Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kerry, Clinton Come Out Swinging...and I was there.

Last night, through an extreme level of luck, some creativity, and the desire to witness history, I was able to make it onto the floor of the Democratic National Convention. In a mass of humanity that would make the most social person feel overwhelmed, a slipped in with the New York delegation to watch some of the most renouned leaders of the Democratic Party.

John Kerry and Bill Clinton gave out standing speeches. Kerry's may have been the best of his career (Where was that four years ago?). Bill Clinton put his differences aside and fully pledged his support to Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Both men slammed John McCain and George Bush, with Kerry implying that McCain was a flip-flopper.

Biden was more sentimental in his acceptance, but did not hesitate to throw some jabs at his friend John McCain and even have a little Freudian slip, confusing McCain and Bush. Last night surpassed all of my expectations, and I was there to witness a little bit of American history.

In true Obama fashion, the Senator showed up with three minutes left in the official convention schedule, which made my entire experience here even better. As I write this, I am waiting to see if the NJ Delegation will provide me with tickets to tonight's event at Invesco...I will remain hopeful.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Clinton's Grand Slam

Last night Hillary Clinton delivered an address that is arguably the best of her career. In an appeal to unite the Democratic Party behind Barack Obama, she poured her heart out about her love for the party and the values she truely believes in. A speech that definitely had the potential to make one laugh, as well as cry, attacked John McCain on a number of issues. She even went so far as to call John McCain and George Bush twins and made reference to their appearance in the Twin Cities next week. My favorite quote of the public address, "No way, No how, No McCain."

In a rare and exciting opportunity, I was able to attend a join delegation party between New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida. At this closed event, I was able to meet Governors Corzine, Rendell, and Patterson, in addition to the entire Clinton family. Hillary and Bill Clinton both made remarks to the private crowd consisting of people from states that Hillary carried. Her message for unity continued behind closed doors, and she was very grateful for the love and support she received.

Barack Obama can only hope that Bill Clinton's address tonight will continue the message of unity and swing some of the 21% of Hillary's supporters who currently favor John McCain. Let the party continue...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And The Dream Continues...

The last couple days working for the New Jersey delegation has been fantastic. Aside from meeting every major politician from the state and the state party chairman, I have been put in contact with several people who have given me insight on my project. Everyone here has been very welcoming and receptive to a college volunteer.

The first night of the convention was deemed by many to be an emotional and inspiring event. The two standout speakers of the evening were in my opinion Michelle Obama and Senator Ted Kennedy. A convention hall (and the NJ delegation watch party) was filled with tearful supporters who were moved by messages that continued to promote the American Dream as well as party unity.

Some political analysts, such as James Carville, believe that the Democratic Party may have wasted the first night of their convention by pressing unity behind Obama and not going on the immediate offensive against Senator John McCain. Given the lackluster poll response from Joe Biden (Gallup has Obama trailing McCain by a statistically insignificant 2 points), the Dems need all the help they can get. We will see if tonight's address from Hillary Clinton can put aside some of the party differences and give Barack Obama the convention he needs.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Convention Update

Today, another student and I made the decision to go the New Jersey delegation office in an attempt to get hired. We were successful, and I am incredibly excited with this new opportunity. Not only do I have the ability to serve my home state, I have immediate access to all delegation events and the opportunity to meet delegates and elected officials.

A very exciting development that comes along with this new placement is the ability for me to add depth to my superdelegate research by actually being able to interview them about their views on the system. I will be updating as frequently as possible.

Additionally, I would encourage everyone to follow this year's DNC very closely, as it is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and involved political events of our lifetime.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama-Biden Ticket and My Weekend in Denver...

Yesterday was a day of wonderful opportunity. After spending my morning at the Pepsi Center and receiving a sneak peak at the convention floor, I had the opportunity to meet and be addressed by Gov. Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. His address, speaking about the importance of my generation, was one of the most inspiring speeches I have ever heard in my life.

On another topic, at roughly 1:15AM mountain time, I received my text message officially declaring Senator Joe Biden as Barack Obama's running mate for the 2008 Presidential Election. I see a lot of parallels between this year's contest and the election of 1960 between Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard M. Nixon. It is the the idea of the familiar past challenging the progress of the future. The inexperienced Obama's pick of Joe Biden, a very experienced Senator, is reminiscent of Kennedy's selection of Lyndon Johnson, who was one of the most respected and experienced senators of his time.

The selection of Joe Biden provides a nice balance to the Democratic Ticket. His six terms in the US Senate, and his great level of foreign policy experience help to counter Barack Obama's relative lack of foreign policy experience and time in Washington. It also seems as though Biden will be attack dog on John McCain. It will be interesting to see how this developes, and if John McCain will use his VP selection as an opportunity to strike back.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finally to Denver...

This post is going to serve as an introductory, journal-styled entry until I gather more of the academic information we have been discussing in seminar. I am currently staying at Regis University with The Washington Center, who will be providing academic preparation and fieldwork placement for the Democratic National Convention, which starts in six short days. We have been getting academic lectures and been placed into small discussion groups to foster intellectual growth and critical thinking on various political matters. Much of the discussion has already given me further insights on other positions and ideas to consider when writing the substantive portion of my paper to accompany the data set(s). I am looking forward to the next two weeks I am to spend here in Denver and will try to post daily as new ideas, information, and insights become available.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Another Edwards VP Nominee?

Speaker-of-the-House Nancy Pelosi has made a point to start pushing for a Congressman, Rep. Chet Edwards D-TX, to be considered for the VP nomination on the presumptive Obama ticket. Edwards name is now being considered with the likes of Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, and Gov. Tom Kline of Virginia.

The most powerful woman in America could have pushed Edwards name on to the list for a number of reasons. One dominant reason may have to do with geography. Rep. Edwards is from Texas, and his district includes President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tx. In an attempt to try and sew up a state that has been held by Republicans for the last two Presidential elections, Pelosi's geographic variation tactic may work. A lack of name recognition may be hurtful, but time will truly show if the Democratic party will run another "Edwards" for VP.