This morning finds me sandwiched between two Hillary delegates at the PA delegation breakfast. One is advocating for nuclear energy (what???) but also happens to be BFFs with the older sister of one of my BFFs (small world, this great state of Pennsylvania) and has promised me she’ll read “The Green Economy” by Van Jones. (She’s also carrying around a Hillary action figure and taking funny pictures of the pantsuited super hero hobnobbing with senators and drinking coffee so this is adding some much needed comic relief to this morning’s speeches.)
To my right is an older woman in a polka dot dress who now thinks I’m God because I explained that you can’t possibly take the subway the wrong way from the Wells Fargo Center because it’s the end of the line and that yes, it is entirely possible to take mass transit to 30th Street Station and the subways are the cleanest and most heavily protected that they’ve ever been in the history of this city so now is the perfect opportunity to lose your subway V-card…
I didn’t say “V-card” of course, because she said a prayer before digging into her breakfast and is one of the nicer Hillary delegates I’ve met. She also explained to me that this convention feels like closure for her because she was at the convention 8 years ago when Hillary didn’t get the nomination, and that she totally understands how I feel as a Sanders delegate because we haven’t even been able to vote yet and you can’t find closure (let alone the desire to “unite” or “rise together”) when you can’t even cast your damn vote.
(She didn’t actually say “damn” either because she a nice God-praising, subway-fearing lady in a polka dot dress but it’s my blog and you get the point…)
It’s these conversations, though, these genuine acknowledgements that are gonna get the Sanders delegates to “fall in line.” Not the non-stop Hillary infomercial that comprised the majority of last night’s programming.
Here’s the re-cap I posted on Facebook when I stumbled home around 1:00am last night (keep in mind, I’d spent the past 6 hours in a wheelchair, granting over a dozen interviews, cheering my head off and being severely deprived in the food-and-water-department):
People who are no longer my friends after Night #1:
1) Sarah Silverman (who I only even liked because she came out for Bernie but when you call Bernie supporters “ridiculous” for chanting his name, we are done).
2) Chelsea Clinton (who blocked the elevators meant for ADA folks with her entourage and forced me and the other wheelchair bound delegates to loop the Wells Fargo Center twice just to get out at the end of the night. Also? She needs to accept the fact that she has curly hair and embrace it. Be a freaking role model for real.)
3) All of the Hillary delegates who walked out during Bernie’s speech, and I counted at least 12 from my seat on the floor; there were hundreds more elsewhere. Where’s the “unity” in that that? We sat through 6 hours of your people and you can’t spare a few minutes for the man who brought thousands of us to the table AND then graciously endorsed his opponent?
Also, Corey Booker is no longer my boyfriend (even though we had breakfast together, just me, Corey and a few hundred other people… It was very intimate.) He said being cynical about the political process is being cowardly and tricked me into waving a Hillary sign by invoking Maya Angelou. (How you gonna resist “And still I rise?” For the record, I was cheering for Ms. Angelou, not Ms. Clinton.)
People who are awesome:
1) Michelle. We are on a first name basis even though she may not know this but she is the classiest, most well spoken, most inspiring FLOTUS in the history of our nation and if the party truly wanted unity, they should’ve picked her with Corey as VEEP. They could’ve done in House of Cards style, you know just minus all of the murders and whatnot…
2) Elizabeth. Also on first name basis with her and have almost forgiven her for endorsing Secretary Clinton so soon. (Almost.)
3) Bernie. Pretty sure I lost my voice cheering for him and it went on for at least 5 minutes. He was charming, funny, passionate, and not the least bit a sore loser because there are so many yuuuuge victories along the way and moving forward of which to be proud.
Also Killer Mike, Rosario Dawson, and the Bernie supporters rallying outside of the convention center and sweating it out on the front lines.
I’m pretty sure just about every politician who took the stage last night invoked this phrase but it really does take a village: those of us inside the fence headed into the arena and those on the outside, cheering us on, keeping the progressive agenda in the public eye and holding our elected officials’ feet to the proverbial fire.
There’s so much security that it felt a little concentration camp-ish (one presumes, at least) just getting off of the subway: cage like fences on all sides, keeping the protesters out and keeping the delegates in, but seeing all those rows and rows of Bernie supporters cheering us on literally brought tears to my eyes: this is what democracy looks like! I was so stricken that I almost ran into poll and would’ve knocked myself out before even getting into the arena if not for the welcome guidance of one of my hotel roommates and fellow Latinas for Bernie.
Also I did at least 20 interviews yesterday thanks to my Bernie crown so if you saw me on TV on in the NYTimes, yeah, that was me 😉