Saturday, August 30, 2008

The 3rd night

By Wednesday I had gotten into a bit of a routine with the credentials. We started with our usual pick up at the DNCC main distribution center and were pleasantly surprised with a few more than we had originally expected. The rest of the day we worked our usual contacts and made the typical pick ups. Wednesday was a little different in terms of programming though because our panels were going to be held in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Roundtable, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. We had moved for the day into the theater across the hall that seated over 2000 people…and we were sold out!

The first panel of the day was a discussion on enhancing the U.S. role around the world. Panelists included Tim Wirth, former Colorado Senator, Geoff Garin, Tom Brokaw, Madeleine Albright, Richard Haass (president of the Council on Foreign Relations), Richard Holbrooke (former US Permanent Representative to the United Nations), Jessica Mathews (President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), and Vin Weber (former Minnesota Confressman, chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy).

The second panel was on combating global poverty. Panelists included March Nathanson, Gayle Smith (Center for American Progress), Madeleine Albright, Ben Affleck, Nanc Birdsall (President Center for Global Development), John Danilovich (former Ambassador and CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation), Tom Daschle (former US Senator), Hernando de Soto, Oby Ezekwesili (vice president fo the World Bank Africa Region), Donald Payne (New Jersey Congressman), Tim Wirth, and James Wolfensohn (former World Bank president).

I was running around during the first session so was not able to see any of the panel. Right before the second panel I was escorted down to the green room to meet with our chairwoman’s chief of staff to finalize our schedule for the next two days. While down there, Ben Affleck and his wife, a very pregnant Jennifer Garner, walked in with their crew. He sat down with the rest of the second panel to begin discussing the structure of their presentation. It was a pretty incredible group to listen to and I was certainly excited to be down there. Once I had finished my scheduling though I ran back up stairs to meet my boss and continue with the credential gathering.

By the end of the night we had once again manged to collect enough credentials to send every person into the convention. Once we had driven through security, my boss let me go early so I could get into the hall. I had a floor pass again so I made my way to the Rhode Island delegation and said hi to my friends. I also saw Senator Whitehouse and his chief of staff. It was great to catch up with them after so long. I then made my way down to the Indiana delegation and planted myself about 20 feet from the podium to stand and watch the rest of the night. After speaking, Senator Evan Bayh came up next to me with his wife and I watched a good portion of the speeches with him and Congressman Andre Carson. From there I watched Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, and the surprise appearance from Obama. It was a great night but my legs and knee were so sore it was almost a little too much. The things you do for access at the convention.

Afterwards I headed to the Daimler party with a few of my colleagues and my good friend Gabe Amo from Wheaton and decided not to even try for the Kanye concert. We had a great time dancing and joking around and it was just what we needed. The weirdest thing about the convention is how you begin to expect free food and drinks wherever you go. When I get back to DC I'm going to have some issues with there not being at least 2 ritzy receptions per day. After our 3rd ritzy event of this particular day, I crashed in one of my friend’s rooms intending on driving one of our vans back to the DU dorms in the AM to change and get ready...

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