight. Governor Brian Schwitzer from Montana is a hoot!!! He spoke Monday AM at our Delegation breakfast. I think he was a cheerleader in a former life! Then Governor Sebelius was wonderful, as usual. When she was speaking about renewable energy she said that John McCain does support some renewables--he wants to renew the failed policies of George Bush! Kathleen is very sharp!!!! Go Kansas!!!

Then Hillary spoke and was excellent too. They handed out Unity, Hillary, and Obama signs for everyone to wave as she spoke. It was an uplifting conclusion to the evening! We could see Michelle and Joe Biden chatting in their box seats from where the Kansas Delegation was seated-she looked lovely as always and Joe and Jill looked good as well!
We then WALKED back downtown to the BNSF train and ended the night with a PARTY there with the Nebraska delegation. It's 12:44AM-- I'm deader tonight!!! I'll try to write a little more tomorrow AM.

Great story...

Good morning-- I forgot to add a wonderful story told yesterday at the NEA lunch by the secretary/treasurer of NEA. while riding in a taxi she discovered her driver was Ethiopian. She shared that she was here for the Democratic Convention. The driver looked in his mirror and said "The world is depending on you to elect Barack Obama." " I don't even know who the president of Ethiopia is" she admitted. "It doesn't matter", he answered, "He can't effect the lives of your family, who you elect president of the United States can effect the lives of my family in Ethiopia--the world is depending on you."

Yes!!! We have a tremendous responsibility, the world is depending on us to elect Barack Obama!

I'm off to a Union Pacific brunch. I'll post more tonight.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday, August 25

The day began with our delegation breakfast--eggs, bacon, sausage, pastries--I'll gain 10 pounds!! After breakfast we received our credential cards--to be guarded with our lives. The light rail (very cool) took me downtown to the Unconventional Women's symposium, where I heard Nancy Pelosi speak about her book Know Your Power. She said the first time she sat in the Speaker of the House seat it felt very crowded--since she was sharing it with Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and all the women who had sacrificed to make it possible for her to be there. She is wonderful--powerful and eloquent. She was interrupted frequently by screaming protesters, who had to be dragged out by the SWAT teams.

I next attended the NEA (National Education Association) lunch featuring women governors as speakers. We heard Ruth Ann Minner from Delaware, Janet Napolitano from Arizona and our own Kathleen Sebelius. She makes me proud to be a Kansan, and a teacher, as she stated there is no more powerful voice in politics than education

On my way back to catch a bus to the Pepsi Center I had my first celebrity sighting--Ted Koppel!!!

He is the old guy in the sun glasses, not the stranger asking me to take his picture with Ted!!

Then on to the Pepsi center!!! What amazing energy!!! Speakers Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson Jr. and Reg Weaver (NEA President) warmed us up for Carolyn Kennedy and then.... Ted Kennedy!!!!! They handed out signs that said "Kennedy" to everyone and the crowd went crazy yelling Kennedy, Kennedy for about five minutes. He is an incredibly strong man. He said "This is a season of hope!, I will be there on the Senate floor in January!

Congressman Dennis Moore dropped by and sat with me, and two other Kansas delegates! I told
him about Joe being in Iraq, and he gave me his card and told me to call him if there was ever anything he could do for me. He is a very caring person!

Then our keynote speaker Michelle Obama--what can I say, every time I hear her it is just fabulous. She told us this time to listen to our hopes and not our fears, and dedicated the speech to her father's memory and her daughter's future. The evening ended with Barack greeting us live from Kansas City! I'm dead... Goodnight!

PS. One more thing--I ate a soy bar at a snack table with John Grisham! :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Interfaith Gathering & PARTY

After gettiing to my hotel (DoubleTree at Denver Tech Center) I left and navigated the light rail with a Connecticut delegate. We attended the Intrfaith Gathering--a celebration of spitual diversity. Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, was a powerful and insprational speaker!! My Connecticut friend (Val) and I walked around downtown for a while, while dodging security SWAT teams, and anti-abortion speakers and large rental trucks plastered with pictures of Obama and bloody dead babies.

The wild party of the night was hosted by Friends of New Orleans which I attended with Val and 2000 of our new friends! I just got back from another party in our hotel with the North Carolina delegation. Barack Chalk!!! I'm up in the AM at 7:00 for the delegation breakfast!

We all love Obama!!!

It's great to be somewhere where ...we all love Obama!! When I arrived through the gate at Dever International Airport, I have never seen so many people happy to see me when I got off a plane. I took the shuttle to the hotel--DoubleTree at Denver Tech Center--about 30 minutes from downtown.