Day 3: DNC

Today was my favorite day. I decided that I couldn't help Mentor anymore, and that I wanted to spend the day really soaking in the policy aspects of the convention, because, well, I'm working on a policy graduate degree. I slept in until about 7:30, which was heaven after late nights and long days. I took the train into the city, and waited for the Health Care Policy forum to begin. Families USA (my friend JE works here) teamed up with SEIU to host "Winning Health Care Reform in 2009" House of Representatives Dean John Dingell (MI-15), spoke of how his father, who was also in Congress had introduced the first health care bill in Congress under Truman. Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA) spoke about how its possible to make incremental changes. These changes can begin in the states, like Casey Sr.'s CHIP plan that was adopted nationally (President Bush had vetoed this bill, but it was reauthorized in 2007. Read SCHIP for more information). Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA) also spoke, and added humor as well as a great perspective to this issue. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) invoked Nelson Mandela, by stating "Many things seem impossible until they are done." Also exciting was a rousing speech by Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), who had just spoken to the convention the previous evening.

I headed over to the Big Tent next to say hello to friends and see what was going on in the blogger world. There was a great buzz around the building, and the inside was just as exciting. It was a cross between a college library and a bar, with tables covered in laptops and snacks along the outside wall. You couldn't move without stepping on a power cord or running into a television camera. I ran into a few friends, and one, GG, lead me to the next activity of the day.

National Democratic Institute (NDI) was hosting a speaker series on foreign policy topics. I sat in on a discussion on Global Poverty. Speakers included Former Maj. Leader Tom Daschle, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Economist (and badass) Hernando de Soto, and strangely, Ben Affleck. The audience included high school kids - and I remember thinking how strange it was that they, not people my age, are the future of new policies. Scary! I was fascinated to be able to make comparisons to national poverty solutions through the discussions about global poverty, although it's tragic to be able to do so.

After this rousing discussion, it was time to meet JL again for drinks before we head to the Pepsi center. Unfortunately, JL and I are crap at conventions. We were both so excited to have scored floor passes for the night that Bill Clinton was speaking. I met him for drinks at his hotel around 4, so that we could watch the role call, and hang out together for the speeches. (full disclosure: his wife is one of my bridesmaids). As we are running through our various adventures in the last 24 hours, we watch, on TV, as Senator Clinton suspends the rules of convention and nominates Senator Obama by acclimation. What are we doing? Eating nachos. We realize that we are missing history, so we hightail it (as fast as our snail-paced cab can move through crazy traffic) to Pepsi. JL has a pass to the fancy hidden bar on the first floor of the convention center, which of course means free stuff. As it is against every fiber of my being to turn down free stuff, we decide to grab a drink before we head to the floor. All of a sudden Bill Clinton's voice is being projected a few mere feet from where we are sitting. We sprint for the secret back entrance that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-08) just walked through, but the fire marshal had closed down the floor. After sprinting around the basement, through the boiler room (JL has a pass - I told you, it's a crazy caste system), and a brief jog to where the suites and Honored guests are seated (where I sat on Monday), we dash to the 3rd floor (where I sat on Tuesday). Nothing is open. So we go back to the "cool kids" bar to watch the rest of the evening speeches.

Then I heard what moved me to absolute tears.

Beau Biden introduces his father: [youtube=]

Vice Presidential Nominee Joe Biden spoke next:


Afterwards, JL and I went on a tour of parties, none of which really stand out to me now. It was a late night spent chatting and drinking. I was exhausted and glad that the next day would be a bit of calm after 3 whirlwind days.