I went to breakfast with the Indiana delegation yesterday morning at the Sheraton Hotel outside of Denver. Senator Evan Bayh joined the group, posing for photos and accepting warm standing ovations from the delegates. It was easy to see the disappointment in the room; many of these intense political Hoosiers wanted Bayh to pave the way to the White House. Sen. Bayh, however, was not discouraged. Of the missed chance at the vice presidential nomination, he said, “I don’t suspect you make it to the final two or three unless you’ve got something going for you.” He also voiced his support for Sen. Obama and his opinion of the celebrity status with which Sen. Obama has been pegged. “I think it’s shameful of the Republicans to mock him for his ability to inspire young people,” he commented. By the end of his speech, the Indiana delegation seemed satisfied with Sen. Bayh’s cheerful comment that he’ll be ready in eight years, presumably to make a bid for the presidency.
After making my way back downtown, I headed to the Rock the Vote tent to volunteer for fieldwork hours. I was given a black tee shirt with a huge 13.3 on the front. I later learned that 13.3 is the number in millions of 19-29 year olds who do not have health insurance. Rock the Vote is continuing a numbers campaign all during the DNC to help get important facts out to potential voters and get them involved with the coming election. I handed out flyers and answered questions about Rock the Vote just outside of the Colorado Convention Center, a prime protest area since the Pepsi Center has such a large security perimeter. It was a collision of opposites: Planned Parenthood handing out condoms and anti-abortion vans with pictures of fetuses; McCain supporters, Obama supporters, and Clinton supporters, Iraq Veterans against the war and war advocates. The security was tight, though, and all in all the protests were peaceful, though the excitement building each night to Thursday’s acceptance speech may escalate the activity of street protests.
The second night of the DNC was just as highly attended as the first night, if not more. Crowds gathered early to get a seat in order to see Senator Clinton’s speech. She threw out some interesting soundbytes including, “No way. No how. No McCain,” and, “[…] it makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities. Because these days they’re awfully hard to tell apart.” Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana also made a speech that excited the crowd.
I watched part of the events from the watch party in the Wells Fargo Theater in the Colorado Convention Center and then headed back to Regis University to get ready for Wednesday’s events, which include speeches from former President Bill Clinton and vice presidential nominee Joe Biden as well as the roll call of delegates. The DNC is half over, and the intermission is drawing to a close; the next two days will be important for the success of the Democratic campaign for the White House.
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The official blog of the Indiana Statesman