Wow! What a first day! Face it, any day that concludes with a half hour of the First Lady, following a run-up by exemplary speakers can only be awesome.
But that's the public part of the convention, the speeches in the arena being but six hours out of 24, and there certainly are all sorts of things going on the other 18. I have tried to figure out how many people are involved with this convention, but it's only a guess. Between the thousands of delegates and alternates, and their guests (which likely doubles the original 6,000), the local volunteers, the volunteers from other places, the organizations that have brought in people for panel discussions, rallies, protests (some of which go overnight), the speakers on the podium, as well as speakers at other venues, the media and the press (which are two completely different things to the DNCC), the security personnel (Secret Service, local police, police from surrounding areas, rent-a-cops, and others), first aid/health care workers, vendors, and of course the convention workers, I'm thinking 25,000 people easily.
The convention, beyond the floor speeches, is very different for everyone. There are scads of organizations here putting on panel discussions and hospitality suites to push their agendas: mostly on press, not media, but they will allow in delegates. There are tons of parties for the delegates with headlining speakers. There are caucuses, which I had wrongly assumed would be working sessions, but are instead huge indoor rallies.
I attended part of the Women's Caucus yesterday. The kick-off speaker was Nancy Pelosi, who opened by explaining that she is celebrating 25 years in Congress, and using that milestone to raise money to, amount other things, help to get Obama re-elected. "women have the most to gain by his re-election," she said, "and the most to lose if he doesn't. The Republicans aree not just against abortion, but also birth control. They want to be in your bedroom, and not in a good way."
I also attended a rally, and that post will be up later this morning.
Spent some time at one of the first aid center, icing my knee. Had a great conversation with the nurses, who were terrific, although they did try to get me to take pain killing drugs. There is an incredible amount of walking, through huge crowds. I look at the people managing to get around in wheelchairs and believe that as a society, we need to do more for the disabled.
My greatest knowledge relates to the difference between media and press, the former being the huge organizations that have bought out venues in Charlotte, spending likely millions, and everyone else. I've been taking notes and pictures and will have a post up on it after the convention ends.
Today, I plan to attend a panel discussion breakfast, interview some delegates, and possibly give an interview (it seems strange to me, but we'll see what happens). Then, I plan to get a floor pass and tweet from the convention floor this evening.