Saturday, August 30, 2008


Sorry for my late blog! I traveled to the East Coast all day Friday and spend today having to move in to my apartment! I hope you enjoy my perception of Thursday night's events! Please email me with any questions about the night not answered in the blog below! Thank you for your support and your belief in the democratic process. If you feel inspired to volunteer, please feel free to contact me or the Idaho Democratic Party at

Thursday Night: "E Pluribus Unum"

This morning was super busy at the delegate breakfast in our hotel. We were lucky to have a few special guests representing the Basque President. We also had two featured Idaho native speakers. First up was Jim Messina, the Chief of Staff for Sen. Obama’s campaign for President. He described some strategy to us but also fielded many questions from the delegation. It was so exciting to hear his thoughts on the campaign and we were honored he took time out of his busy day to speak with us. The second speaker was Aimee Christensen. She is the CEO of Christensen Global Strategies. She was the energy policy expert on the panel for America’s Town Hall at the DNC last night. She took a lot of time to answer our questions ranging in topic from: how we legislate energy use reductions to how we create a green energy policy with nuclear energy. It was a wonderful discussion that we all took part in. As a graduate student in public policy, you can be sure I asked her alot of questions!

Because today was the final night of the convention, we moved to Invesco Field. They asked delegates to be there around 1:30pm because the lines were expected to be so large! I and several other delegates decided to forgo the morning caucuses in order to reach our seats by the prescribed time. It took us around 45 minutes to get from downtown to security. Security was very tight because around 60,000 people were expected to show up. I was excited at the thought of being around so many people who believed in America.

As we walked up to Invesco Field, I was amazed at how big it was. Being from Idaho, I don’t know that I have ever been that close to a building that could hold so many people! But my impression of how large everything was outside was immediately replaced by the awe I felt when we got onto the floor of the stadium. “How are they ever going to fill this stadium?” I wondered as I turned full circle on the floor of Invesco Field. While I was exploring the area where the delegates were seated, I wandered over to where the news crew were stationed and saw Michelle Obama! She was interviewing at all the different channels and would stop and wave at the few of us watching between interviews. She was so graceful, it was easy for me to imagine her as First Lady.

We also saw many stars wandering around (e.g. Jessica Alba, Fergie, and Spike Lee). On my back to the Idaho Delegation, I was privileged to get a hug from Jesse Jackson Jr., shake Rev. Jesse Jackson’s hand, and take a picture with the Governor of Kansas. The person in the crowd who most impacted my life was an older man from Vermont. He told me of his experiences fighting for civil rights and marching with Dr. King. To be together in such harmony to elect Sen. Obama was a miracle he wasn’t sure he would live to see. Holding hands with me (a young white woman) and my fellow delegate (an older white male), this man (an elderly African-American) was telling us the story of how we got here tonight…on the shoulders of those who carry us still. Nothing speaks to me more than than the simple fact that we have only come as far as the sacrifice the generation before us was willing to make. How far will we, will I be willing to go?

As the night progressed, the stands continued to fill until the point that every seat was nearly full in the stadium. According to early estimates, there were around 84,000 people in that stadium when Sen. Obama began to speak. What I found so telling about his words, wasn’t necessarily his prescription for a better America and a way to fix the evils done upon this country (and the world) over the last eight years; but his introduction by ordinary Americans. Several people told personal accounts of how their lives had deteriorated far from the American dream and how Sen. Barack Obama gave them hope for a better future, a future America deserves. His speech was detailed and policy oriented, giving us a map for a better future by showing us how he could make it possible. But his legislative brilliance is almost shadowed by something bigger than a political office.

This man has given us back our hope in a time that our economic and social situation has become more desperate than ever. For a long time, I have wondered how I can make people believe that they hold the power to change this country. Sen. Obama has people believing in good, wise government again. He has shown us that government does not have to be petty or corrupt and that the ultimate power lies in the people. In short, he has given many people without hope something to hope for. And that alone makes him a hero, election or not.
Listening to Sen. Obama’s speech, I was moved by his brilliance. But I was also moved by the reaction of the crowd. The feeling of hope, solidarity, and pride was so vibrant my heart was full. Full of love of country and my fellow citizen, I was overwhelmed every time I looked to the people surrounding me. The bottom line is that, whatever the pundits say, this week was about people coming together and believing in our better selves. This election is not about “the lesser of two evils” as these elections have typically become, it is about the possibility of being all that we have within ourselves. I cannot remember the last time I have seen so many people have so much pride about being American, and that is so sad. I love my country but it has come to mean something disgraceful in the eyes of the world over the last eight years and it breaks my heart. But being a part of history on Thursday night has started to heal the cracks in my heart and make me believe in the America that is promised to all of us.

The most amazing part about being on the floor of the convention was meeting all the different people from so many different states and walks of life. As another delegate and I were dancing our way around the different delegations, people would stop to dance with us or shake our hands. The feeling in the crowd was of pure love for your brothers and sisters. It was amazing to feel that vibe of one-ness. Vice-President Al Gore addressed this with our country’s motto “E pluribus unum” or “out of many one.” The spirit of America is found in the people. When we come together with a common purpose, we can accomplish anything. From the church group banding together to build a new house, to the Boy Scouts of America and their annual canned food drive, from the community donations that pay for a child’s medical bills, to tearing down the walls of racism, Americans can accomplish anything when we do it together. Let this be the year that America says, enough is enough. Let this be the year that we come together and say “I believe in a better tomorrow, I believe in the American way, and I believe in Sen. Barack Obama.”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

One of the Most Amazing Days of My Life

Today was one of the most amazing days of my life. I got to sleep in a little bit, until almost 6:30 am! When I got to breakfast, I had the privilege of listening to Greg Carr speak about human rights issues. He is a founder in part of the Idaho Human Rights Education Centers, including the Anne Frank Memorial in Boise. He gave a wonderful presentation and was our guest on the floor of the convention hall for the day.

After breakfast, I immediately went to work on Delegate Service Day. Delegate Service Day was Co-chaired by Michelle Obama and Colorado’s First Lady Jeannie Ritter. It was organized across Denver as a way to give back to the community that so graciously hosted our DNC 2008. Our hotel was the site of food sorting and boxing for the Meals on Wheels program here in Denver. Over a hundred people turned out to give back to the community, including many in the Idaho Delegation!

The afternoon had many events from caucuses to symposiums. However, Larry LaRocco, future Idaho Senator, hosted the Idaho delegation at his hotel. It was awesome to watch him speak and know that when he is elected Idaho’s next Senator, we will have someone in Washington who understands the working people in Idaho.

Jeannette Wolfley, Ryan Robinson, John Greenfield, and I left the LaRoocco function a little early to head to a meeting hosted by Senator Hillary Clinton for all her delegates. At her speech she was insistent on her belief in Sen. Obama and that her delegates support his campaign. Because she supports him whole-heartedly, she released her delegates. At first people in the crowd seemed a little sad that the long journey of her candidacy had come to an end, but they cheered as loud as they could when she said that while she wouldn’t tell them who to vote for, she proudly cast her ballot for Sen. Barack Obama. I think her speech showed complete unity with Sen. Obama and the Democratic Party. It left no doubt that she is commited to electing the President America needs, Sen. Barack Obama.

When Sen. Clinton left the stage, we rushed to the shuttles in order to make it to the Pepsi Center in order to place our votes for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in the Roll Call vote. We reached the Pepsi Center with just minutes to spare. This was my first experience taking part in a Roll Call vote and I wept after placing my name on the ballot. I felt like I was taking part in the creation of democracy and the creation of a new future for America. After the entire delegation cast their ballots, the secretary of the convention started the Roll Call. State by state, each party chairperson introduced the state to the convention via microphone and television camera. Then, they gave the secretary the number of votes for each candidate. It was inspiring to see Arkansas, a state that went entirely to Sen. Clinton, change their delegations vote to unanimous nomination of Sen. Obama. When it came to Idaho, Keith Roark gave the finest introduction speech I heard at the convention. We did Idaho proud! See our pic on the cover of

When the Roll Call reached New Mexico, they yielded the floor to Illinois, who yielded the floor to New York. I was on the edge of my seat, hoping that we were about to see a special guest. Then, the state chair of New York yielded the floor to Sen. Hillary Clinton! She moved to suspend the rules of the convention, end the Roll Call, and nominate Sen. Barack Obama by acclimation! The entire convention went nuts! I have never seen such an emotional reaction by so many people at one time! Even Speaker Pelosi shed a tear! We all affirmed her motion and let me tell you, I have never been prouder to say “aye” in my whole life! It was one of the greatest acts of selflessness I have witnessed on a political stage and afterwards there was no doubt that all of us were firmly bonded together by our belief in the better America Sen. Obama will deliver.

The rest of the convention was just amazing. Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Sen. Tom Daschle, Major Tammy Duckworth, Bill Clinton and John Kerry all spoke. When John Kerry spoke, he did an excellent job of showing that Sen. John McCain from 2000 is very different than the candidate McCain of 2008. He pointed out that the John McCain the GOP is selling is a myth. He votes against children, women, the members of the military, and the environment. He did a wonderful job of identifying John McCain’s ideological mis-truths. President Bill Clinton delivered a speech that point by point showed people just why we can’t afford, as Americans, to elect John McCain in November. By addressing the policies that John McCain has supported, Clinton was able to show that the trends of the last 8 years will be continued if McCain is elected. He showed irrefutable belief in Sen. Obama and his policies being able to create a better America. The ovations he received were tremendous and unrivaled until the very end of the evening. Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden gave a moving introduction to his father, the next Vice President of the United States, Sen. Joe Biden. Sen. Biden gave a great speech that, in my opinion, really introduced how very qualified he his to be the Vice President. His love of family, hard work, and honesty make him a truly great statesman. At the end of the speech, Biden received as surprise when Sen. Obama joined him on stage! The arena was so stunned, there was a pause before the cheering began and went on and on and on and on! It was so awe inspiring to see these two men together, making history tonight.

What is so amazing about this whole convention is that we all played a role in getting to this point. Robert F. Kennedy was right when he noted the greatness of a generation is defined by the many small acts that change the course of history. It is the many small acts of individual people that helped Sen. Obama become the next President of the United State of America.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday's Gone

Today started earlier than yesterday! At breakfast this morning we heard from the President of the Idaho Education Association and we talked about the importance of working for quality education for all children in Idaho and in the country. I had to sneak out for part o the morning’s presentation in order to do a live radio interview with KBOI! Part of our jobs here as delegates is to make sure folks back home get to keep up with our goings on here by giving interviews with local papers, radio stations, and even some television stations.

After we all received our Tuesday credentials and put them in our lanyards, people split up to attend several caucuses. The Idaho delegation had representatives at the Women’s, Youth, Veteran’s and Military Families, and the Rural Caucues’ this morning. I went to the Women’s Caucus and it was inspiring to see so many women Democrats in one place. Today marked the 88th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. It is amazing to think how far we have come in that span of time and how far we still have to go. An often quoted remark during the morning was that Sen. Hillary Clinton put 18,000 cracks in the glass ceiling by being the first serious woman candidate fro President of the United State, but the point is that the ceiling is still there. Donna Brazil from CNN, Rosario Dawson, Fran Drescher, Rev. Lea Doughtrey, Christine Richardson the CEO of Planned Parenthood….many, many strong women leaders spoke to the importance of women’s rights being human rights that we must work to protect.

On my way to the shuttles, I walked through a very interesting protest. Veterans Against the War in Iraq and Afghanistan were protesting by staging a mock patrol through downtown Denver. They were dressed in full camo and demonstrating what the patrols they took part in while over there looked like. After talking to a few of the veterans, I headed to the shuttles to the Pepsi Center and napped all the way to our first security checkpoint! Because I knew what to expect, it was much easier to get through the security checkpoints and find our way to the Convention Hall.

The line-up for speakers today was incredible! The Congressional Black Caucus paid tribute to Stephanie Jones Tubbs in a moving set of speeches, the Congressional Women’s Caucus spoke to the importance of women’s rights and how important it is we elect Sen. Obama because Sen. McCain has repeatedly not supported women’s rights in any shape. Governor Warner gave the keynote address but Governor Schweitzer from Montana gave an amazing speech about energy and social reform. The entire Convention hall was on their feet doing call and response cheers with him! It was wonderful to see such a great representation of the leaders we have here in the West in Governor Schweitzer.

And finally, the speech I was really looking forward to was Sen. Hillary Clinton’s speech. As a Clinton delegate, I was hoping she would deliver a speech that brought Obama and Clinton folks together by unequivocally showing support for Sen. Obama. And boy, did she. I was so impressed, particularly towards the end of the speech when she said that this race is about all the people pushed to the fringes by the Bush Administration and we owe it to our country to elect Sen. Obama. While it was hard to see her not become the nominee, I was so thrilled to see her unify the party in such and elegant way. In this election we are battling for the future of our families, America, and the world. If we loose this election, we may well loose more than just the chance to see Sen. Obama in the White House, we may loose our future.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Any Questions?

If you don't feel your questions about the Convention and my experiences here are being answered fully, please feel free to email me at:

I will be happy to answer your questions to the best of my ability! Thank you for your support!

Day Two: Exhaustion and Total Awe Set In

This morning I shook myself out of bed at 5:45 am. That is mighty early in the morning for this girl! Our breakfast this morning began promptly at 7:00 am. Blair Hull sponsored our breakfast and spoke about creating a sustainable Democrat infrastructure in Idaho. We also heard from some Next New Deal in '09 folks and I would highly recommend checking out their website for more information. I definitely plan too! We also heard from yours truly in the capacity of Pro-Choice Whip for NARAL Pro-Choice America. I and several women from the organization passed out "Yes we can" cans full of stickers, key chains, and information. I spoke to the importance of health care for all including reproductive health for all. This year Idaho Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee have adopted a platform with the strongest pro-choice language ever. It is important that we defeat John McCain in the fall in order to prevent his undoing all the work we as a party have put into ensuring that not only the right to choose, but the right to reproductive health.

After our speakers this morning, we received our credentials and caucus tags. They are on a special lanyard designating Idaho as one of a select group of delegations that reached 100% in the Green Delegate Challenge! Our credentials are handed out everyday only at breakfast. They are printed here at the Denver Mint. They are one of a kind and it's been said they are worth their weight in gold... :)

This morning there were many events. A program honoring "Unconventional Women" was held at the down town Performing Arts Center. Several members of the delegation and I stopped by and visited with many of the attendees on our way to the ADA luncheon. The ADA was holding this event to support the Employees Free Choice Act and was well attended by members of Congress. A stand out speech was delivered by Congressman Barney Franks of Massachusetts and I look forward to being a temporary resident of his state. Also, Robert Kutner spoke eloquently about economic policies and Obama's politics as discussed in his new book. There were copies of the book for the attendants of the luncheon and he made sure to sign them for anyone who asked.

After meeting as many folks as we could, our group headed to the Pepsi Convention Center for the first meeting of the DNC 2008! We hopped on a shuttle and wound our way through an intricate grid of security for what seemed like hours...but was actually only 30 minutes. Security was tight, but well worth it as we finally walked in the doors of the Pepsi Center. The excitement that had been building during the walk up to the center let loose in a torrent of tears as I was struck by the sheer immensity of my actually being a part of this amazing democratic event. The women checking IDs closest to me noticed my tears and said, "It's okay, I feel that way too."

The convention convened at 3:00pm and we immediately got down to business approving both the Credentials Committee's report and the 2008 DNC Party Platform. It was awesome to hear so many people yelling "AYE!" in unison. The arena slowly filled as I walked around the floor and got orientated with the space. It was amazing to be able to watch all the media personnel work within and around us. I personally rubbed shoulders with Anderson Cooper and Dan Rather; while I watched Wolf Blitzer and Charlie Gibson from a few feet away.

Many people gave speeches this evening. Party members, ordinary folks, members of Congress all were represented on stage. My favorite, or so I thought at the time, was when President Jimmy Carter came onto the stage. As a past volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, I really feel a kinship for President Carter's work after he left office, so it was neat to see him in person. But, then, but then, Caroline Kennedy spoke about Sen. Obama and Sen. Kennedy. She paid tribute to her Uncle Teddy, and his brothers, to the cheers of the entire Convention. We watched a short video salute to Sen. Kennedy. As it came to an end, the stage hands set a tool on the stage and Sen. Edward Kennedy walked into the hall with his wife-the Convention hall went NUTS! Everyone was yelling and screaming because we had heard the Senator was too ill to make it out to the DNC this week. For me, it was an especially awesome moment because his work in Congress is a personal inspiration. Let me tell you, hearing is fiery speech brought hope to my heart and many tears to my eyes. I am so very grateful for his efforts in making it to the Convention tonight.

The stand out speech was the final speech delivered by Michelle Obama. It was eloquent, honest and really helped me get to know the reality of her family's life. I was impressed and flattened by the grace of the delivery, as was the entire hall. Everyone was waving huge signs that said "Michelle" and she had to stop her speech several times to allow for the cheering. It was amazing, loud, and positive engery from all around the hall during the entire course of her speech. At the conclusion of the event, her daughters joined her on stage as Sen. Obama joined on via the large tv screens in the convention hall.

All in all, this day was even more amazing then yesterday. I cannot wait to see what is in store for me tomorrow!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My first day in Denver!

I have flown in to Denver many, many times and am used to the plane ride. Usually I read a book and listen to music...but during this flight I found myself unable to focus! All I could do was anticipate the momentous week ahead of me. This is my very first convention and I really feel like I am being the change I wish to see in this country just by being here!

When the flight landed in Denver and I made it to the terminal with a smile on my face for the crowd of people waiting. There were people waiting with OBAMA signs, DNC signs, and many news crews. It was a great high energy introduction to the city of Denver and the 2008 Convention!

I gathered my luggage and made it to the shuttle van that took me the wrong hotel! I ran into a young man from Guam whose delegation is sharing a hotel with Idaho and Indian who shared several cabs with me. After a few hours, we made it to our hotel!

There were several events this afternoon. Several Idaho delegates went to the Interfaith celebration and several went to Pachanga: A Celebration of the Fair Housing Act. I went to the Pachanga and met several wonderful delegates from Texas. There was salsa music, delicious food, and was in an area of the city they are working to revitalize. It was a beautiful day to stroll the streets of Denver and meet people like Jeff Key who is working to provide mental health support for returning Iraq veterans (as a former veteran himself, he feels soldiers are not getting the support they need).

The evening event was a gigantic party called "Friends of New Orleans" at the Colorado Convention Center. A great New Orleans band band played and Idaho's delegation took over the dance floor. Jerry Brady, Nicole LeFavour, and Jessica Taylor really showed the other delegates that Idaho CAN DANCE! More than just a party, this event was about supporting our fellow Americans. Thousands of delegates turned out to support efforts in the Katrina stricken area. The mayor of New Orleans spoke, as did Howard Dean. It is a testament to the inadequacies of Bush's Administration how many are still displaced and how badly they have fumbled the recovery efforts in the area. The event really underlined our need for McCain to be defeated in the fall to prevent four more years of inadequate, unconcerned government.

As a young Democrat, I was excited to hear of a party sponsored by the Young Democrats of America later in the evening. In total, 7 Idaho delegates and pages went to the event at the Bar Standard in Downtown Denver. There was lots of good music and interesting young folks to talk to. I spoke with a young man named Mike who creates amazing artwork on earth friendly t-shirts. His site is and I highly recommend you check out his website and artwork. Also, there were many local Denver-ites out and about in support of the DNC. I met a young teacher from this city who took two days of work this week to volunteer at the Convention. Dedication like hers is awesome to see in other young people!

As the group of us traveled home this evening, we were all smiles. The most often uttered phrase on the way back to the hotel was, "Can you believe this is actually happening?" We are all working so hard to do Idaho proud and enjoy as much of this once in a lifetime experience as we can! Thank you for all your support and keep checking for more updates!