I looked around the floor of the convention today and realized that I had something in common with all of the people sitting around me: We are Democrats! And that means that we believe in a strong economy that is based on work and fair and equal wages; we believe in educating everyone, not just the people that can afford it; we believe that health care is a fundamental right, not a privilege; and we believe that the role of government is to protect and serve even the weakest and poorest of citizens, among other important values. As Democrats, we automatically have something in common and that's a good feeling, especially when we live in a complicated society that requires less and less personal interaction with other people. When was the last time that you actually went inside of your bank? When was the last time that you actually paid a bill in person? These are the tasks in life that used to require people to meet and get to know eachother. But, that world no longer exists - not to the extent that it used to anyway. So it feels good to know that some people still value the same things that I do.
Hillary's speech was outstanding! I found myself reflecting upon her campaign and wondering whether she really was misunderstood the way she claimed to be because everything coming out of her mouth wreaked of a unifying message that is closely related to Barack's. I laughed out loud when she said "no way, no how, no McCain". I think that remark was meant for the Democrats who have said that they would vote for McCain if Hillary didn't win the nomination. I'm glad that she (and Chelsea) seemed genuinely happy to talk about the strengths of Barack's candidacy. I think it must be difficult to fight so hard for a nomination and not get it. I think it takes real courage to lick your wounds and then join the other side. I'm not sure that I could lose the nomination gracefully as she has done, but I am grateful for her courage. I am proud of Hillary's ability to move forward for the sake of the party. And I hope that her supporters will honor her by doing the same.
Importantly, I also looked around the room this evening and realized that I was sitting amongst greatness...my assigned seat was sandwiched between State Representative Rosemary Marshall and State Representative Terrance Carroll who are wonderful people that I have met before, but also good stewards of resources and good examples of leadership. I have often wondered how both of them can maintain a positive attitude even when they are dealing with uneven odds, but both of them always seem to do so. They are pleasant people to be around and they show everyone the respect that, I think, every citizen deserves. Other people that I sat near or saw included Governor Bill Ritter, Ann Curry from the Today Show, Andrea Mitchell, and Gloria Allred. I saw Spike Lee yesterday and I heard that Denzel Washington attended the African-American Council meeting that I attended yesterday. The person that I would most like to meet right now is Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones. The Congressional Black Caucus did a wonderful tribute to her during the convention this evening. R.I.P.