Friday, August 05, 2005

A long couple of days

Let me apologize to those of you, if any, who are reading my blog. I was sick last night and did not feel up to venturing down to the lobby to work on posting something. I decided yesterday morning to eschew the training sessions offered by Democratic GAIN in favor of exploring the city. I first found a wonderful place to have breakfast that is SO much cheaper than the hotel restraunt. I'm talking a three egg ham and cheese omelet with hash browns, four slices of wheat toast, a glass of OJ, AND two pancakes for a grand total of $4.50. In San Francisco? Who would have thought. I then decided to walk two blocks south to Geary St. to pick up the #38 bus that would take me out to Ocean Beach. According to the map of the city that I have, it didn't look like it would be that long of a ride, but maps can be deceiving. Especially when they say in fine print: "The FOUR MILE area from Divisadero St. to the Ocean is not to scale." When I eventually got there, however, I walked out to the beach and was greeted with the sound of rolling waves that you only hear from an honest-to-God ocean. I also took some pictures of the Seal Rocks...and the ocean, not terribly pretty given the cloudy skies but still worth it.

After the equally lengthy ride back it was time to get changed into business attire for the first general session of the convention. There were some heavy hitter speakers to kick things off. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the first speaker, and she talked at length about how Paul Hackett's near victory in the 2nd Congressional district was a sign that the American people were tired of politicans rubber stamping the decisions of the Bush white house. Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) spoke at length of how we need to do a better job of standing up for what we believe in. Then New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson talked of the need for the party to shift power from the leaders in D.C. to the governors, noting that there are 12 Red states that have Democratic governors, including Kansas, Oklahoma, Montana, and Tennessee. However, easily the most significant speech of the night was given by San Francsico Mayor Gavin Newsome, who made waves last year by giving the green light to same-sex marriages in the city. Mayor Newsome spoke of the need to have the courage of our convictions and consistently state them. He said that voters perceive those who don't have that courage as lacking integrity, and that there are those who will vote for you, even if they disagree with you, if they know your position and know you believe in it. Bill Clinton once said that strong and wrong will beat right but weak all the time. Were the 2004 elections proof of that? Quite possibly yes.

The shame of Thursday night is that feeling ill prevented me from going out but the night was not totally unproductive. For now however, I am being summoned to go with the Michigan delegation to a bar. While there might be the traditional OSU vs. Michigan rivalry, there is a recognition that we are all Democrats here. More updates as I can provide them.

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