There were many events that went along with the convention, and I worked so much that I did not attend a lot of them. But, I say quality over quantity wins out every time. Here are some of my non-work highlights from the DNC.
One night I was told to go home (quickly), put on a cocktail dress, and come back to the office ASAP. When I returned, our DNC Host Committee staff was ready to head out to the Ohio Delegate party at the NASCAR Hall of Fame where John Legend was performing and Nick Cannon DJing. Let’s just say there were a few of us and we were waiting for the second person with a car that could get into the secure zone, and it was getting late. So, we all piled in the Crown Vic, or as we re-named it — the Clown Vic, and no I won’t tell you how many of us crammed into that car. It was a fun party and I had never seen John Legend live before; he did not disappoint. What a fabulous way to end a tension filled day.
I had been told that because of my position with the Host Committee I would never make it into the Hall for the convention, but Courtney and Laura (the ladies in charge) went out of their way to ensure that my Washington Center cohort, James, and I had the opportunity to do more than work. I received a credential for the second night when President Clinton spoke and the atmosphere was electrifying. Elizabeth Warren, Christina Saralegui and Sandra Fluke gave rousing speeches, but actually being present for President Clinton’s speech was amazing. Maybe that does make me a political science geek.
Courtney told me that she had a pass for President Obama’s speech for me as well, that was, before the change in venue occurred. Once that happened I resigned myself to the fact that I would not see the speech live and I was okay with that. I was grateful for all of the opportunities afforded to me in the past two weeks and I was sad for all those who travelled from across the country to see the President’s speech, but would not gain entry.
I was at home at 5:00 on Thursday, when Laura called and told me to get in the car and get to the office ASAP because they had a credential for me, but the checkpoint would soon close. She hid the credential behind the building because they had to leave. I found it, basically ran from the office to the stadium, and made it through the checkpoint and into the building. I was seated in the upper balcony stage right in a sea of media and delegates.
I still do not understand how I made it into the building, but I am grateful that I did. There were a lot of amazing speeches and moments that night: President Obama was the statesmen, but the right amount of restraint given the current issues facing our country, Vice President Biden, Zach Wahls and John Kerry. That’s right, I said John Kerry — eloquent, passionate and personable. Where was this version of Kerry when he was running for President?Nonetheless, the highlight for me was watching Gabby Giffords walk onto the stage with Debbie Wasserman Schultz to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I do not know how to accurately convey the tone in the stadium during the speeches, but I am appreciative for the opportunity to experience a convention and proud to say that I was part of the process.