Hello, Friends! Tonight’s entry will be brief because it is almost 3:30 a.m., credential call is at 7:00 a.m., and I am plain tuckered out. I promise to catch up on details tomorrow night, so please bear with me. At some point I’ll also fill y’all in on my experience with the Huffington Post Oasis, a complimentary rejuvenation service right in the midst of the madness, just steps away from the convention hall. The Huffington Post, along with Off The Mat, Into The World, hosts the Oasis — a reminder to find balance in the hustle and bustle of the conventions. On the activity list? Private and group yoga classes, massages, mini-facials, makeup refreshes, sleep consultations, meditation and healthy snacks. The Oasis operated in Tampa, during the RNC, and has set up in Charlotte to provide a calming respite for harried conventioneers here. I’ve posted one pic, but will talk more about the Oasis later because it is just that cool.
The buses are still giving the delegates and guest fits as they fail to show up on time and take an inordinate amount of time to complete the proscribed loops. Carol LeBlanc (Raceland, LA) and I finished breakfast and walked out front to where the bus should have been waiting — we rushed to finish so as not to miss it — but no bus. We waited for about 45 minutes until a few friends came out to claim the taxi they’d summoned and invited us to ride with them since they had two extra seats. So we did. Arriving at the Convention Center, a crew from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation asked me for an interview. The reporter asked a few issues-based questions, then inquired about what I was most looking forward to during the Convention. I told her — and I guess lots of Canadians — that I was most excited about hearing Michelle Obama’s speech and to the Irish-American Democrats party on Wednesday night! (More on the latter later.)
At about 8:30 this evening, several folks texted me at once, telling me they’d seen me on national T.V. I asked each of them how my hair looked!
Tonight was the first full night of the actual convention and the arena was electrified as one fantastic speaker after another took to the podium, squared off at the lectern and faced the teleprompter. My favorites included Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Kathleen Sebelius, Rahm Emanuel, Cory Booker, Joseph Kennedy III, Martin O’Malley, Julian Castro, and — of course — Michelle Obama.
Moving forward, not backward was the major theme of this first evening, and the DNC faced controversial issues head-on, from don’t ask/don’t tell to women’s reproductive rights. They took no prisoners as they held forth the Democratic Party Platform as the mission for America. The crowd went wild.
Small groups of energetic women worked each aisle, handing out the signs and conducting a sort of impromptu choreography with the delegates, instructing them when to hold up and wave them. There were five signs, each one reading FORWARD, NOT BACKWARD, OPPORTUNITY, OPPORTUNIDAD (sp), and I LOVE MICHELLE!
I cannot tell you how thrilling it was when Michelle walked out on stage and we all whipped out our I LOVE MICHELLE signs. A veritable sea of signs proclaimed our affection for our charming and intelligent first lady. She did a very slight double take as she entered the stage that I somehow feel was genuine. Could she really not have known that this was planned, or was it just that she had not adequately prepared for the overwhelming impact of all those signs held by all those people. The arena erupted into applause as soon as she stepped onstage and the sound was deafening. It was truly one of the most impressive social events I have ever participated in and/or observed. I am really so very glad to be here . . .
She gave the best speech of the evening, as usual, and all across the arena, eyes welled up. She spoke of being young and in love and in debt, as she described how she and Barack had taken out so many student loans to pay for college. She was a marvel!
Michelle, I love you!