My second day in Denver started very early. I was volunteering with the Women's Caucus, and needed to get back into the city by 7:30am. I arrived and begun to open box after box of Ebony Magazine, one of the give-aways for attendees. This issue came in about 200 boxes, and featured Michelle Obama on the cover. Once the tables were prepared, I showed the featured speakers to their seats. For me, this was exciting because I was able to greet heroes like Cecile Richards, Ellen Malcolm, and Donna Brazile. I was also surprised to greet Rosario Dawson, who was down to eart., She shook my hand and introduced herself like a normal person. Eva Longoria, however, was shielded by people, and was not at all friendly upon her arrival. I was hoping to stay longer and listen to more speakers, but Mentor showed up and needed more help with her client. So we hopped into a pedicab, and continued drug-dealer-like activities to score more credentials for the famous people. We did stop by a lunchtime round table discussion hosted by her client. The celebs and a few others, like Ellen Burstyn, Richard Schiff, Holly Robinson Peete, from yesterday were having a conversation about the use of language, persuasion, the power of speech, and how their fame plays a role in activism. While it was interesting to attend, I was not impressed at all by the quality of the discussion. This topic is meaningful to me as someone who works with words both at school, at my job, and in hobbies like blogging. Susan Sarandon did bring up Lakoff's seminal work, Don't Think of an Elephant, but overall it was more superficial than I expected. They did mention that they believed that they were not always taken seriously when they discuss politics, because they felt that people had a hard time relating to them from an everyday perspective. I swear I didn't giggle when they said that, despite that I agreed. However, it was good to learn that not all celebs are like this. Some of them were intimidated by us political-nerds. Kal Penn was actually a whip on the floor, taking orders from 22-year olds angry that he wasn't moving the signs quickly. He really jumped into the spirit of the convention and for that, my hat is off to you, Kumar!
After this, we took a break for a real lunch - on plates, and I didn't have to unwrap it! However, Mentor and the pedicab driver did ditch their lunches in the middle to go find the last of the credentials. Thanks to a big score, Mentor was on the floor, and I traded down for another pass to offer a friend.
I found friend RL outside of the Pepsi center, but then was able to re-locate her inside. At this point I was so stressed from running all over the place, and I had the feeling that I was missing the point of the convention. I knew I had to find a way to tell Mentor that I didn't want to do this anymore, but I wasn't sure how. Next up, the speeches!
There was a long list of speakers, but I was just waiting for Hillary Clinton to speak. Former Governor Warner was the keynote, but Governor Brian Schweitzer blew away everyone! His speech was so exciting! I don't go in for the forced call-response that many people attempt in order to seem exciting, but he had everyone in the Pepsi Center on their feet. Watch!
Senator Hillary Clinton of course was amazing, and inspiring. For the evening, I was wishing that it was her accepting the nomination.
After the convention, RL and I sought out friend JL at his hotel. We had a quick drink before I persuaded them to head over to the comedy club event for Mentor's client. Apparently we missed the actual presentation, but we were able to make dinner out of the apps and cocktails. Mentor had a scare, where she had lost some important materials, and JL pointed out that his was a little Devil Wears Prada, which was a needed observation. The three of us left, met up with RL's sweetie, and had beers at a non-convention venue. It was a well-needed moment of clarity, at least for me. Then I headed back to the train, and to Littleton, where I was staying.