Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Delegate blog: Navigating security and being wowed by Michelle Obama

About last night

Posted by Brady Quirk-Garvan on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 3:21 PM

We're checking in with Charleston County Democratic Party Chairman Brady Quirk-Garvan throughout the week as he's in Philadelphia for the DNC.

Quirk-Garvan - PROVIDED
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  • Quirk-Garvan
Yesterday, as you know, the official Democratic Convention began. Now judging by what you saw on TV, you might have guessed that the process of cramming all those thousands of people into the convention is a bit of a logistical, not to mention, security nightmare. Remarkably, everyone I saw was in good spirits on the way into the convention hall even amidst the hectic process. Here's how it works:

You begin in the morning by checking in at your delegation breakfast and picking up your credentials for the day. Then, in the afternoon, delegates shuttle to the convention area. The weight of the task at hand is evident immediately as delegates are asked to show their credentials to Secret Service agents to get on the bus and an armed agent rides with them the entire way.

Shuttle buses go through multiple checkpoints along the way before getting anywhere close to the convention hall. At this point delegates depart the bus and go through a typical Secret Service screening, think something akin to a TSA screening at the airport. Then you along with thousands of other people can finally make your way into the convention arena.

Given the lengths it takes to get there it was nice to see everyone being so upbeat (at least on my bus). However, it became clear once we entered the hall that there was still some level of disagreement amongst the delegates. From the start a small group of Bernie Sanders supporters decided to disrupt parts of the convention. It's unclear what the goal was besides publicly venting. Senator Sanders has said Hillary Clinton will be our nominee and in his speech last night he again endorsed Hillary Clinton and said he would work to elect her as the President of the United States.
As for the South Carolina delegation, I can tell you this, they're fairly united. I think many Sanders supporters were disappointed in the actions of the small group of Sanders delegates who interrupted civil rights icon Elijah Cummings and interrupted a prayer and the beginning of the event.

But, as the night wore on, you could hear the vocal Sanders supporters quieting down. First Lady Michelle Obama's speech was amazing and I think she really was able to connect with everyone on the floor. Regardless of who you supported in the primary, the Obama's are wildly popular in Democratic circles. Their ability to point the party and country in the right direction is something that many delegates, myself included, feel strongly about. So when Michelle or President Obama speak, we listen.
Tonight will be another big night of speakers, namely headliner former President Bill Clinton. I'll be interested to see if he takes the tone of former President or spouse of the candidate or both. Additionally, Alison Lundergan Grimes, Secretary of State of Kentucky, will speak. She's a rising star in the party and I wouldn't be surprised if she played a prominent role in a Clinton Administration.

As for the rest of the week, all of the S.C. delegation is excited to see several of the S.C. featured speakers who will be coming up on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Brady Quirk-Garvan is the Chairman of the Charleston County Democratic Party. He is pledged delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Committee Convention in Philadelphia. He can be reached at @bradyqg or BradyQG.com.

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