What exciting times these are! First, we got to watch Obama’s impressive stage production and impeccably delivered speech. Of course, though flawlessly delivered, his speech invited analysis. However, people were just catching their breath to begin commenting on it, when John McCain surprised the nation with his phenomenal choice for Vice-President. By the reaction of my fellow students at the Washington Center, the timing and the announcement could not have been more astonishing. Mrs. Palin automatically added spice to the race. However, this news was being overshadowed by Gustav, a hurricane threatening to cause havoc somewhere between Louisiana and Alabama and threatening the Republican National Convention. We will not know what will happen until probably Sunday. In the meantime, we have a day to catch our breath before the convention.
Yesterday we saw a side of politics that is nothing like the presidential races. Minnesota State Rep. Patrick Garofalo, a Republican, and Minnesota State Rep. Steve Simon, a Democrat, spoke to The Washington Center. They came together, declared to be best friends; (and by the way they joked and teased each other, it is obvious that they are close friends) while at the same time presented their case for a subject that is sensitive in Minnesota: transportation and roads. Politically they could not be in more disagreement. However, they respected each other’s views and told us the way they have worked together to find a common ground to their ideas. I know this is not extraordinary. Anybody who has evere watched the House in session on C-Span knows that in general, that is the way politics is played. At the presidential level, though, it gets ugly.
The students have received their assignments. I will be working with Lifetime TV. None of us has credentials to go into the Xcel Energy Center the days of the convention. We all hope to get them through the organizations with which we will be working. Since we have no guarantee that we will get them through the organization we will work for, we try to meet as many people as we can and see if there are other venues that may provide credentials. Credentials are given a day at a time. Even with credentials, the access has degrees, from very limited to not so limited access. Credentials are needed to attend other events and there are tons of them. There are breakfasts and luncheons people from the media or politicians, receptions to delegates and other dignitaries and evening parties from interest groups. I plan to attend some of the receptions this weekend, and next time I write I will tell you about them. See you then.