|Jerry Gettinger, fourth from the left|
The next in a series of guest posts from Jerry Gettinger, a delegate to the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, and a friend -
I had indicated that I was not going to write until I was in Charlotte and the Democratic convention had begun. However so much has happened and the excitement has soared. In view of that, I want to share with you some details that I have learned. The goings on at and before the convention are quite intricate. As you can imagine, there are thousands of people converging to meet and spend time smoozing, socializing and politicking. In order to keep the proceedings from deteriorating into sheer chaos, every detail has to be coordinated to the smallest item. Credentials are the currency of the event. And, not everyone has the same credential. In order to attend presentations or meals or locations, delegates need certain credentials. For example, one of the days, the vice president may make a presentation concerning civil rights. Not everyone in the Arizona delegation will have the credential to attend the presentation. As you can imagine, security is very tight. So far, the list of items that are not allowed on the floor is 2 pages. It makes an airport checkpoint look easy. By the way, it is reassuring to have such care.
We just learned that the voting delegates (of which I am one), will be sitting in the choice area called the bowl. All 46 will have seats in that area. That is new. The last convention the seating was all over the place. I recently discovered that I will be having breakfast with a member of the president’s staff, a good friend. In politics, as in other gatherings, it’s how close to power one can get that measures a person’s importance.
The campaign has gotten fierce. The birther issue was raised by Romney who claimed it was supposed to be a joke. It reminded me of the Jackson girl saying that she had a wardrobe malfunction at that Super Bowl event. I didn’t believe her anymore that I believe Romney. Shameful name-calling is rampant and the opposition would seem to fall back on using lies and half-truths to make a point. I’m reminded of a Jewish saying that goes “a half-truth is a whole lie.” There is a mean tone to the Republican words. A hint of racism and xenophobia. And while we Democrats have not been exactly pure at heart, rarely have mean and vicious themes been used to gain voters. The effort to re-impose on women restrictions that were lifted in the mid-1960s is troubling. It is similar to the type of restraints the Taliban imposes when they are in control. The attitude toward women is as if they were chattel to be owned with limited liberty.
I just received a revised schedule of the convention. And the city is going all out also. Complicated and exciting. The Arizona delegation will have the entire hotel except for one area where CBS will set up shop. Is there an interview in the future? As I write, a hurricane is coming within shouting distance of the Republican convention in Tampa. Divine intervention? Most likely not, but Michele Bachman blames the Democrats for climate change, then why not a hurricane? One never knows.
Next stop…Charlotte and victory!!!!!