Monday, September 1, 2008

DNC Recap: Highlights & Lowlights

There are moments when you feel yourself standing in the midst of history. Every single conversation, interaction, moment seems to hold greater importance. You can hear yourself describing every detail to your grandchildren as you’re caught in that moment.

That’s what Denver was.

It was an hour, a day, a week trapped in history, soaked in historical significance. The fact that Barack’s speech was given on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, as thousands flocked to the stadium with one common cause, made it that much more poignant. I don’t mean to be melodramatic, but you could feel the energy, the passion, the power of now, of this moment in our times. As the streamers came down and the fireworks went off, I remember looking up at the sky – feeling that anything was possible at that moment. That this is the essence of the American Dream – the sincere hope that our days before us will be better, more prosperous, more promising than the dark days behind us.

Obama’s awe-inspiring speech, the thousands of chanting Americans from all walks of life speaking in one voice, the American flags blowing in the cool, crisp Denver summer evening breeze was the culmination, the climax, the pinnacle of a phenomenal week.

Looking back on the week – here are a few highlights (and lowlights).

Top 5 Highlights:
5) Friendly locals. Seriously the Nicest. People. Ever.
4) Perennial Party with a Purpose events. Throughout the week, the Perennial Strategy Group hosted a celebration of Civil Rights Icons with Dorothy Heights and the Martin Luther King Jr. family. They hosted “A Season for Change” Reception with Chris Tucker, Biz Markie, and Musiq Soulchild and a “I Have a Dream” Celebration with Susan Sarandon and Spike Lee. Celebrities + Politics = My Ultimate Affair.
3) Every Women Counts Celebration. Lifetime and Rock the Vote hosted a late-night event to celebrate and inspire women to vote and lead. Guests included the Army Wives, Taye Diggs and a performance by Ashanti.
2) Manifest Hope Gallery. The gallery spotlights artists across the nation who use their voices to motivate the grassroots movement surrounding the Obama campaign. Dozens of Obama-inspired artwork were showcased at the gallery during the convention.
1) Speeches. Special kudos to Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and – of course – Barack Obama.

Top 5 Lowlights:
5) Frustrated locals (who made it quite obvious that they were not a fan of the thousands who came to disrupt their Denver way of life).
4) Protestors. I’m all about the first amendment but the Nobama protestors and the Clinton Supporters for McCain (all 3 of them) were just plain obnoxious. Boo.
3) Losing my voice.
2) Having a strong desire to cut off my ankles after endless walking/ standing.
1) Credentials. Ok, so I knew it would be difficult getting creds for all of the events and to gain access to the Pepsi Center and Colorado Center – but I had no idea how bad it would be. Unless you were a delegate, you had a better chance of finding a needle in haystack than getting credentials. Most people played the "it’s not what you know but who you know" game.

All and all, it was a fabulous convention. Stay tuned for more!

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