The Political Great Whine is at the 2016 Democratic National Convention! As you might expect the place is teeming with political and Hollywood celebrities and so far three have been spotted by yours truly! This post is a recap of day two’s event through the eyes of The Political Great Whine. Hope you enjoy it!
First, as I was trying to get out of the hot and humid Philadelphia heat, I saw this golf cart thing and was about to beg the driver to take me to the media pavillion. He told me he was waiting to escort someone who turned out to be CNN’s Mike Smercornish. Nice guy but he wasn’t about to share his driver…Darn it. Then, I went to another cart that was empty, so I sat down. Then this guy runs towards me saying that I’m in his cart and who’s behind him…none other than the Rev. Al Sharpton with his assistant. They didn’t look friendly at all and definitely wasn’t going to share. So I ended up having to walk the long, hot concrete road all the way there. It is hot in Philly…literally!! I stopped to catch my breath and cool down a little bit when I saw yet another golf cart drive by me, mockingly and who was in it…CNN’s Jake Tapper. So that’s how it is…carts for the celebrities and long, hot walks for the “unknowns”. Anyway…alas, I made it to the nice, cool media pavillion to join the other day laborers in media and took my place in the open seating area where I was able to cool off and prepare to go inside the arena. So…now on to activities inside the convention. To keep things brief, I am only going to mention a few personal highlights. If you would like to watch day 2 of the convention in its entirety, it is available here.
When I arrived inside the hall, the roll call voting had begun but I managed to see a few key moments like when Bernie Sander’s brother, Larry, cast the vote for Democrats Living Abroad for him. Both Hillary and Bernie supporters, including Bernie himself, was moved by that. I admit that my eyes filled with water too. Larry spoke about how their parents worked hard and died young, and how they would be proud of Bernie Sanders. He is clearly proud of Bernie and there wasn’t even a hint of sibling rivalry or jealousy…just genuine brotherly love. The mood in the place was very positive and the negativity from the bitter Bernie supporters on Day 1 was already a distant memory. There were still a few in the place, but you could hardly hear them.
By now, everyone is aware of the DNC email hacking/scandal which revealed that the DNC leadership may have been biased in favor of Hillary Clinton. It is hard not to know since it lead to the ousting of DNC Chairwoman, Deborah Wasserman Schultz who was abruptly removed from the convention proceedings (may discuss that in a separate post). Well, the interim Chairwoman is Donna Brazille and long-time Democrat who is highly respected by both Democrats and Republicans alike. When she was introduced, the whole place erupted in applause and several sections gave her a standing ovation, so it would not come as a surprise if her interim position becomes a permanent one very soon. Brazille’s speech was engaging and light which resonated very well with the crowd. Again, the mood was very positive.
My next favorite was watching the young men from the Eagle Academy in Bronx, NY take stage to recite “Invictus”. Their principal, David Banks, provided some “dose of reality” statistics about how in 2004, “The high school graduation rate was only around 30% and 75% of New York State’s entire prison population came from just 7 neighborhoods in New York city….” The audience was silent at that point. He went on to say that since 2004, the Eagle Academy (located in 5 locations) has graduated over 4,000 young men and 98% of their graduates is accepted to college. It is amazing what education and dedication can do for community. The icing on the cake was when the young men recited the poem “Invictus” written by William Ernest Henley and made famous by Nelson Mandela.
Another powerful moment was when the mothers of victims of police brutality took to the stage. It was stated that there are a lot of good cops and there was no hostility or animosity towards the wonderful folks in blue. As I looked around the room, I saw that there were people of different races chanting “Black lives matter”.
Then we heard from former President Bill Clinton who told the crowd his own personal story about the Democratic presidential nominee. He spoke about their courtship and how he pursued her. WHO knew that their marriage started out with love and wasn’t a business deal! I do not recall EVER hearing President Clinton talk about their relationship, how he fell in love with her in the springtime, and married his best friend. Wow…sounds like the chemistry between President Obama and First Lady Michelle has influenced him! It was nice and I could hear a lot of “Ahhhhhs” but somehow…I still don’t get romantic chemistry between Bill and Hillary like I do between Barack and Michelle. He said it convincingly, but it would have come across more authentically if he was repeating that love story instead of just telling it for the first time.
What could ever top Donald Trump’s entrance and introduction of Melania Trump at the 2016 RNC Convention when he came out with the fog light and the sound of Queen’s, “We are the Champions”??? Well, it is Hillary Clinton breaking the glass ceiling/wall to become the first woman to be President!! All I can say is…AMAZING!!!! She has not even given her acceptance speech yet and already things are feeling historic. What a way to end day 2!
After it was over, I was enjoying the energy of the packed crowd and was dreading the long walk back. FINALLY, a kind police officer who in a cart drove me near the exit gate and I was able to make it back to my car without falling out. I am now off to the Convention to get the scoop! Tonight promises to be awesome because President Obama will speak! I need to get there early to get a good spot which I am learning is very hard to get and I am completely dependent on the “kindness of strangers”! Hopefully, I will encounter a kind cart driver to give me a lift to the media pavillion although I am not a fancy celebrity. Will keep you posted (pun intended)!
Thanks for “listening” to me whine. Hopefully my whining has made you think. If so, tell your friends/family/colleagues that you heard it through the Political Great Whine!