Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Political convention season in Cleveland and Philadelphia

Once again, we find ourselves in the midst of political convention season.

Republicans gather in Cleveland this week -- they will wrap it up Thursday night. Democrats convene in Philadelphia next week.

Local news has interviewed some familiar faces. My Cheyenne city councilperson, Dicky Shanor, is a delegate in Cleveland. A member of the Micheli clan was interviewed last weekend on NPR. Sen./Dr. John Barrasso has been interviewed about the ultra-conservative, regressive platform that he's shepherded through the long approval process. I'm certain that network cameras have captured other delegates, especially those wearing cowboy hats or other unique garb. I would have details if I was actually watching the convention instead of conducting other important business, such as enjoying Wyoming's summer evenings. I marvel at lightning unleashed in massive storm clouds. I listen to the birds. Chat with Chris. Mess with my garden. Drink a beer. All preferable to watching Repubs spew their hate and paranoia on national TV. I plan to read the lowlights of the party's platform. All you need to know about Republicans is in that document.

How can you possibly write about a convention that you are not watching?

Good question. The answer is simple: I have a blog and I live in the U.S.A.

Besides, I'm harmless, a 65-year-old retiree located deep in the middle of flyover country. My biggest decision of the day is what to have for lunch.

I like Cleveland even though I've never been there. It's home to the trail-blazing Cleveland Clinic and an excellent poetry series at Cleveland State University. It's the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. When I was a lad, the Cleveland Indians were one of my favorite teams. As an adult, I delighted in John Elway's rally against the Browns during "The Drive." I was a delegate for former Cleveland Boy-Mayor Dennis Kucinich at the 2004 Wyoming state convention. He wasn't the nominee that year but the Dems got thrashed by Dubya just the same.

I did a little research a found that Cleveland, the former industrial powerhouse whose polluted river once infamously burst into flames, is now undergoing a renaissance. Millennials and Boomer empty-nesters are moving into the city's core. Both populations seek a more urban lifestyle that includes small apartments/condos and closeness to arts, culture, bistros and brewpubs. They are lying low this week, due to swarms of outlander Repubs in funny hats invading their territory. But they will be able to return to their hip urban lifestyles next week.

Cheyenne's Jason Bloomberg, a Hillary Clinton delegate, departs Friday for the cross-country trek to Philly in the Trumpbusters' Tesla. 
On Monday, the Democrats launch their confab in Philly.  Eighteen of my fellow Wyoming Democrats will be on hand for the proceedings. Two of the delegates will drive to Cleveland in Jason Bloomberg's Tesla, stopping at charging stations along the way. Jason, a Hillary delegate, is traveling with a Bernie delegate. They will have many enlightening discussions along the way. The convention will be a bit of deja vu for Dr. Bloomberg, who was a committed Hillary delegate to the 2008 county, state and national conventions. He remembers what happened in 2008 and tells me that he is excited, at last, to be able to cast his vote for Ms. Clinton as our party's candidate for prez. In Denver in 2008, Hillary bowed out gracefully when it was certain that Barack Obama had the votes. I witnessed that convention as an embedded blogger from Wyoming. I will revisit some of my convention posts during the next week, a bit of a flashback to those heady days in Denver. Be forewarned...

For more on Bloomberg's Trumpbusters' campaign, go here. To read about his experiences as a 2016 delegate, go here.

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