The Vanguard has a new home, please update your bookmarks to

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vanguard Coverage of the DNC: Night Four

The Vanguard is primarily a blog that covers local politics and local government issues. However, there is no denying the fact that much of the world will be focused on the Democratic National Convention next week. So we have asked Don Gibson, a UC Davis Student who is President of College Democrats and an elected Hillary Clinton Delegate to the Democratic National Convention to write about his experiences at the Democratic Convention in Denver, Colorado.

by Don Gibson

The reason for the late post, I am still coming down from the moon which Obama's speech. This flight is the first free time today from running around to the airport and the after speech celebrations. Blogging from 20,000 feet in the air is a first for me.

To put is simply, it was one of if not the best moment of my life. Being in that stadium, 10 rows away from the next President of the United States, sitting next to the state Democratic leadership, and toping all the energy off with fireworks is hard to even begin to write about.

I was living history. The 80,000 fellow people citizens in the stands and the 4,000 delegates were overcome with a feeling of hope that our nation's problems might be fixed for once in the last decade. The feeling that this man is a true leader came over me and all of my fellow Clinton delegates. We are now in love with Obama. It was everything we expected and more. He helped rally all of us to not only vote but campaign for him this election season.

Obama finally did the bio speech that laid out his upbringing. His family, growing up on government programs such as the GI Bill and food stamps, helped bring him where he is today. He moved to relate his experience with every American. He was packaging himself of those always courted swing voters with his background of strong values and upbringing.

Then he slammed McCain's positions. Telling McCain that he needs to actually go after Osama in Afghanistan as opposed to keeping troops in Iraq; helped alarm voters who think that McCain will keep the people safe. These attacks need to be done and many of us are happy that it is happening. It is scary that a man that actually wants to continue the policies of the Bush Administration has a decent chance of actually winning the White House. The 90% voting record with Bush is what should be in the minds of every undecided voter and ask them whether that judgment is the right leader we need.

Obama staid on message like always while going into policy during the speech which I have though is something he needs to do. Obama will lower taxes for 95% of Americans while McCain will keep Bush's tax cuts which he himself voted against twice. John McCain more of the same and Obama will bring change is the theme of this election. It maybe sticking because John Kerry did not have those slogans everyone knew and he lost.

The standing ovation after Obama's speech had such energy from the floor that I wish they could win an election just by a cheering crowd. Although there weren't any balloons (my only disappointment of the entire convention) the fireworks made everyone go crazy. It even caught Michelle Obama off guard but seeing she jump once the big ones went off. The fireworks were the icing on the cake that made a historical moment end of a bang.

The stadium had acted as if the Broncos were on the goal line, 4th down with 5 seconds left on the clock to score the winning touchdown.

I have yet to hear from a fellow delegate on the floor who was not touched or inspired to work for this man.

Outside after the speech was all over that close to 100,000 people jumped onto the buses and light rail. No one really cared that it took up to three hours in my case to catch a bus. We were in a state of awe and wonder.

Saying that Obama overshadowed all speakers would be true a huge understatement. We had over a dozen retired US Generals come out and tell McCain he has the wrong policy on the war while Obama wants to get the terrorist where they actually are. These people would make for great surrogates. Then the average Americans came out, many of them claiming to be former republicans gave McCain a strong attack that is hard to refute.

The only one who came close to clearing the way was Al Gore's speech. Not allowing our country be destroyed by climate change and owning up to our responsibility for future generations. Thank you Al Gore for speaking to your issue! I want to not have killer heat waves and Napa wine to still be good in 50 years. To think, that he was only 500 votes away from wining the presidency, that amount of campaign work can be done with a few people devoting their weekend to knock on doors or call. The would could have completely changed if my friends and I went out and campaigned. This is why I am in politics. Watching MSNBC or CNN or Fox News all day is fun and all but if you are angry at the current path of our nation, then go and do something about it. I feel bad for the people who say my vote doesn't count. Luckily young people no longer think that. Many of us remember Florida and almost no one my age likes Bush. The young voters, if targeted and reached out by campaigns will not only campaign but vote in a block two-thirds for Democrats.

Being a delegate provides such a status level that I had no clue about it until being there. It does not mean I will change any policy but I did cast one of the votes that was the deciding way in choosing the next nominee for the Democratic Party.

This is why I am proud to be a Democrat. They offer the ability for young activist who can register thousands of voters and change elections, the ability to directly shape the future of our nation. I do not know if the Republicans have 11% of their delegates under the age of 30 but we are representative of all members of the party, not just county chairs.

Thanks to DPD for allowing me to post this even though I may have been out too late parting.