Gar Byrum is a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Here is his blog report.
Monday night was an emotional evening for many of the delegates because we saw a film about what New Orleans is like now. Former President Carter presented it and it showed the work he’s doing. The fact is this … many years after Katrina, the government has virtually abandoned New Orleans. Volunteers, college students and organizations like President Carter’s are working to rebuild New Orleans. It is definitely a national disgrace.
The most stirring moment of the night was Caroline Kennedy introducing the film about her uncle Ted, and she talked about what he meant to the country and the programs he’s been responsible for. The film showed him sailing and how important sailing is to him. When Senator Kennedy made an appearance, everyone was standing. That was the high point of the night. It showed we are all democrats. In his speech , Senator Kennedy said the dream lives on and for Senator Kennedy, the dream lives on through Barack Obama. He made it clear that we are passing the torch to a new generation of leaders.
To close out the evening, Michelle Obama appeared after the introduction from her brother, who is the basketball coach of Oregon State Beavers. It was a pretty moving film about her because it showed how close her family is and how far they’ve come and how incredibly ill her father was with multiple sclerosis to get up in the morning and get read to go to work to provide for his family without complaining. I think she successfully refuted the claim by Republicans that she somehow doesn’t love America. She showed that the Obama family are average Americans like everyone else and that they’ve worked to do well like others.
During the convention, pictures of Senator Biden were flashed to the crowd and he just looks like a Cheshire cat with this smile on his face. He can’t help but smile. Everyone seemed to cheer when his picture came up on the screen. The cameras scanned the crowed and Vickere Murphy was shown on the screen, and she was happy the camera picked her up.
A dynamic speech last night was given by Jessee Jackson Jr. and my feeling is that if Obama wins the presidency, the next Senator from Illinois will be Jesse Jackson Jr. He was outstanding – I actually liked his speaking ability better than his dad’s. He worked the crowd up.
Everyone is enthusiastic. Rock n Roll was played and it was great music. We are not likely to hear such great Rock n Roll at the Republican convention because Republicans lack rhythm.
Denver is a nice city. The Sheraton is has the two biggest delegations – New York and California. It is located near the plaza, there are some nice old buildings nearby. Weather is terrific, however there were thunder clouds yesterday afternoon and a tornado touched down the day before. The California delegation has breakfast every morning where California Democratic Party Chairman, Art Torres, presides. It takes about an hour to go by bus to the convention center.
The California delegation is not on the floor. All of the delegations on the floor, close to the podium. are the swing states. The states that are least likely to go Democratic have the worst seats in the hall. Delaware was originally supposed to be seated above, but they moved the seating of Delaware to the floor when Joe Biden became the vice presidential nominee.
I met a young man who goes to UC Davis and studies biotechnology. This is his first convention. He initially went against all demographics and was a Hillary supporter but now he is working hard for Senator Obama.
I met an Hispanic woman who was from Dallas and spoke about her efforts back in Texas. There are people here from all walks of life. Some have worked for the party for years and others who have just started gotten involved in politics From all the individuals I’ve spoken to, the common thread is renewal, American renewal. That seems to be the driving force.
I’ve been passionate about politics since I was young. I watched my first convention on television in 1952, and always wanted to go, so this is a culmination of a lifetime dream. As a delegate I view this as a turning of the page, because we as democrats are getting back to who we are – back to our core beliefs.
I had an interview with NPR. I got tapped on my shoulder and NPR was interviewing delegates from the 50 states. I gave them my two cents worth. If you listen to NPR, you might hear me.
More later …. I’ll send in my blog report after tonight’s program.
Originally posted by Gar Byrum, Delegate