Iowa delegates get first taste of convention

By Evan Anderson – Although the stark fields surrounding the Denver International Airport might remind people of Mongolia in the 1965 film, “Doctor Zhivago,” the Democratic Convention is the most colorful scene on the political stage today. DNC volunteers wearing orange shirts greeted the Iowa delegation early Sunday morning with banners and chants happily reverberating across the DIA terminal. The Iowa delegation itself is also colorful, from the immediately recognizable green of the AFSCME shirts so proudly worn by many within the delegation.

During the course of the day, the delegation made its way to the Pepsi Center to see what the convention already has to offer, including a two-story tall blue bear serenely gazing into the convention hall. Perhaps the bear is “think, think,”-thinking about whether or not to tear after the spurious protesters rallying a few blocks away. Certainly this blue statue is no Pooh-Bah, even though this particular bear is likely to see quite a few intrigues and red-tape entanglements as the week progresses.

Inside the convention hall, the Credentials Committee loudly endorsed Senator Obama’s “unity” plan to reinstate the Florida and Michigan delegates to the convention with full voting rights. Committee members in attendance extended their hearts and minds to those in Florida, including this particular blogger’s grandfather in Melbourne, so recently repeatedly ravaged by Tropical Storm Fay. Referring to Fay and the sometimes contentious primary political season, former Tallahassee mayor Scott Maddox had this to say, “We’ve come through Fay and plenty of other storms: we’ve suffered under not one but two Bushes. After the storm, the sun always comes out. Thank you, governor Dean, for bringing the process, the sun, back to Florida.” Immediately after the resolution’s adoption, a standing ovation rolled across the hall. Former Denver mayor, Wellington Webb, endorsed another resolution, also passed unanimously, to give the Michigan delegation its full voting strength.

The only other activity that occurred Sunday morning in Denver was the rearrangement on the convention floor of where to seat the Delaware delegation, according to the tradition of giving priority seating to the states of the party’s nominees. The Nevada delegation was bounced in favor of the nearby Idaho delegation seats. Cedar Rapids Democrats may remember Idaho resident and famous songwriter, Carole King, campaigning for John Kerry in Cedar Rapids in 2004 declaring that Idaho is indeed turning blue. The lead story of the Sunday Denver Post would not disagree with King, noting that Democrats are hopeful of blasting away the frosty grip of Republicans in the Western states with fierce fighting. Is it any wonder that the DNC chose Denver as the site for this convention but to remind Wyoming’s own Dick Cheney that the western states historically are more liberal than California? States in the Rocky Mountains gave women the right to vote far before many other states, the first woman, and pacifist, elected to congress came from the Rocky Mountains states. Liberal, the ideals of the party might be, but this convention has opened as strong and efficiently as McCain’s real estate empire.

Advertisements

Helping launch Obama’s road to the White House a good thing for Iowa delegation

By Rod Boshart – Helping launch the party’s presidential nominee’s road to the White House has its rewards. Iowa’s 57-member delegation is seated in proximity to the rostrum at the Pepsi Center, site for most of the 2008 Democratic National Convention official work and speeches. Other delegations with prime seating locations include Sen. Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois, host state Colorado and Delaware, which got moved to the front when Obama selected Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., as his running mate. By contrast, the Arkansas delegation is situated close to what would be considered the left field warning track in a baseball stadium.

Leach in the house

By Rod Boshart – Former Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Leach has been given a speaking role at the Democratic National Convention. Leach, who represented parts of Eastern Iowa for 30 years, surprised and disappointed Iowa Republicans recently by endorsing Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for president. Obama officials announced Sunday that Leach had been invited to address the convention tonight during what is being billed as “one nation night.”