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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 3 Democratic Convention Recap: Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ann-Marie Luciano Bio

Written at 12:30 p.m. MT, August 27, 2008

Yesterday Maryland had its official state delegation luncheon at the beautiful Botanical Gardens in Denver. At the luncheon we heard a little bit from most of our Maryland slate. Maryland's congressional representatives were honored by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Senator Mikulski also gave a preview of her conventions speech and got the crowd fired up about the importance of equal pay for equal work.

After the luncheon we headed off to the Pepsi Center, since security is tight and traffic is a bear so it has been taking up to an hour to get there from door to door. There are protesters throughout the city, but their numbers are small and they are significantly outnumbered by all of the pro-Obama supporters throughout the city. As a general matter, the protesters fall into one of three categories: anti-choice, anti-war, or what I will refer to us "religious enthusiasts." Last night when we left the Pepsi Center, the pedestrian traffic ended up bringing us right to where the protesters were staged. Despite this meshing of divergent interests, everything seemed to be peaceful.

One speech last night that I understand went mostly unnoticed by the media was that of Governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer. He gave a rousing, animated speech about energy and at every turn distinguished Obama from McCain. The Governor hit the theme over and over again that McCain is More of the Same while Obama has an actual energy plan that will bring us independence from foreign oil. It's a shame this speech wasn't covered more by the media - it really hit all of the marks in terms of defining Obama, distinguishing Obama from McCain, casting McCain as McSame, and revving up the crowd.

After the convention, Attorney General Gansler had a party for the Maryland delegation at Gumbo's restaurant downtown. The special guest was Robert F. Kennedy Jr. or "Bobby." Bobby gave an amazing speech discussing how America's power and standing in the world has changed so drastically from the time when his father was a Senator to now. Bobby talked about how secure America was when we were looked to by Europe and the world generally for leadership. He said that Bush and McCain's theory that American is secure when she is feared was wrong and proceeded to go back into the beginning of American history to recite many examples of America's leaders taking the high road in moral leadership. It was an incredible opportunity to hear from him - especially given the fact that the Kennedy family is an icon in American politics.

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