Philadelphia & the Democratic National Convention

Posing by the Rocky statue on the museum grounds

I finished my second class this summer in Lehigh yesterday and we are off to take a family holiday in the great American west. We are leaving from Philadelphia so decided to spend a two days here to experience the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Although we are not delegates and cannot get into the convention center itself, there are lots of events around the city celebrating democracy and the convention.

The delegations from Georgia and Connecticut are staying in our hotel near the airport. We were talking yesterday with several of them, as well as delegates from Texas, and it is fascinating to hear their views and see the convention in progress. The delegations of Connecticut and Georgia are very different. Hillary Clinton  won Georgia 73-29 and there are lots of African American delegates (Georgia is 60% white). Clinton edged out Sanders 28-27 in Connecticut in a state that is 98.7% white. I wonder how the delegations will get along. They are generally political nerds from what I see and I am surprised that many of them are younger than I thought they would be. I have lots of questions and will try to talk to more of them today. The extra security is definitely noticeable, there is a policeman stationed in the lobby of the hotel. There are also walking and car patrols all over the city center.

Delegate registration at the Doubletree hotel in Philadelphia

We asked two of the delegates from Connecticut what they thought of the email leak. Being Clinton delegates, they downplayed it, saying that Deborah Wasserman, the current party and convention chair was planning to step down after this election cycle anyway and they felt the change was good. We’ll see how this plays out in the upcoming days.

Lots of extra security in the city this week

Many more Bernie Sanders t-shirts and pins can be seen than Clinton advertising, by a factor of 10 to 1. I wore my Sanders t-shirt for a bit yesterday afternoon and many people verbalized their support. This is the same reaction I received in the Lehigh Valley. Has there ever been a candidate so popular that has not won the nomination?

We got in yesterday afternoon and went to see the Philadelphia Museum of Art downtown. I tried to reenact the famous running scene in the first Rocky movie, where Sylvester Stallone is running through the streets of Philadelphia and ends on the museum steps. Unfortunately the convention rented the museum last night and the steps were closed to the public. I did manage to do the run up to the steps and we took our picture at the Rocky statue near the museum. With the release of Creed this past year, we introduced the kids to the Rocky series and they loved them, so everyone was excited to see where the film took place.

It is so nice to be able to give the kids and Nadia, who is a US political junkie, the opportunity to see the convention up close and experience the excitement of process of electing the president.