A brief note first about Tim Russert’s death. He was the king of the "gotcha" interview style, and a force of nature in american politics for the past two decades. His loss is a huge one for our national discourse.
State Convention politics is almost entirely different than the local legislative district politcs. It could be a sign of the primary fight being over and our now having a nominee, but almost every discussion I have had today has been about local state politics and congressional races rather than the larger national race versus John Mccain.
But first off a nice shot this morning of downtown Spokane and the convention center:
It’s a beautiful location, that’s the shot out of my hotel room window at the Doubletree.
Today was mostly a series of meetings and networking events. Starting off in the morniing there were breakouts for the party platform, rules commitee, workshops on community organizing, etc. Lunch consisted of "get your own" or a luncheon to support Congressional candidate Darcy Burner before a slate of afternoon sessions.
I wandered around a bit after lunch to snap photos, here’s one I like that’s of all the booths for all the candidates for all the state party and office positions people are running for:
I only peripherally hit the morning sessions, but there was one session I couldnt, as they say, resist:
The workshop was run as an ad hoc discussion with David Goldstein of Horse’s Ass and John Wyble. As a workshop I think it left a bit to be desired, I would have preferred even a 5 slide deck for people to take away on how to create your own blog, either as a sub blog of the various places like DailyKos or the Obama site, or in more traditional places like WordPress, Blogspot, etc.
Still the talk was extremely entertaining. Unfortunately due to its loose structure (perhaps a reflection of the speaker’s opinions on blogging) more than half the content was answering questions from the audience that led to a lot of disjointed discussion. I think, again, they would have been a lot better off starting with an explanation of blogging and its reach and how to do it. One person’s question late in the presentation, "How do I access the blogosphere" (an obvious neophyte question) was responded to with the cryptic "Check out blogrolls!" Well, if it is obvious they don’t understand the concept of the fact the blogosphere is simply a collective term for blogs, it’s unlikely they will understand the term "Blogrolls".At another point David kind of railed overlong against the Seattle Times for an editorial they wrote on him. No doubt that David and John know their stuff about blogging in the new world, but not sure they were the right guys to help this crowd.
I specifically (during the opening when they asked the rather large crowd what they wanted to learn about) mentioned Twitter and microblogging opportunities to react quickly to events and got a murmer in the crowd of "What’s Twitter" and the moderator just moved on quickly.
All in all it was a good talk, but a missed opportunity. I think there is a real shot in Denver of running a "how to blog effectively" workshop that has a 101 section for newbies and a 201 section to incorporate new technologies and tools. I’ve already found out that there will be no Internet access on the convention floor in Denver, something easily remedied by the smart enterprising blogger with a wireless broadband card from a cellular carrier.
But I digress.
After the late afternoon sessions I didn’t want to let the beautiful day go by without a drive around the city. A drive that had no purpose, no mission, no direction, just a leisure tour of…oh who am I kidding.
Ever since the 2005 bankruptcy of Schlotzsky’s closed almost all the stores in Washington state whenever I am at a place that has one I make it a point to get a regular original with extra mustard and extra black olives. It was tasty enough to be classified as criminal.
Tomorrow is going to be a very long day as the entire day is dedicated to official convention business and the casting of our state level delegate votes for the national delegates to reflect. I will be very interested to see if Barack Obama gains any over-all votes now that Hillary is allowing her delegates (if they wish) to vote for him.
One thing I can say, in the (very few) open Hillary supporters I have come across, there has been no acrimony or incivility. All said they would support Obama. But you do get a sense that they aren’t completely happy about it.
Oh and we originally were supposed to have John Kerry deliver our keynote address. Unfortunately he must have realized where he was being sent because we got word today he had canceled. heh. Spokane isn’t bad people!