This has been a historic political year. America is again at a crossroads. These are my experiences as a Maine Delegate in Philadelphia.
Our morning hotel regional breakfast meeting had Howard Dean and Jeanne Shaheen as our speakers. Dean was enthusiastic, funny and praising his own efforts at LGBT rights. The important event of the morning was our vote for presidential candidate. We checked off our Maine tally for the later state by state floor vote. Maine has 17 for Bernie and 8 for Hillary. With Superdelegates, our vote is 18 to 12.
The bus to downtown was much better than Monday. Hispanic caucus lunch was massive in the crystal tea room of the old Wanamaker building. There are hundreds of Latino delegates dressed to the nueve and a highly elegant lunch. I was able to see some of the real Philadelphia although delegates and democratic hangerson are everywhere. The streets are filled with hawkers selling buttons, dolls, Trump wigs. Democracy demonstrations in the squares with many fations represented. Police are everywhere. I saw my first mounted policewoman with a headscarf. Our country is more and more diverse in everyway.
The most excellent metro ride beat the shuttle bus by far. Fast, comfortable, not even crowded to the Wells Fargo. Opening proceedings and the real business of the Convention, the rollcall vote. This allowed all of those Bernie delegates to have their voices heard (would have been better on Monday, but a break in tradition- horrors). The show of rollcall with each state articulating a corny advertisement of their states highlights was a display for the media. It was surprising to see the changed votes when superdelegates were added. New Hampshire, which voted heavily in favor of Bernie ended up with a tie vote. There was some jostling in Maine as to who would announce our vote on worldwide media. Phil Bartlett, Maine’s party chair did the honors. And the rollcall highlight was Americans Abroad vote of Bernie’s brother, crying as he registered his vote with a salute to his FDR era parents. Bernie and Jane also teared. Hundreds of Bernie delegates started their grieving and tears flowed as the reality hit home. Then the show began, entertainment entertainment. Democracy is not a spectator sport but it does seem to be a media show.
I grew up hiking, sailing, and rocknrolliing in the Hudson River Valley with a mother from Ecuador and a father from Dodge City, Kansas. A Regents scholarship helped me attend the State University at Stony Brook with a major in history. During college, I studied for a semester in Ireland and drove a New York City taxi.