A Look Back At The DNC Convention

On September 30, 2012, in Road Trip 2012, by tommy

The RNC and DNC Conventions were defining of this year’s presidential race. On August 28th – just after the RNC and just before the DNC – Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight Blog at the New York Times had President Obama’s odds of winning at 68.7% and Romney at 31.3%. From that point on, it’s been all Obama; as of September 28, President Obama is at 82.7 with Romney dropping to 17.3%. The RNC’s Convention was a party for the country club while the DNC’s was a party for the country.

Having the advantage of being credentialed media in addition to a National Delegate allowed the opportunity to talk to media from across the country that covered both events, and universally the response was that Charlotte was a much more open event, for the media, delegates, and average citizens alike. Tampa, I was repeatedly told, was a high security, keep people and the press away event – and the further away the better. At Charlotte, the limited protests that actually were present could and did get right downtown into the heart of where the action was. Fundie Westboro types set up literally on the sidewalk in front of the Convention Center – with AMPLIFIERS. And I capitalized that, because they were VERY LOUD. And obnoxious, too.

So there were some clear differences between the Conventions. Here’s some of my observations from Charlotte:

It was a lot of fun to Road Trip to Charlotte with a couple of guys; we met on Friday at DFL HQ on Plato. The crew got to know each other much better AND have some fun on the way down – like seeing the fake lemons outside of Lyin’ Ryan’s office in Janesville, Wisconsin. If I were better and faster with iMovie, I’d have a YouTube made of Cliff’s BS Detector going crazy on I-94, and following it to where fake lemons hung like Christmas ornaments in a tree. Which surprised the three of us; we figured why have fake lemons outside when the real lemon was the congressman inside?

One of the slurs GOPers like to hurl at us on the left side of the aisle is we’re “Big-City Democrats.” So I found it ironic that the GOP held their convention in a big city, while by no stretch of the imagination is Charlotte a “big city.” Nice city, yes. And with local foods to die for. I absolutely had the best fried chicken, ever. Period. End of story. So I applaud the choice of Charlotte for the convention; I think it makes for a great convention to hold it in a smaller city – it was the biggest show in town and everyone was very happy to have it there. A convention, like the RNC did, in Tampa? A drop in the bucket, for a big city. Plus, it takes away a talking point for the GOPers.

Because Charlotte is a smaller city, The Host Committee had to be very creative in where to stage events – such holding the Saturday night pre-convention Media Party at the North Carolina Music Factory.

The Sunday Night Delegation Welcome Parties were split up and held in a variety of venues. The Minnesota Delegation teamed up with delegates from Louisiana, New York, Puerto Rico, D.C., South Dakota and Texas for a party at a science museum – which reminded EVERYONE that we’re Democrats, because GOPers these days simply don’t believe in science. Other states met at at venues such as the National Whitewater Center and the Carolina Raptor Center and, of course, the NASCAR museum. I thought it was really cool to hold these events in the venues that they did, and a lot more fun than just some convention center hall. Note to 2016 Host Committee — just do it!

Monday was a party for the people – CarolinaFest. It was essentially a big party downtown featuring two music stages with James Taylor as headliner; weather wiped out a performance by Jeff Bridges and the Abiders. Other acts were local in nature – which is a good thing. The Host Committee did their best to make sure as much local flavor as possible was in everything the Host Committee did.

The Convention went off well. I’ve seen a LOT of speeches, and I’ve NEVER seen one as amazing as First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech on opening night. When she was speaking, you could hear a pin drop (between applause); everyone wanted to hear every single word. The place was packed to the rafters – and everyone was paying attention. Even in the corridors it was quiet; everyone was crowded by the TV’s on the wall or running back to (non-existent) seats in the arena. It was so good, I’m going to put it up so people can watch it again!

This version, as of this time, has 1,956,737 views.

I knew it was going to be a great speech. Before speakers go on the stage, copies of their speeches are available to the media so they (we!) can start writing/working before the speech starts. For instance, in the photo to the right, taken in the media area, one intrepid media type is pre-loading her tweets. This photo was taken during President Obama’s address – which, while very, Very, VERY good – didn’t measure up to The First Lady’s, IMNSHO. When I picked up the copy of The First Lady’s speech, and read through it, I knew it was going to be a great one. And the First Lady nailed that speech.

That scene, our intrepid media type standing and tweeting, was typical – especially on Day Three. It was supposed to be held in the Football Stadium; weather concerns caused the finale from being held outdoors with 70,000 to inside. And that move caused about 25,000 to be crammed into an arena that holds 15,000. But as they say: “ya know what?” – the job got done and the stories got written.

The DFL Staff, from Marge Hoffa & Ken Martin & Corey Day to Kate & Carlie & Heidi & everyone – did a great job under sometimes difficult conditions. There’s always SNAFU’s at every event; the issue isn’t the SNAFU – it’s how it’s dealt with. The DFL Staff did a fine job.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that The Mayor – R.T. Rybak – seemed to be everywhere. Including delivering a great speech! “Pyromaniacs shouldn’t blame the fire fighter” – gotta love that line!!!

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t thank my host for the Convention, Dusty Trice. Dusty served as the Director of Digital Strategy for The Host Committee, go to that website and you’ll see his name at the bottom of every page.

And I’d also be remiss if I didn’t thank Paul Bengston of Seven Corners Printing – Paul and Seven Corners made that button way at the beginning; I just hauled ‘em down and handed ‘em out to the Minnesota Delegates.

Finally, I’d like to thank the two guys that Road Tripped this event; we’re a little tired but happy for the memories of a lifetime. From finding fake lemons to taking the scenic route through the mountains to to The Pride Party to being there to nominate President Obama for Four More YEARS! – it was quite a trip. While Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight Blog has this race looking very good for a second term, there is still work to be done before the celebration can begin. There’s only five weekends left before election day on November 6th – and lots of phone calls to make and doors to knock to make sure it IS an election night celebration.

From all the Romney Shambles before the conventions, to all of the differences the two conventions pointed out, to Romney’s Libya & Open Mouth, Then Insert Foot fiasco to Romney’s devastating 47% comments at a fundraiser – all that doesn’t matter if there isn’t an end game and folks don’t show up to vote.

As Paul Wellstone said: “The future belongs to those who are passionate and work hard.”

The future is now.

GOTV – Get Out The Vote.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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One of the nicest things about getting media credentials is the hospitality afforded! Right now, I’m sitting in a bar in Charlotte, courtesy of VisitMyrtleBeach.com and The Congressional Black Caucus Institute. The streets outside are packed; it’s cool, quiet with a buffet of southern cuisine & cold drinks, power to recharge batteries and secure internet access.

Yesterday afternoon was a meeting/briefing by Veterans And Military Families. Several Veterans organizations gave talks about legislation affecting Veterans; especially IAVA.org (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America). The IAVA speaker said he was giving the same talk he gave to the GOP down in Tampa at the GOP Convention (said GOP convention being, per the ol’ TwoPutter’s description on Twitter: #Willard’s #WhopperThon). He stressed the importance of Defending The G.I. Bill. This subject will be covered in detail over the next few weeks. A highlight was meeting a 91 year old WWII Veteran and Convention Delegate named Stephen Sherman, who started the Dorie Miller Memorial Foundation.

Last night Team Obama held a new media Happy Hour; it was at a bar (yes, I’ve been in several of ‘em whilst here!) next to The PPL’s HQ. Three staffers talked about what the campaign was doing, and where it would be going post-endorsement. The place was packed with new media types from all over; it was fun renewing acquaintance with a Minnesotan now in NYC who is working with SaveGranny.org; she worked on a quick video about what happens if what Lyin’ Ryan & His Pal Willard get their “plan” passed.

This morning the Minnesota & South Dakota Delegations had the opportunity to hear Newark Mayor Cory Booker – before he trashed his ankle. DFL Chair Ken Martin gave a rousing intro to Governor Mark Dayton, who gave a great talk – and then Booker knocked it over the fence and out of the park. His speech should be on prime-time TV. Luchelle Stevens talked Voter ID and State Senator Scott Dibble finished the morning session with a talk about the anti-equality ballot the GOP stuck on the ballot this fall. If you’re watching the Convention tonight, look for all the Vote No tee shirts in the Minnesota Delegation.

One of the many things I’ve really enjoyed here in Charlotte is the food – to give you an idea of what’s here, here’s a quick YouTube – let’s look!

More, later.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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Notes From DNC Charlotte, Day 3

On September 3, 2012, in Road Trip 2012, Videos, by tommy

Charlotte is proving to be a great pick for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. For last night’s Welcoming Reception for State Delegations, the Host Committee split the Delegations up and sent them to a dozen venues. Minnesotans joined with Louisiana, New York, Puerto Rico, D.C., South Dakota and Texas – and the event was held at Discovery Place, a science museum. Other Delegations had their welcoming receptions at venues such as the National Whitewater Center and the Carolina Raptor Center. It was really cool to attend a major party in a museum!

Today is CarolinaFest, essentially a big party downtown featuring two music stages (James Taylor is headliner; Jeff Bridges and the Abiders is who I’m looking forward to) with local crafts, food, and – of course! – beer! North Carolina is home to a lot of breweries.

I’ll also be at a “Daily Briefing” held by National Journal, The Atlantic and CBS; topic for today is “The Digital Campaign and Social Media’s Impact in 2012″ with panelists from Google, Facebook and Twitter.

The following is one of 40 videos the Host Committee produced that focus on different aspects of Charlotte; this one helps explain why Charlotte is such a beautiful city – let’s look!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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DNC Convention Notes, Morning Of Day 2

On September 2, 2012, in DFL Events, Videos, by tommy

Charlotte is turning out to be a great choice for Host City for the 2012 Democraic Convention. It’s big enough, but not too big – and the Host Committee is making the RNC Convention in Tampa look pathetic already. Last night was a Media Reception that was an incredible success. Held at the North Carolina Music Factory and in every venue within it, over 15,000 people partied in a way that sets a new standard for Host Cities. Rather than putting everyone in one big room, it was a series of parties with a genre for everyone, starting with local comedians roasting everything at The Comedy Zone (and I have to say, Dusty Trice’s stand up act was hilarious!) to every kind of music act anyone would want to hear. The Convention’s Host Committee has gone above the call of duty to include as much local influence as it could.

One aspect that hits home for yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, is making this convention as acessible as possible for new media – such as bloggers! Literally next door to the Convention Center is a group called The PPL (think=”people”), where I’m headed shortly to check in and receive credentials. Let’s look!

As always, I’ll be tweeting throughout the day – stay tuned!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there>

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Road Trip DNC – Ryan’s Fake Lemons

On September 1, 2012, in republiCon, by tommy

Rolling down I-90 through Wisconsin on the way to the Democratic National Convention, the ol’ BS Detector sarted pegging. No surprise; we were near Janesville. Wanting to see what the fuss was about, it led us to the Congressional Office of Teller Of Tall Tales, Paul Ryan. Which led to the following tweet!

Yes, gentle readers, there are indeed fake lemons hanging in the tree in front of Ryan’s Congressional Office! Which, indeed, is fitting.

Sadly, Ryan is is simply today’s example of You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

Stay tuned; there’s more coming from this Road Trip and excitement at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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Getting Ready for DNC 2012, or…

On August 19, 2012, in Road Trip 2012, by tommy

… #RoadTrip2012, Charlotte Edition!

Two weeks from now, 1200 miles on the road with Brian Baker will be history and the ol’ TwoPutter will be in Charlotte, meeting fellow delegates from Texas, New York, Michigan, South Dakota, North Dakota, Louisiana, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

And I’m really looking forward to meeting the folk from Cajun Country!!!

This gathering will be in preparation to endorse President Obama for four More YEARS!!!

That graphic is the poster I put up at the 3rd CD Convention, when fellow DFLers gave me the honor to represent them as a National Delegate to the DNC in Charlotte. I’m proud to do it.

I also have the honor of receiving Media Credentials to cover the DNC! Which means, for blogging & twitter purposes, I should be able to get into just about every thing!

As Regular Readers know, we have some tech-savvy folk here on MPP (yours truly NOT bein’ one of ‘em), and with any luck we’ll have some kinda gizmo/widget here to keep our Regular Readers what’s happening, through the gonzo reporting out of Charlotte. So, stay tuned!

And if any one wants to, there’s a Two-fer this upcoming Friday night – you can help out your favorite DFL Candidate and help put a few gallons o’ gas in the ol’ TwoPutter’s tank for #RoadTrip2012 – DNC Edition! Thanks!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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OK, we all know that this Saturday, DFL CD3 Delegates (of which I’m one) are going to endorse a candidate to take on – and BEAT!Erik Paulsen, R=Bachmann.

But, that’s not all that’s on the line this Saturday – there’s also an election to see who goes to Charlotte to endorse President Obama for Four More YEARS!!!

And that’s exactly what I want to do – Road Trip to Charlotte2012, to do just that!

So – why am I running, for National Delegate? Simple – it’s about winning in November. By being there in the thick of things I’ll be able to help get our winning message out and help energize our base.

For instance, Charlotte, North Carolina is in the heart of military territory. I was stationed at Fort Bragg (and jumped out of airplanes that took off from Pope Air Force Base!) just down the road in Fayetteville. I’m hearing that there will be a BIG emphasis on taking care of America’s Veterans (something the GOP is notorious for NOT doing) at the Charlotte Convention – and I’d be honored to be able to report back on all of this, and more!

Now, I’ll probably go anyway – I’ve already signed up and given some dough to “The PPL” (pronounced “the people”) in Charlotte; they’ve got media space for bloggers like Yours Truly, the ol’ TwoPutter. And I’ve already submitted my application for Media Credentials to the DNC Host Committee, which means I’ll probably get access to the Convention.

But – and this is a big “BUT” – there’s nothing like live blogging and live tweeting from a Convention Floor!

So here’s the deal – if you’re a Delegate (or, an Alternate that gets moved up and seated) for this Saturday’s CD3 Convention, stick around to the very end and vote for Yours Truly, the ol’ TwoPutter! That way, you’ll get the best in local blogging and tweeting from Charlotte, NC — right here on MPP!!! (If you’re NOT a Delegate (nor an Alternate), but KNOW someone in CD3 that is, give ‘em a call/send ‘em a text/call ‘em on the phone, and tell THEM to vote for Yours Truly, the ol’ TwoPutter!)

And If you have any questions prior to the very end o’ Saturday’s CD3 Convention, just track me down. Or better yet – attend one of the Training Sessions on Saturday – either 9:00 am or 10:00 am – entitled Effectively Using Social Media presented by MN Progressive Project Bloggers Joe Bodell, The Big E, and Yours Truly – the ol’ TwoPutter!

Oh – I also started taking iMovie trainings at the Apple store; I’d like to make some YouTubes of the festivities relating to endorsing President Obama for Four More YEARS!!!

And floor access would really, Really, REALLY be a wonderful thing….

For examples of previous YouTubes I’ve been in follow!

And don’t forget to vote for Yours Truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, on Saturday!

“Veterans To Emmer: You Suck!”

(direct link to YouTube)

“Veteran For Al Franken”

(direct link to YouTube)

“How VooDoo You Do?”

(that silence at the beginning? Doesn’t last long; it’s just GOPer Governor Bobby Jindal, who really didn’t have anything real to say…and watch the whole thing; you’ll never guess who I refer to, at the end!)

(direct link to YouTube)

“Baghdad Bob Meets Delano Tom”

(direct link to YouTube)

And don’t forget to vote for yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, for National Delegate on Saturday!!!

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