After the fiasco of the protests and shuttle situations, which continued through the evening, getting to the convention center and experiencing the first day of speeches was more than I could have expected.
I sat in an aisle way that was a popular route for a lot of political powerhouses, not just from California. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Barney Frank and Deval Patrick walked pass me, just to name a few. Tom Ammiano, Mark Leno, Kamala Harris, Ash Kalra, Debra Bowen and others also sat within a few feet of me.
There also seemed to be a lit of cameras and reporters focused on the California delegation: NPR, CBS Radio (they interviewed me), CNN, Fox News and PBS. Celebs passed my way too, including Wayne Knight of Seinfeld fame (a delegate from Oregon), Will.I.Am and Alfre Woodard. Ledisi’s performance was great.
Videos were plentiful. Most notable was the one of Edward Kennedy that played before Joe Kennedy III spoke. The best part was the snippet of Kennedy debating Mitt Romney, we’re he flip flopped on healthcare and Roe vs Wade.
Speeches: just…wow. Obviously, for a lot of people, Michelle Obama was the reason for being there tonight. I think the substance we got from the large amount of speakers was enormous. I was most personally moved by Lilly Ledbetter. It was emotional to out a face to a name and to hear her story in her own voice.
Others who stood out for me: Julian Castro, Elaine Byre (the military mom) and Joe Kennedy III. Tonight was about equality, opportunity and longevity. This resonated with all.
Michelle Obama’s speech was so real, so personal. I loved that she shared vulnerably about the fear of her family changing with a presidential run. The best line from her in my opinion had to do with how being a president doesn’t change you but it reveals who you are.
Personal fun things of the evening: (1) chance meeting with actress Sheryl Lee Ralph that started with her getting someone to buy food for her so she wouldn’t have to stand in line…which led to a fun 20 minute conversation afterwards, (2) meeting and having an equaling fun conversation with Alexis Bledel at the hotel bar afterwards. You may know her best as Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls and (3) meeting the guy from Letterman!
It’s now nearly 3am here in Charlotte, but wanted to put some thoughts about tonight before turning in.