Dubuque County Democrats
Dubuque County Democrats

Blog - R.R.S. Stewart
First Congressional District Delegate, September 1-8, 2012

1-2 September

On Friday I discovered our Saturday flights had been moved up four hours. It wasn’t nice having to get up at 4am, but it meant we were able to make some of the College Democrats of America (CDA) Convention. We were on the same flight from Chicago to Charlotte as Robert Carr, the other delegate from Dubuque, and his wife Rose. When we landed I had a voicemail from Erin Murphy, who’d I given delegate information to the day before. He talked to Bob and me on my phone while we were taxiing to our gate. Ter’s brother, Gene, and his wife Leeda picked us up at the Charlotte airport. There were also a whole bunch of convention volunteers meeting arrivals. Gene took Ter and me to CDA from 3-6. Speakers were Michael Blake, National Operation Vote Deputy Director, and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, DNC Chair. All were fantastic! After Gene picked us up, we went to Jason's deli - I got a potato with broccoli and cheese, turned out to be huge, and strawberry cheesecake. We spent the night at Gene and Leeda’s. I thought I was going to bed at 11pm, but then I realized I had reset my phone but not my computer, so it was midnight when I went to sleep!

On Sun-morning I got up at 8, packed, and we left the house at 9 with everything loaded in the car. I was at CDA from 9:30 to 11:45. Speakers were Buffy Wicks, the Operation Vote Director, Patrick Gaspar, Executive Director of DNC, and Reggie Love, a campaign advisor to Pres. Obama. All were very informative. I ate the rest of my cheesecake and some fruit and tea they had out for the delegates. Ter went to church with Gene and Leeda and heard a fantastic sermon. They picked me up around 12:30 and we drove out to the hotel (TowneSuites by Marriot) to check in. It is fantastic with small suites. Hotels were assigned to state delegations by random drawing. We were about a half-hour out from the convention site but they do provide shuttle buses. It was about 1:30 by the time we got up to the room. I wanted to unpack and eat more of my leftover potato. Ter went to lunch at the hotel restaurant - Macaroni grill - with Gene and Leeda. I went to pick up my ticket for the reception for tonight and found out I wouldn't know if I could get a ticket for Ter until 4pm (they don't let guests get them until after all the delegation members have). So we went to the Marion Wright Edelman service. She was fantastic. I can see why Hillary Clinton admires her so much. I had to step out twice to call the IDP office at the hotel. At 4 I talked to Norm, who said Ter could get a ticket. So when the Edelman event ended at 4:30, we had to go back to the hotel to get the ticket. Ter changed, we unpacked our backpacks and just took canvas bags, and then Gene and Leeda drove us to the Raptor Center for the Iowa / Nebraska / Wisconsin reception in Huntsville around 6. People presented info on the different birds and there were tables of food and drinks and lots of good conversations with other delegates. There wasn't room for Ter and I, and two other delegates who came to the reception from an AFSCME event on the return shuttle so Sue D. (Iowa state Dem chair) arranged for a DNC host committee member to give us a ride back to the hotel. I watched an episode of Royal Pains and got ready for bed.


4 September

Local delegates anticipate speeches

19-year-old Loras College student is among those from the area who will attend the event. tri-state area national delegates

  • Margreet Ryan, Dubuque
  • R.R.S. Stewart, Dubuque (alternate)
  • Bob Carr, Dubuque
  • Riley Kilburg, Bellevue, Iowa

THonline.com article by Erin Murphy
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 5:15 am, Tue Sep 4, 2012


3 September

It was a rainy Labor Day in Charlotte – in fact it rained on and off all week. The morning began early with a whole delegation breakfast at the TownPlace Suites. Ter went down to breakfast at 8:30, but didn’t call me until 9:15 when they were getting ready to do the delegation picture. Speeches included one from Gov. O'Malley from Maryland and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, plus Sen. Harkin and Sec. Vilsack. I couldn’t get down there in time, so I wasn’t in the picture. After breakfast I got my credentials and back. I had to write a two-page memorandum for my legal writing class, and then we left the hotel room at 2:20 to get a shuttle downtown for my National Education Association media training. The shuttle, which was supposed to come every half hour, didn’t show up until 3:30. While we were waiting, a reporter from Albany interviewed us. It only took a half-hour to get downtown, but with all the traffic for Charlottefest, a Labor Day event for delegates and the general public, the bus inched its way through traffic for another 45 minutes getting to the bus stop. Downtown Charlotte was like an armed city with groups of police everywhere (they are friendly), blockades at certain streets, and checkpoints too. It's like a maze and going anywhere takes lots of time. We walked through Charlottefest to the Marriott City Center, getting there at 5, just as the training was ending, but I was able to get my bag, T-shirt, and check from NEA (unions often give some funds to help their members attend the convention) and heard some music. Then we went to a small art museum to meet up with Gene and Leeda and get my sunglasses that I had left in their car the day before. Along the way, I dropped my cell phone, but luckily the little iPod sock I keep it in kept it from getting destroyed in the rain and we were able to find it by the Marriott City Center after leaving the museum. That night, long time supporters of Senator Harkin and Congressman Braley hosted a reception for the Iowa delegation and their guests at Connolly’s, 115 East Fifth Street. The pub was right outside the entrance to Time Warner Cable Arena, but because so many of the police were not from Charlotte, when we told them the address we were looking for, they thought it was inside the secure area, so we ended making a 45-minute walk around TWC and ending up back where we started. Ruth and Senator Tom Harkin, and Former Gov. Culver and Mari were at the reception, which had delicious food and drinks and lots of conversations. I thought there was shuttle at the end of the night, but it turns out the hotline I had was just for New York delegation transportation, so Bob and Rosie Carr, State Senator Mike Gronstal and his wife, Connie, a former NEA counselor / social worker, and l and Ter split a taxi charge back to the hotel.


Wait, wait, don't tell me; is it Mario?

Cuomo name lacks familiarity in early caucus state of Iowa

TimesUnion.com article by Jimmy Vielkind
Updated 12:06 a.m., Tuesday, September 4, 2012


4 September

On Tuesday I got up at 8 and went to the last hour of breakfast – Sen. Harkin, Rep. Braley, and a congresswoman from Alabama spoke. Alabama’s flag is a white background with a red “x” over it – it looks like Saint Patrick’s Saltire in the Union Jack. However, not knowing Alabama was in the hotel next to us, a few of the shuttle drivers thought they were “no parking” marks – the Alabama delegates had to explain they were put up to mark the Alabama (or as they call themselves Al’obama) hotel. AT&T and UNION PACIFIC had a luncheon reception for the Iowa and Nebraska delegations at the Charlotte City Club, on the top floors of the building at 121 W. Trade St. #3100. Afterwards, Ter caught up on sleep in the lobby while I charged our phones. Then we sat on benches and watched the occupy marches for a while (there were as many police as marchers) and chatted to Rep. Bruce Braley and his staffer Ericka who had arrived late the night before because Bruce had four labor day events to attend (one in Dubuque). At 4, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association had a reception at Aquavina, 435 South Tryon Street. Ter and I separated – I to go to the convention and he to meet up with Gene. It was so exciting to walk into Time Warner Arena. This was the speaker line-up for Tuesday:

  • 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
  • Call to Order - Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Member of US House of Representatives, Florida
  • Invocation - His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas, Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Detroit
  • Presentation of Colors - Disabled American Veterans, The Stanly County Chapter 12 Honor Guard
  • Pledge of Allegiance - 3rd Grade Class, W.R. O’Dell Elementary School, Concord, North Carolina
  • National Anthem - Amber Riley, Singer/songwriter and ‘Glee’ actress
  • Remarks - Stephen J. Kerrigan, Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic National Convention Committee
  • Welcome Video
  • Presentation of Credentials Committee Report from Co-Chairs
  • Bishop Vashti McKenzie, First woman elected as bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Juli´n Castro, Mayor of San Antonio, Texas
  • Presentation of Rules Committee Report from Co-Chairs - Kamala D. Harris, State Attorney General of California; Martin O’Malley, Governor of Maryland
  • Appointment of Convention Officers
  • Gaveling-in of Permanent Chair - Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee, Mayor of Los Angeles, California
  • Remarks - Steny Hoyer, Parliamentarian of 2012 Democratic National Committee Convention, Democratic Whip and Member of US House of Representatives, Maryland
  • Andrew Tobias, Treasurer of Democratic National Committee
  • Alice Germond, Secretary of Democratic National Committee
  • Roll Call for Attendance
  • 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Platform Committee Remarks - Barbara Lee, Member of US House of Representatives, California; Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy (Retired), First woman to reach rank of three-star general in the US Army
  • Platform Video and Remarks - Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
  • Remarks - Bev Perdue, Governor of North Carolina
  • American Hero Video: Education
  • American Voices Remarks - Ryan Case
  • Remarks - Mary Kay Henry, International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Remarks from Members of Congressional Hispanic Caucus - Charles Gonzalez, Member of US House of Representatives, Texas, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Nydia M. Velázquez, Member of US House of Representatives, New York
  • Remarks - Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois
  • Remarks - Doug Stern, Cincinnati, Ohio Firefighter
  • Remarks - Tim Kaine, Candidate for US Senate, Virginia, Former Governor of Virginia, Former Chairman of Democratic National Committee
  • 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM Remarks
  • Anthony R. Foxx, Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Harry Reid, Democratic Majority Leader and Member of US Senate, Nevada
  • An Economy Built to Last Video: Education
  • Women of US House of Representatives
  • President Jimmy Carter Video
  • Remarks - Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
  • Kennedy Family Tribute Video
  • Remarks - Joe Kennedy III, Candidate for the US House of Representatives, Massachusetts
  • Live Performance – Ledisi, Singer/songwriter
  • Remarks - Robert Wexler, President of S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, Former Member of the US House of Representatives, Florida
  • 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Remarks - R.T. Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Jared Polis, Member of the US House of Representatives, Colorado
  • Stronger Together Video: Reproductive Choice
  • American Voices Remarks - Maria Ciano
  • Remarks - Nancy Keenan, President of the National Abortion Rights Action League – Pro-Choice America (NARAL)
  • Progress for People Video: American Veterans
  • American Voices Remarks - Nate Davis
  • Remarks - Tammy Duckworth, Candidate for the US House of Representatives, Illinois, Former Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Lincoln Chafee, Governor of Rhode Island
  • James E. Clyburn Assistant Democratic Leader and Member of the US House of Representatives, South Carolina
  • Progress for People Video: Health Care
  • American Voices Remarks - Stacey Lihn
  • Remarks - Xavier Becerra, Democratic Caucus Vice Chair and Member of US House of Representatives, California
  • 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Ted Strickland, Former Governor of Ohio
  • Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, Former White House Chief of Staff
  • Remarks - Kal Penn, Actor/Producer, Former Associate Director of White House Office of Public Engagement
  • Remarks - Craig Robinson and Maya Soetoro-ng, Brother of Mrs. Obama and Sister of President Obama
  • Stronger Together Video: Equal Pay
  • Remarks - Lilly Ledbetter, Women’s equality leader and namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
  • Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts
  • 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Martin O’Malley, Governor of Maryland
  • Introduction of Keynote Speaker Julián Castro - Joaquin Castro, Brother of Mayor Julián Castro, Candidate for the US House of Representatives, Texas
  • Keynote Address - Julián Castro, Mayor of San Antonio, Texas
  • Michelle Obama Video and Remarks - Elaine Brye
  • Remarks - Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States
  • Benediction - Jena Lee Nardella, Founder and Executive Director of Blood: Water Mission
  • Retire Colors
  • Recess

As I walked down to the where the Iowa Delegation sat, the first thing I saw was Wolf Blitzer, because we were sitting right in front of the CNN stand (in terms of proximity to the stage) or right behind (in terms of the view of the TV). I also got pictures and autographs from all the reporters I recognized: Chuck Todd (MSNBC), Ray Suarez (PBS), Charles P. Pierce (Boston Globe), Debbie Elliot (NPR), Dana Schwartz Bash King (CNN) and some actors: Beau Bridges, Wayne Knight, Tony Shalhoub, John Leguizamo. Halfway through the evening, Linda Langston, a member of the Linn County Board, of Supervisors got me a guest pass for Ter, so Gene brought him to TWCA after the event they were at. I went outside to meet him. TSA screeners were doing the security screening. Earlier in the evening, the screeners had let me leave my credentials around my neck. But when I went out to meet Ter, they had me take them off when I went through the metal detector when I came back in. My delegate credential was no longer on the table after I passed through the metal detector, meaning someone must have walked off with it. The TSA screeners half-hearted looked around on the ground for it, but didn’t seem to much care that someone had taken my credential. I couldn’t get in without it and the IDP staff I called were no help, basically saying credentials are non-replaceable, meaning I was just screwed. So a secret service guy had to escort me in, explaining at the entrance to TWCA, the entrance to the bowl, and to step on to the floor what happened. Once I got back to the floor, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller vouched for me and told the secret service guy his supervisor could contact Tom if they had any questions. To top it off, a computer “glitch” meant my name was not listed in the official 2012 Democratic National Convention booklet.

The dynamic speeches, the feel of excitement on the floor, and being part of the cheering gradually put me in a better mood. Which speeches did I like--all of them, but especially Ted Strickland's, Mayor Castro's (what a name eh. He often used humor to get his pt. across which was a nice touch), the NARAL pres., Ms. Ledbetter and we all cried when the mother of the child with heart problems talked about the Affordable Care bill and her family. But the very best of the evening was the First Lady's speech. From the moment she began, the delegates were on their feet and reacting to her words. She spoke to both our heads and our hearts! (and what a great dress!) I loved how speaker after speaker stressed women's rights to make decisions about their own bodies and health, supporting marriage equality and stressed strong support for education at all levels. A podcaster, I listen to, commenting on the finale of the First Lady’s speech summed up the moment well: “For years, gays have got name-checked in speeches at Democratic National Conventions, which usually meant slipping the word ‘gay’ into a long list of Democratic constituencies, but we’ve never been mentioned like this, in the rousing section of the speech, in the American Dream sort-of fireworks going off. The struggle for gay and lesbian equality equated to the founding fathers and their revolution against the British, the immigration experience, women’s struggle for the vote, the African-American civil rights movement – Martin Luther King, and then we come right there at the end right before the invocation of the American Dream and the place goes crazy. That is so significant. That tells you everything you need to know about the difference between the parties.” Ter was in the balcony so he got out right after the benediction, but I had to wait until midnight to get a bus back to my hotel. I talked with Rep. Braley and Ericka while showing them where the shuttle for Iowa’s hotel drops off, and he offered to try to get tickets for Ter ahead of time for the next two days. Despite the frustrations, overall it was a night that made me so proud to be a Democrat.


5 September

Ter got up at 8, stretched, dressed, packed for the day, and hopped the shuttle bus at about 9:15AM. He met up with Gene and Leeda at St Peter's Catholic Church, where Sr. Simone Campbell from "the Nuns on the Bus" led a workshop on the income gap. Afterward they walked over to a reception honoring the Iowa Democratic Delegation by IDP at Strike City, 210 East Trade Street. Ter introduced Harkin and Braley to Gene and Leeda. Harkin talked about navy planes with Gene brother for abt. 15 min! That’s where I met up with them, eating and taking some food for eating later in TWCA. MSNBC’s conventionstudio was located in the EpiCentre by Strike City, and Ter walked around and shook hands with Chris Matthews while I was eating, but he didn’t have my convention booklet on him to get a signature for me. Then we all walked to an underground parking garage, and Gene & Leeda drove us to our hotel to drop the stuff Ter left with them the night before when he went to TWCA. Ericka called to say she was able to get a ticket for Ter, and we could pick it up at the Trial Lawyer’s reception for House Democrats. There was a bus boarding to go back downtown as we arrived, and Ter asked the driver to wait a few minutes. We made it, and were back downtown in the normal half-hour, but then the driver seemed to get lost, and orbited the downtown a couple of times before asking a traffic cop what to do. The cop had him make a giant U-turn in an intersection and head another way. We finally reached spot to disembark a few minutes later. Walking up the street I saw a House Democrats lanyard on someone and asked if he was looking for the same reception we were. We walked up street with Rep Gary Peters from Michigan, entered the reception to where Erika (Braley's finance director) waited with Ter’s ticket for tonight (thanks Bruce). Then we walked to MSNBC, went in to the studio to watch the outside live show on big TV screen in relative comfort. Left at 5:20 to check into convention hall, I to Iowa delegation, Ter to balcony section by stage. I had him text me the number (he was in 219 or 224 every night) and then I had Sen. Harkin and some other delegates wave to the balcony with me. Then a whole long litany of excellent speakers. This was the speaker line-up for Wednesday:

  • 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • Call to Order - Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee, Mayor of Los Angeles, California
  • Invocation - Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, 10th Episcopal District, First Woman Elected Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Presentation of Colors
  • Pledge of Allegiance – Gabrielle Douglas
  • National Anthem - Branford Marsalis, Saxophonist, Composer, and, Bandleader
  • Remarks - Luis V. Gutierrez, Member of US House of Representatives, Illinois
  • Diana DeGette, Member of US House of Representatives, Colorado
  • John A. Pérez, Speaker and Member of California State Assembly
  • Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
  • Judy Chu, Member of the US House of Representatives, California
  • Steve Westly, Former State Controller and Chief Financial Officer of California
  • An Economy Built to Last Video: Small Business
  • Remarks - John Larson, Democratic Caucus Chair and Member of US House of Representatives, Connecticut
  • Ken Myers - Deputy Sheriff, Carroll County, Iowa
  • 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • Remarks - Richard Trumka, President of American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO)
  • Steve Israel, Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Member of US House of Representatives, New York
  • Patty Murray, Chair of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Member of US Senate, Washington
  • Pedro R. Pierluisi, Chair of National Community Mobilization for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Non-Voting Member of US House of Representatives, Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico
  • An Economy Build to Last Video: Energy
  • Remarks - Tom Steyer, Co-Founder of Advanced Energy Economy
  • Charles E. Schumer, Member of US Senate, New York
  • Remarks from Members of Congressional Black Caucus - Karen Bass, Member of US House of Representatives, California
  • Al Green, Member of US House of Representatives, Texas
  • Emanuel Cleaver, II, Chair of Congressional Black Caucus and Member of US House of Representatives, Missouri
  • Remarks - Dannel P. Malloy, Governor of Connecticut
  • 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • Remarks - Denise Juneau, Superintendent of Montana Office of Public Instruction
  • Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader and Member of US House of Representatives, California; Women of U.S. House
  • Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
  • Women of US Senate Remarks - Barbara Mikulski, Member of US Senate, Maryland
  • Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education
  • Progress for People Video: Education
  • American Voices Remarks - Johanny Adames
  • Remarks Jim Hunt, Former and Longest-Serving Governor of North Carolin
  • Remarks and Video Presentation in Memoriam Presented by Harvey B. Gantt, Former Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Live Performance - Jessica Sanchez, Singer/Songwriter
  • 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • Stronger Together Video: Women’s Health
  • American Voices Remarks - Elizabeth Ann “Libby” Bruce
  • Remarks - Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Steny Hoyer, Parliamentarian of the 2012 Democratic National Committee Convention, Democratic Whip and Member of US House of Representatives, Maryland
  • Barney Frank, Honorary Chair of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee GLBT Council, Member of US House of Representatives, Massachusetts
  • American Heroes Video: Veterans
  • American Voices Remarks - Ed Meagher
  • Remarks - General Eric Shinseki
  • Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado
  • Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of Roman Catholic Social Justice Organization, NETWORK (not formally a part of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious)
  • Jack Markell, Governor of Delaware
  • 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • Remarks - Karen Mills
  • Progress for People Video: Small Business
  • American Voices Remarks - Bill Butcher
  • Remarks - Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General of California
  • Stronger Together Video: Immigration
  • Remarks - Benita Veliz, DREAM Act Activist
  • Cristina Saralegui, Journalist, Actress, and Talk Show Host
  • Sandra Fluke, Attorney and Women’s Rights Activist
  • Austin Ligon, Co-Founder and Former CEO of CarMax, Inc.
  • An Economy Build to Last Video: Auto-Industry
  • American Voices Remarks - Karen Eusanio
  • Remarks - Bob King President of International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
  • Randy Johnson, Cindy Hewitt, and David Foster, Former Employees at companies controlled by Romney’s Bain Capital
  • Chris Van Hollen, Former Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Member of US House of Representatives, Maryland
  • 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • Remarks - Jim Sinegal, Co-Founder and Former CEO of Costco
  • Elizabeth Warren, Candidate for US Senate, Massachusetts
  • Nomination Process Set-Up Remarks - Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Chair of 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee, Mayor of Los Angeles, California
  • President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States
  • Closing Segment - Roll Call Vote, Alice Germond, Secretary of Democratic National Committee
  • Benediction - Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, California
  • Retire Colors
  • Recess

To explain some about the platform voting mess – I thought the Religious and Israel sections were fine the way they were. No one explained to most of the delegates what was happening with the changes in platform so some people thought that the conservative segment of the Dems were pushing “God” and “Jerusalem” into the platform and so they voted no. If we had been told that Obama wanted these changes, some people would have still voted ‘no” but most would have gone along with it to help out the Pres. I think by asking for the changes, Pres. Obama made an issue out of sections of the platform that were a non-issue.

Ter and I especially liked Richard Trumpka, Sr. Simone, the former Bain employees, Sandra Fluke’s and Elizabeth Warren’s speeches. Warren had us all on our feet by the end of her speech yelling and cheering. Then Bill Clinton came out and was Commander-in-Speech. As you could see at home, Clinton outdid himself. The convention hall was electrified. He countered the Repubs every way he could with facts and humor. Everyone went crazy when Clinton and Obama hugged! The whole place was glued to his every word and was going crazy and cheering and feeling the emotion. It is a speech and night I’ll never forget. I was going to leave when Sen. Harkin did to see if he could help with getting Ter a ticket since I didn’t know if Rep. Braley would be able to, with the speech being moved from the 70,000-seat Bank of America Stadium to the 20,000 seat TWCA, but then I decided to stay through Iowa at the Roll Call Vote – when each state announces its vote for party nominee. So proud to be a Democrat and what an honor to be part of the Ia. delegation as they voted for Pres. Obama. Some of the Ia. delegation were seated in front of the sign so we didn’t get seen on TV when we voted but I was there below the young guy with the “big hair”! (My mom caught a glimpse of me early in the evening so she was excited about that.) The Huffington site had a headline “Bubba brings the house down” and he certainly did! Ter and I left together, and just missed one shuttle and had to wait until 12:30 for the next one. We got back to the hotel tired but fired up. What a night. (thanks for helping get here!)


6 September

Thursday morning we slept in, but breakfast ran late, so we got to hear Kirsten Gillibrand - United States Senator for New York, Gov. / Sec. Tom Vilsack and Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana, speak to the Ia. delegation at breakfast. It’s too bad that they had to cancel the stadium but Charlotte has been very windy and wet this week. It still will be a good night.

Michael Kiernan, first vice-chair of IDP, hosted a luncheon reception for delegates. Ericka called us to say she’d being leaving the guest credential at the front desk of the Marriott (where the NEA media training was). Ter was able to get into the convention because of the generosity and help of Rep. Braley and Ericka. (We are so proud that Bruce is our Congressman.) This was the speaker line-up for Thursday:

  • 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • Remarks - Kay Hagan, Member of US Senate, North Carolina
  • Walter Dalton, Lieutenant Governor, North Carolina
  • G.K. Butterfield, Member of US House of Representatives, North Carolina
  • David Price, Member of US House of Representatives, North Carolina
  • Mel L. Watt, Member of US House of Representatives, North Carolina
  • Remarks - James Rogers, CEO Duke Energy
  • Live Performance: James Taylor, Singer/Songwriter
  • Call to Order - Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee, Mayor of Los Angeles, California
  • Invocation - Reverend Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
  • Presentation of Colors - American Legion Post 400 of Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Darrell B. Bonapart, Joe Michalic, Robert E. Welch, Marvin R. Weber
  • Pledge of Allegiance – Gabrielle Giffords
  • National Anthem - Marc Anthony, Singer/Songwriter
  • Progress for People Video: Seniors
  • American Voices Remarks - Carol Berman
  • Remarks - Donna F. Edwards, Member of US House of Representatives, Maryland
  • Barney Frank, Member of US House of Representatives, Massachusetts
  • In Memoriam Video and Remarks - Harvey Gantt, Former Mayor of Charlotte, NC
  • 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • John Lewis, Member of US House of Representatives, Georgia
  • Stronger Together Video: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
  • American Voices - Jason Crow
  • Live Performance: Mary J. Blige, Singer/Songwriter
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of Democratic National Committee, Member of US House of Representatives, Florida
  • Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Chair of 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee, Mayor of Los Angeles, California
  • Tammy Baldwin, Candidate for US Senate, Wisconsin, Member of US House of Representatives, Wisconsin
  • Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Stay Stronger Together Video: Marriage Equality
  • American Voices Remarks - Zach Wahls
  • 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • Jim Messina, Campaign Manager, Obama for America
  • American Heroes Video: Auto Workers
  • American Voices - Kenyetta Jones, Ryan Case, Ed Meagher, Martha Figueroa, Lucas Beenken, Rob Hach
  • Vice Presidential Nomination Intro - Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Chair of 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee, Mayor of Los Angeles
  • Nominating Remarks - Beau Biden, Attorney General of Delaware and Son of Vice President Joe Biden
  • Vote by Acclamation
  • Live Performance, Foo Fighters, Band
  • Remarks - James E. Clyburn, Assistant Democratic Leader and Member of US House of Representatives, South Carolina
  • Scarlett Johansson and Kerry Washington, Actresses
  • 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • Remarks - Caroline Kennedy, Author and Attorney
  • Xavier Becerra, Democratic Caucus Vice Chair and Member of US House of Representatives, California
  • Jennifer Granholm, Former Governor of Michigan
  • Eva Longoria, Actress
  • Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana
  • Charlie Crist, Jr., Former Governor of Florida
  • Remarks - John Kerry, Member of the US Senate, Massachusetts
  • 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • Video: Veterans
  • Remarks - Admiral John B. Nathman, United States Navy, Retired
  • Introductory Remarks - Angie Flores
  • Remarks - Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States
  • Vice President Joe Biden Video
  • Remarks - Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States
  • 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM (LOCAL)
  • Video and Remarks - Dick Durbin, Member of the US Senate, Illinois
  • President Barack Obama Video
  • Remarks - Barack Obama, President of the United States
  • Celebration
  • Benediction, His Eminence Timothy Dolan

From Gabrielle Giffords way of walking and speaking it is clear she is still recovering, but it was touching to see her leading the pledge. In 2009, Zach Wahls, then a senior at Iowa City West High School, wrote a guest editorial in The Des Moines Register about Varnum v. Brien. (you can read it at http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2011/02/02/iowas-marriage-testimony-making-one-teen-a-star/) Zach Wahls’ testimony before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee became YouTube’s top political video of 2011 with about 17 million views. Since then, Zach has shared his story and advocated for full equality under the law on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Rachel Maddow Show” and other media outlets. His book, “My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family,” was published this spring. Zach partnered with One Iowa, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group, to host a series of town hall meetings throughout the state, the “Why Marriage Matters” tour, with its message of “love makes a family”. I got to hear him three times in two weeks - the forum at First Unitarian in Des Moines 27 August, the house party in Dubuque 30 August before Zach spoke there, and at the DNC.

Ter and I both had a long list of speakers we liked, including John Lewis (“We must stand up, speak up, and vote.”), the expressive former Gov. of Michigan Jennifer Granholm (I wonder if she’s be running for higher office), Charlie Crist (always good when a Repub sees the light), the fired-up John Kerry (Ter thought it was Kerry’s best speech ever!), Joe’s of course (straight from the heart and so real), and the President’s (we didn’t think it was his best but had the right tone and inspired many). It showed how much he values vets and the middle class, and people in general. Ter liked the religious references too. I felt Obama showed humility and that was effective, especially for the those with questions about voting for him again. One of my favorite lines from his speech: “You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.”

Unlike the previous two nights when I sat in one of the rows in front of the Iowa sign, tonight I was in the very back row by Evan Anderson, Andy Bock, and other members of Iowa’s Stonewall caucus. As Obama neared the rabble-rousing part of his speech, he too wove in more than obligatory reference “We don’t think the government can solve all of our problems, but we don’t think the government is the source of all of our problems - any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles - because America, we understand that this democracy is ours. … You're the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she's ever called home - why selfless soldiers won’t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love, why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely, welcome home. Welcome home. You did that. You did that. You did that. If you turn away now ‐ if you turn away now, if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible, well, change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void, the lobbyists and special interests, the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are trying to make it harder for you to vote, Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves. Only you can make sure that doesn't happen. Only you have the power to move us forward.” The entire stonewall row burst into tears. The place was packed and everyone was pumped by the end of the night's speeches.

There was a Post Convention Party for Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, and Iowa Delegations at Rock Bottom Brewery to celebrate a fantastic convention, showing the soul and energy of Democrats. We thanked Bruce and Ericka for their help getting Ter into the balcony, and made some new friends. Ter said there definitely isn’t a lack of support for Barrack and Joe and the enthusiasm level is sky high after this very successful convention. I am so grateful for the experience and looks forward to a better future when the Pres. and VP are re-elected.(and we all know it still is going to be a tough election but this convention and speeches have invigorated Democrats!)


Inclusiveness stirs local delegates at convention

Democrats report being amazed at the diversity of the crowd, and they are moved when they see many minorities cry (House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi doles out special recognition to several women during the Democratic National Convention.)

National delegates from the tri-state area * Bob Carr, Dubuque * R.R.S. Stewart, Dubuque (alternate) * Riley Kilburg, Bellevue * Margreet Ryan, Dubuque

THonline.com. Photo contributed by R.R.S. Stewart
Saturday, September 8, 2012 BY ERIN MURPHY


7-8 September

We checked out of the hotel, Gene picked us up, and we went to his and Leeda’s house. Erin Murphy from the TH called me while we were waiting to check out. Ed Anderson had called me the previous afternoon, but I didn’t get the message until I was at the convention Thurs night, so I tried calling him back as well. Then to the convention shop and the Mint Museum, which was hosting a thank-you party for convention volunteers. We enjoyed a display of pins worn by Secretary of State Madeline Albright. Gene, Leeda, and I got ready to leave as the volunteers started coming in, but oblivious Ter kept us waiting for a half hour as hundreds of volunteers streamed into the Museum. We were glad we weren’t flying out on Friday, as on the news they said 22,000 people were leaving Charlotte that day. We flew home Sat. afternoon (and Judé greeted us with hugs and kisses at the Dbq. airport around 8:15.

As Judé was helping me type this, she was listening to the evening news, especially the dismal news about the jobs report this morning. (and how the repubs are celebrating people suffering and how they keep blocking job bills) Her thoughts: NBC also reported that economists say that big business is sitting on $30 billion to $2 trillion and not hiring as they want to influence the election. They may misuse their money and power but we the people will join together and vote for the good of everyone and our nation. Judé also listened to Obama speaking in Iowa City on local TV the day after the convention, thinking It's great being from Iowa and being able to hear the candidates firsthand. Just out of curiosity, Judé searched for info about Michelle’s and Ann Romney’s convention dresses. Ann's dress (red and beautiful) by Oscar de la Renta cost $2490 and Michelle's pink one by Tracy Reese cost $500. Michelle's dress on Thurs. was by Laura Smalls. I really liked what Michelle said but I also thought she looked fantastic!

I thought of what Dan Savage said in his podcast “Hey, the Democratic National Convention: Wasn’t Michelle great, wasn’t Bill Clinton amazing, wasn’t Barack Obama good, and wasn’t the jobs report on Friday morning after the convention sucky. So we have work to do.” Have a good weekend everyone and let's move Forward together!

 



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