Hillary Clinton knocked her convention speech into the mile-high night. A big-game performer is right. She did what Barack needed and more. Best speech she ever delivered.
What’s it like to attend a presidential political convention? A half dozen or so Bridgeport pols, including Mayor Bill Finch and his wife Sonya (a Hillary Clinton delegate), sojourned to Denver to take in the light air, intrigue and anticipation leading to Barack Obama’s formal nomination.
I imposed on Bridgeport City Council President Tom McCarthy to share a flavor for the convention atmosphere. His report, from the convention floor, follows:
Writing to you live from day 2 of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. I am currently listening to Rahm Emanual, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He worked closely with Diane Farrell and currently with Jim Himes in their runs for Congress in the 4th district. This is my second Democratic Convention. I went to Boston 4 years ago. It is incredibly exciting to be here. You have a feeling of being part of history. Hillary Clinton is scheduled to speak tonight and there is a huge buzz in the Pepsi Center. She has a lot of support among the Democrats here. I think the press has blown the division in the party issue out of proportion. The large majority of Clinton supporters (of which I am one) that I have talked to are completely behind Obama. I think Hillary’s speech will go a long way to unifying the party.
A few impressions of the convention:
1) Security: the level of protection for the convention is impressive. There are multiple layers and perimeters one has to go through before you get into the arena. They check your credentials mutlpile times and even have a check for counterfeit credentials. It is like getting on an airplane multiplied by 10.
2) Denver: this is my first time in the Mile High City. It is a very welcoming place. Friendly, clean and very new. The downtown looks like it was all built in the last few years. There seems to be a very active downtown. The most interesting thing from a City Council perspective is the light rail system. It is a very impressive, yet simple system to get people in and out of downtown. What is most interesting is that the rail runs a distance in Denver that is similar to the distance between Bridgeport and Stamford. That has led to a few interesting conversations among myself, Mayor Finch and Mayor Malloy of Stamford.
3) Taking advantage of opportunities: Mayor Finch grabbed me last night and pulled me into a conversation with a well dressed gentleman. Finch introduced him to me as a high ranking official in the US Department of Transportation. Well, Finch and I proceeded to lobby hard for federal money for the Congress Street bridge. Will it lead to any money, who knows, but being at the convention leads to opportunities to talk to people who make decisions important to Bridgeport.
I am going to sign off now. While writing this there have been many great speakers. I am excited and deeply honored to be here at the Democratic Convention. I, also, am more sure than ever that we need to elect a president that cares about issues that affect cities like Bridgeport. That is why I am voting for Barack Obama.
Hey, everyone, mark your calendars. The next OIB party will be September 25, 5:30 p.m. at Captain’s Cove Seaport. I’m inviting all candidates so we can torture them a little. No speeches. Just fun and a chance to schmooze the candidates. First drink is on OIB. We’ll also have munchies.
And one more thing, it’s the first day of school. Good luck to the kids, teachers, administrators and Superintendent of Schools John Ramos.