LIVE: Continuously Updated Democratic National Convention Blog
Here is a delegate's-eye-view of the big doings in Charlotte, NC. We will provide dispatches from Swampscott's two delegates representing Massachusetts at the Democratic National Convention.
Here are dispatches from Swampscott's Margaret Somer and Ralph Edwards.
Margaret and Ralph Edwards are excited to be among 81 members of the delegation from Massachusetts who will nominate President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for a second term and approve the Democratic Party platform.
Thursday, Sept. 6
Margaret files this dispatch on the convention.
Last night, I sat on the Democratic Convention floor, 10 feet from Wolf Blitzer and the CNN booth. Piers Morgan was nearby interviewing Gov. Deval Patrick. For some folks, seeing movie stars is exciting. I was fascinated to see and talk with outstanding journalists and accomplished political leaders from around the country.
Last night, the highlight was former Pres. Bill Clinton's speech. He gave us the story behind the story - how the. "sausages" are actually made - the laws and policies that ensure a fair shot for all.
This includes a chance for health care, a good education, a job, a home and retirement. And unending Democratic initiatives to advance small business and the American economy.
The diversity here is wonderful, truly a cross section of America. The atmosphere this week at the DNC is warm, hospitable and enthusiastic. We continually meet new people, exchange ideas and end with a hug.
Cong. Barney Frank just spoke. And famed Civil Rights leader Cong. John Lewis. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Dem. Natl. Chair, and breast cancer survivor, spoke too.
Then, a great blues singer with the entire Convention up on our feet and dancing.
I feel so lucky and privileged to be part of this Democratic Party and this great Convention.
Wednesday, Sept 5
Ralph filed this dispatch after hearing Michelle Obama speak on Tuesday night.
What a night! What a celebration of America and our ideals and values! The American Dream is neither a sprint nor a marathon; it's a relay. Sometimes a phrase captures it all. This does for me. We all want to do our best and we want our progeny to do better. And it is with the support of our family, our community, and our government that we do better.
The voice of the convention was united and harmonious. Tears of joy were apparent on male and female faces. The poetry of this wonderful America was expressed and frequently brought the audience to its feet with thunderous applause. A sense of us, our, we, and together prevailed from the third grade class in the Pledge to Michelle's remarkable remarks.
A clear message on the importance of values.
Tuesday, Sept. 4
Ralph files this dispatch on the Mass delegates' activities.
Each morning the MASS delegation comes together for breakfast, announcements, and speeches.
Today, Governor Patrick, Elizabeth Warren, Howard Dean, Speaker DeLepo, and David Simas spoke. Each speaker described the importance of re-electing the President and David on how it can be done.
Basically, Mitt wants to revive the past Republican "trickle down" approach whereas Dems will invest in the middle class.
Also, folks from Mass will be asked to describe the real Mitt. I see him as a good businessman if making money is the sole objective. Governing, however, is a different skill set. You can't just sell Mississippi cause it's poor!
Okay, there is a health reform forum and the women's caucus and First Lady Michelle Obama!
Ralph files this dispatch on impressions from a first-time delegate.
"Fired Up!; Ready to Go!" As my son Jonathan and I adjust to the heat and humidity of Charlotte, we see hundreds of Democrats with political paraphanelia expressing their pride in the Country, the Democratic party and particularly, the President. Those who've been to previous conventions are eager to share their experience. Us first timers look to find out the secrets of getting extra tickets to receptions and guests on to the floor of the convention. AND there is much happening! In addition to caucuses for a variety of groups, there are numerous forums on business, health, military families, education, etc. Each has speakers that are the experts in their field. Selecting which to attend is as tantalizing as choosing a breakfast item at Mildred's. The Massachusetts delegation shares a hotel with Illinois; that makes us special since that's the President's homestate. And our Senator, Governor and future Senator all have key roles in the convention. At the morning delegation breakfast - Jon may attend the daily "Prayer Breakfast" - there are key speakers on campaign issues. There is asense of unity, optimism and for many, joy in doing this work for our country. Several people shared the sacrifice they make to be politically involved and to come to the convention. Most of us appear to be working and middle-class people who are proud of the progress made in creating opportunities for individuals to seek the American dream. There was a serious thunderstorm on Monday and more are forecast for the week. This may require adjustments for the President's acceptance speech. We'll have to see. Ralph
Monday, Sept. 3
Margaret files a photo of Jesse Jackson and her thoughts about President Barack Obama.
I thought I would share with you my thoughts on this area of the President's work.
Inspired by Obama’s Accomplishments – The Economy
By Margaret Somer, Swampscott, MA delegate to the Democratic National Convention, Former Chair, Swampscott Democratic Town Committee; Trainer, Obama for America (OFA), Northeast MA
The Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in September feels like a culmination of years of activism. In 1968, I went door to door in Framingham, talking to voters about Senator Gene McCarthy for President. I went on to support Sen. McGovern’s presidential campaign, the grape and lettuce boycotts of the Farmworkers Union, the civil rights movement, and so many more social and political initiatives. Bill Clinton’s campaigns and Presidency represented well my centrist views. I have been a union member, owned two home based businesses, and now, my main professional interests are small business, technology and entrepreneurship. My Master’s degree at Tufts focused on economic development and small business. With this perspective, I have been awed by President Barack Obama’s extraordinary range of accomplishments in the face of numerous economic challenges.
In 2008, we faced the worst recession since the Great Depression. President Obama initiated both long term fundamental changes, and shorter term projects. He focused on the pillars of middle class security: a good education, a home, good jobs, health care and retirement. Big picture, through government financing, he helped stimulate the turnaround of the auto industry, which is tied to one eighth of the American economy. This industry includes auto manufacturing and sales, car dealers, parts makers and sellers, auto mechanics and car washes. The auto industry loans have mostly been paid back, GM is back on top, and 2011 was one of the best years ever in car sales. Shorter term, he spiked sectors of the economy through projects like the Cash for Clunkers and First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Programs. Through the Economic Recovery Act and the SBA, tens of thousands of American small businesses obtained lower priced bank loans and were able to stabilize and grow. You can read more atwww.barackobama.com/record.
For me, attending the Democratic National Convention, supporting President Obama, and celebrating his achievements is an honor and an important part of helping to strengthen the American economy.
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