Monday, July 26, 2004

Day 4: Revenge of the Nerds 

I have slacked on my daily commentary. However, day 2 and 3 were rather uneventful. I've been fine-tuning the art of "drinking-enough-so-that-schmoozing-becomes-easier-but-not-ugly."

But I have noticed that there is kind of a secret club among young politicians here at the convention.  It's not a club based around where one falls on the lefty spectrum or whether you managed to obtain tickets to Gov. Richardson's lobster boil. No, it's the club for folks that truly understand the way that the internet and technology is fundamentally altering our political system forever. And members of this club not only recognize this, but embrace it, crave it and love it. Likened to the Eisenhower era in the 1950's when only a small group of people dared to dream about the way that TV and the 30 second soundbite would dramatically change the political landscap forever. Now the internet and the blogosphere stand to have similar dramatic implications. Much has been written on this subject by people much more articulate than myself so I will spare going into details of what these powerful changes could entail, but if you don't get it or you think I am over-reacting about it, then I hate to break it to you but you are not in the club. In the past 4 days, most conversations I have been involved in at some point include a provocative statement about technology, the blogging world or both. And the general response other parties involved is either a blank stare or instant bonding. And I don't think you have to be some tech genius or know SQL server to be in the club. You just need to know that when the guy next to you is talking about the importance of having a strong back-end, he's not complimenting hot intern behind you.


Friday, July 23, 2004

Day 1: Bostonites Prepare 

There are still six days until Kerry's nomination speech but the 2004 Democratic Convention has officially arrived in Boston. Over-excited 19 year-olds with "Welcome to Boston" signs greeted us at the airport as we arrived at 12 noon on the Friday before the official week of convention chaos kicks-off. As the cabbies realize we are tourists from DC, they suddenly switched over from their meters to their fixed $12 per person rate from the airport to anything downtown-perhaps a deal in bumber to bumber convention craziness but a severe rip-off today when it took a full 5 minutes to get from the airport to our dorm rooms. Yes, I said dorm rooms. If you look at it as comparable to an Italian hostel they really aren't that bad. Also, considering the college students at the front desk said that they had friends who subletted their apartment this month at a profit of $1,000 and our senior staff complained that their $250 per night hotel rooms smelled like cigarette butts and hadn't updated their decor since the 1970's, I am feeling pretty lucky this week. The Bostonians I encountered on my first day, however, didn't share my same enthusiasm. At the nail place (okay yes, the first thing I did in Boston was get a manicure), the young woman groaned when I asked her how her business was bracing for the next week. A bartender at a venue of one of our events next week (we were just making sure the wine was acceptable) admitted he couldn't wait until this week was over.  Me, I am already tired just by thinking about the week ahead of me. But then today someone close to me reminded me that 10 years ago when I decided that I would work within the system for the good part of my life, this was exactly what I had in mind. For the most part, people in my profession don't make much money, they don't have much free-time or a well-balanced life, they aren't usually that hip or cool, but darnitt, when a bunch of smart people get together and get drunk and excited, something interesting has got to come out of it!!


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Convention Chaos 

I'm going to my first Democratic Convention ever tomorrow. While I admit I am pretty excited, up until now this whole experience has been incredibly stressful. Most big organization do one or two events, our crazy office of 15 people is trying to pull off six events including getting people to a 1000 person post-nomination blow-out on Thursday night (thankfully for us, Patrick Kennedy's party that night with the Grateful Dead, Black Eyed Peas and Dave Matthews just canceled). As I procrasinate now, phones here are ringing off the hook, emails are flying at top speed, the office has been buzzing every night until 10pm (which is only 2 hours later than usual but at least this week we get pizza!). Then there is the ticket swapping. Half of it is public relations--our organization trading with others--we send the DNC 20 tickets to our events hoping to get a couple more credentials. The DSCC sends us 10 tickets to all their events we send them 2o to ours. But a lot more of the trading is cut throat, individual wheeling and dealing, who has the best connections (or the most audacity to beg).  It has almost become a sport around here. Not one I am terribly good at playing unfortunately. Besides the fact I don't care all that much and figure I'll find my way to where I need to be, it also seems that all my connections are the useless sort. Federal and state elected connections do nothing for me now! My only notable score so far has been trading 3 tickets to our Thursday night blow-out for 3 tickets to AFSCME's showing of Fareinheit 9-11 which includes free popcorn and soda and an introduction to Moore himself. I am pretty happy with that one. Less notable are some invitations to a Techies for Kerry event and a Blogger-Fest. We will see what happens. I will keep posting through the week.


Monday, July 19, 2004

someone is reading this? 

I don't know if anyone else noticed but got my first piece of fan mail a couple of days ago! Someone reads this thing. Oh mystery fan, you just made my week (even if it is just you dad!). The bio request is tough, I'm pretty young and unaccomplished, but I suppose we all have a story.... I guess mine would be wholesome Midwest girl with hippie parents goes to a book signing of Bill Bradley at age 14. Becomes obsessed with politics. Starts working for lefties, champion of CFR Sen. Russ Feingold D-WI, Bill Bradley for President Iowa caucuses, first open lesbian elected to Congress Tammy Baldwin, raised early $$ for EMILY's List, now rocking out at the New Democrat Network. Each year in politics I find myself a little more passionate but a lot more disillusioned by the narcissism, backstabbing and inefficiency that plagues this town. I also get a little tougher and bitchier in the workplace but get hit on a lot less by powerful married men twice my age who used to be dorks in high school. As time goes on I also gain more appreciation for the saying that DC is the Hollywood for ugly people. Oh, and I have an amazing boyfriend of two years who coincidentally started working for Kellog Brown & Root six months ago. Figure that one out. 
Add to the list of documentaries we want to see: http://www.bushsbrain.net/


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

conspiracy theories 

Bush's war records were "accidentally destroyed" in 1997...hmm...

I swear I've never been into crazy conspiracy theories, not even those coming from the left. I consider myself a very rationale person I am starting to get a little paranoid. It's starting to get scary. It's also sad because this administration has been allowed to run rampant across this country with their blatant lies and yet Kerry cannot seem to budge his numbers in any significant way. Yes, Kerry will get a bump after the Dem convention in July. But then Bush will get a bump after his in August (strategically placed in NY city to invoke emotions of 911). Yes, Kerry's ad buy is higher than Bush's right now but that will change too (especially if Kerry takes the funds match and Bush doesn't).

I am trying to stay positive, for example, I think Edwards is a great call. It shows that the Kerry campaign has a shed of competence (after all can you really imagine the appeal of a Kerry/Gephardt or Kerry/Vilsack ticket?). But let's face it, right now it looks like this election is Bush's to lose. Master Conspirators or simply moral reprobates, it is clear that we have an administration willing to lie, steal and cheat in any way possible to win this election. It's like we are Zimbabwe or something. Bring in the international election monitors already!!


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