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Delegate's Diary: Democratic National Convention 2012, Day 2

Del. Surovell's take on his second day in Charlotte, N.C.

Editor's note: Virginia Del. Scott Surovell, who represents the state's 44th District, is sending Patch updates of his experiences in Charlotte, N.C. at the Democratic National Convention. The following is from Surovell.

Day #2 at the Democratic National Convention was an inspiring day.

As usual, we started off the day with breakfast. Our speakers for the morning included Jessie Jackson, Cong. James Clyburn, former Gov. Tim Kaine and Donna Brazile. Jessie Jackson focused on voter ID laws and attempts to disenfranchise voters. Cong. Clyburn and Brazile focused on President Obama’s successes: Saving the American auto industry, ending "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell," finding Osama Bin Laden, reforming student loans and diverting savings to Pell Grants and financial aid and many others.

After breakfast, I got my floor credential, but stuck around the hotel to get some legal work done. Around 4 p.m., I headed over to the arena for the beginning of the floor session. It turned out I was about the last one there out of our 135-member delegation and had to sit in the back until someone got up and I was able to move up!

As the speeches began, they circulated the official ballot for President of the United States.  I voted for Barack Obama and took a picture of it. President Obama received a unanimous vote from the Virginia delegation.

The floor session was a powerful experience.  Former Ohio Governor and Pastor Ted Strickland talked about how President Obama’s policies had kept Ohio auto factories open, saving thousands of jobs and contrasted that with Gov. Romney’s history of dismantling companies and outsourcing jobs to foreign countries.

Gov. Tim Kaine talked about how Democrats in Virginia became more competitive statewide by focusing on delivering results instead of focusing on obstruction and leveraging issues for political gain.  The keynote speaker was Julian Castro - the mayor of San Antonio.  He said “my mother held a mop so I could hold this microphone.” 

We also heard from several real people. Lilly Ledbetter talked about the importance of closing the wage gap between men and women. A mother from Ohio talked about how Obamacare’s prohibition on lifetime medical expense gaps provided her family with financial and emotional security after her three-year old daughter required three surgeries for a congenital heart defect and her daughter had consumed 60 percent of her lifetime expense cap on her first two surgeries. We also heard from a mom from Ohio whose four children were serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

The highlight of the night was Michelle Obama. She talked about her and President Obama’s parents’ struggles to provide opportunity for them and the duty they feel to help provide opportunities for others.  She brought many in the audience to tears with her passion for her husband.  She said that being President doesn’t change who a person is, but instead it reveals them. She also said that these issues aren’t “political” to the President, “They’re personal.”  

Tonight (Wednesday) Bill Clinton and Terry McAuliffe take to the stage along with Elizabeth Warren. Last night, Terry McAuliffe told me that President Clinton was still busy revising his speech. Everyone is eager to hear him speak.    

I’ve been watching conventions since I was a kid. I remember always watching to see if our Tauxemont neighbor, Emily Myatt, would show up on TV with one of her crazy hats (she always was).  These conventions are history in the making.  It is an exciting honor to be on the floor and a part of it. 

Read about Del. Surovell's first day at the convention .


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