My law partner Scott Surovell is in Denver this week as an Obama delegate. Since I’m back home working, I’m living vicariously through Scott. He sent me an email last night of his first impressions as a Delegate. Sounds like Scott is channeling his inner Hunter Thompson which is never a bad thing.
With his permission, I’m posting ….
“This whole thing is very surreal. I already had no idea what to expect.
So I get on my plane from Chicago to Denver. It’s a Southwest flight so I have to pick my seats. I sit next to a guy with a Hillary shirt on. I figure he’s a delegate so we could talk politics. He says nope, I helped find a a friend to write a check for $1,000,000 to the Convention Host Committee last week so he needed me to help with his skybox, credentials, etc. etc. He went on to tell me that he’s a political consultant in NY and Kiev (yes Kiev). He introduces me to a guy sitting on the other side of me. He’s an attorney in Niagra Falls who was telling stories about the waterpark he owns, his $15,000,000 medical malpractice settlements, and other numerous achievements and points out the Mayor of Buffalo sitting across the aisle. I’m already starting to think I’m entering a different world.
We land right around 8:30 p.m. at Denver International Airport after a tornado large blew through nearby (yes, a large tornado) and I go walking out to find baggage claim and Cong. John Murtha is standing there greeting people.
Next, I need to find my rental car. I had procrastinated so about 2 weeks ago, I went to find a rental car and the only thing Expedia had was “Advantage Rental Car” who claimed they had one for $192/week and didn’t need a deposit – I found that hard to believe. I went to look for Advantage and they are of course at the VERY end of the bus line, bus didn’t show for 20 minutes, we’re at the end of the car rental street, end of everything. Nevertheless, I am sporting a tricked out $192/week 4-door Hyundai something or other with XM radio and I got to jam to Urban Def Jam or something all the way to the Crowne Plaza Hotel (a converted Holiday Inn) where the Virginia Delegation is staying.
So I go up to my room. There are 2 big bags all of full of all kinds of junk – key fobs, mints, energy drinks, ear phones, stress balls, blah blah blah. So I put all my stuff away and come down the elevator. The doors open and it’s Mark Warner in civies with his campaign entourage. Then I hang around the lobby waiting around for my friend who we’re going to grab a beer with and Marion Barry goes ambling by (we’re sharing a hotel with DC and NM Delegations).
So I get up on Monday morning, and I see the schedule is for Caucus meetings. The problem is that I don’t fit it any of the caucuses – I’m not female, minority, gay, or from a rural area. They ought to have a green caucus. I’ve was talking to some other similarly situated friends and we’ve discussed starting the Straight White Male Suburban Beer
Drinking Caucus to get some serious business done during these caucus meetings.
So after figuring out my (lack of a) plan for the day, I come down for breakfast. Elevator doors open and Tim Kaine is staring at me with his entourage waiting to get on the elevator.
Virginia has around 100 delegates. I go to check in for breakfast. The only problem is I’m not on the list – however, Todd Surovell is so we spend some time straightening all that out. I figure breakfast is a 100 person affair – try 300 (delegates and our “friends”). It was sponsored by Dominion Resources and we get a speech from their CEO. The next speaker is the head of the VA AFL-CIO which distributed lit critical of CEO compensation (odd juxtaposition).
So then, I look around the room and it’s ridiculous who is there. As I’m leaving breakfast, I run into Tom Grisham and spoke to him for a few minutes, and then run the gauntlet outside by all of these Washington Post and D.C. television reporters.
Now I’m back in my room getting my bearings (and getting some work done). This is going to be one crazy week…”