It’s amazing the highs and lows one can experience in the span of just a few hours. Today was definitely one of those experiences for me. Charlotte continues to be extremely challenging – from the torrential downpours to some of the most frustrating logistics I’ve encountered – it’s been difficult to say the least. But, that being said, despite the fact that we had to stand in the pouring rain waiting to get into the arena, it was also a bonding moment for the faithful. In fact, for me I got the chance to meet a couple of really interesting elected officials from Connecticut and standing there, with water literally dripping off of us, we had an interesting discussion about the importance of our party’s messages and the differences between Democrats and Republicans and why it matters. Pretty heady stuff for a slow, soggy line.
Once inside the arena, I was lucky enough to be invited to a sky box where I was treated to a parade of California’s elected elite and some pretty fabulous celebrity sightings as well. It was fun to be there with will i am from the Black Eyed Peas, MC Hammer (MC HAMMER!), Rosario Dawson, and Adrien Grenier from Entourage – trying to divide my attention between what was happening on the stage below us and surreptitiously watching the doings in the box – celebrity/politician photo moments and a lot of Facebook postings…and not by us civilians who were all trying to be “cool” and not geek out on the pols and the celebs.
What was even more exciting, however, was the hushed silence of all of these luminaries when San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro took the stage…I was reminded of Barak Obama’s burst onto the national scene in 2004 with his political star-making convention speech. We watched Castro set the tone of the night with his heartfelt and personal story. In a box full of jaded and cynical politicians, staffers, and campaign consultants, it was definitely a tough crowd. But, by the end, we agreed that he deserved an A – his tone was spot on and his energy was palpable in an arena that had been pretty reserved all evening.
But, if our tough crowd was giving Castro thumbs up, it was nothing compared to the chills we got and standing ovations we gave as the First Lady delivered possibly one of the best political speeches I’ve ever heard. You could hear a pin drop – not just in our box but in the arena as a whole. She was beautiful, and warm, and funny and with tears glistening in her eyes and mine, she told a story of why Obama deserves our vote in November.
In the end I left feeling proud – not just to be an American but of my party, my President and of a woman who, for me, is such an amazing personal hero and role model.
It may continue to rain buckets on us here and I may continue to be frustrated by the logistical challenges, but I’m so thankful to be a part of this wonderful moment in history.