2.30- checked in with a great deal of ease; yes, I forgot my feminaries so now I have whole box of tampons hanging out of my purse from hotel shop - tampons and mints; women of all ages are here and just got invited to a mixer at the hancock tonight by the Black Women for Obama folks; she laughed when I asked if it was ok to bring my white roommate-i didn't know! It could be a militant thing!
2.37-the music is very 'praise'-like. (Folks who've grown up in church will know what I'm talking about.) I wonder if slightly vanilla gospel translates into 'hope.' I could really do with a water...
2-something: it's more crwded now and I'm apparently sitting with the tony women from california. Lots of Bulgari. I really want water. Or a drink. Like a gin/tonic. Mmmm.
3.02 - it's not Bulgari; it's like Anais or Tresor. Hm, Tresor. And the praise/hope music really needs to stop. Are women supposed to respond to sappy slow music? It's so bad I want to kill my ears.
3.11 - Sigh. Program running late. Session begins in 20 min. I bet it's Oprah making everything late. Diva!
The women who've come here have brought their mothers, daughters and gay male friends. Very next gen. Very supportive sisterhood montage-like. Hm. That's exactly what the music sounds like: a Lifetime tv show for women.
And don't think I haven't noticed the power ladies from some state that gets a lot of sun.
3.43 - opens with great video narrated by Obamas with images of female volunteers. I'm actually choking up. Pledge of allegiance led by adorable little African American girl. I actually remembered it! You can tell we're all panicking that we'll blank out.
Valeri Jarrett- very cute in a very cute suit (in fact, there are tons of chic women here in very very chic suits. Thank GOD I brought my cute suit to the office); brief roll call - a lot of women here from battleground states and even Alaska! (big laugh) There are Republican and independent women here, too!
Oprah- every cell phone has just gone ballistic. Flashes everywhere! She looks really great. She says: 'That's what women do: we know things and we do things' Big theme is how women have mothered this country. Shout out to Hilary Clinton - very messianic speech about obama being the One. I get it but it's a little creepy. What about managing expectations?
Huge standing ovation when she said we are here to help him cross the finish line. Very intense, the way she repeated it.
Great line: 'We are not in the mood to be fooled again!' Oprah is giving a really great speech. Kinda weird, the messianic overtones. Just slammed on the McCain 'that one' dig. Huge applause. She asked what were going to do now and, very slowly and intensely, she says 'Oh, yes. We are going to elect Barack Obama' She says this is 'An amazing hour' where we can make things right. 'Yes we will.'
4.05 - Howard Dean is next; the WLIF is the hugest fundraising body in the party. Wow, they've been doing this for 15 yrs; a video greeting from HRC who has a great line about this election being a corrective, bringing America back 'from the ashes of the Bushes.' It's a funny line.
Ok, Dean is pretty cute, in a very vintage, clean cut, log cabin way. I am so hormonal and need to get laid after this conference. So weird to see him like this! He was a candidate! He plays up the 50 state strategy, talking about the new battleground states as a product of it; says we're set to make gains in crucial senate races, including the K. Hagan race which gained momentum in September. Brief rundown: 229K new registered voters in NC, OH seat is going to be in play with female candidates and Dean goes down the roll, listing female candidates who are positioned to run very competitively in states that the party hadn't thought about before; a crucial point about how Obama has transformed the race and is energizing other candidates, while the new crop of candidates are also lending support to the Obama campaign - it makes total sense from a communications POV. At last, synergy!!
Very very important: Dean stresses that we need to VOTE EARLY!! Their strategy depends on strong showing in all our crucial states.
Private moments from the convention video: totally sweet; yes, I am tearing up. How hormonal am I? Apparently the Obama girls love the Jonas bros. Who are they?
4.38 - David Ploufe is next; Obama campaign has registered over 1.5 million new voters-ooh! A map! Be prepared. The notes are going to get a little choppy about progress on the ground:
MI firmly on obama map- giving strong electoral base-'lean Obama' states include NM, VA(leans obama and campaign fighting hard for it), IA, MN, NH, WI(comfortable lead here and critical of McCain for campaigning badly which is ultimately turning folks off); PA is a tough state and the campaign needs ads there; PA is ground zero for nasty smears; electorally, the 207 from strong Obama states and 70 from the 'leans Obama' states gives electoral lead firmly to Obama. But now he stuns me: they're going after leaning mccain states! It's so aggressive, I love it.
Battleground states: 101 electoral votes up for grabs; NV is favorable but a scrappy fight anticipated; MT is still a dead heat; CO is like VA; MO and IN also in play with dead heats giving Obama a chance to drain McCain campaign's resources; OH is a surprise with a close lead for Obama. Ploufe estimates that McCain needs to turnout vote at Bush levels and surpass it by 10 pts, which he won't be able to do; NC very close and now leans Obama; FL is troublesome for McCain and will be close, with a slim Obama lead perhaps; Ploufe emphasizes that without FL McCain can't win presidency! We need to keep it from him!
The many paths strategy to Nov 4 is working! Mccain has just one path. Boots on the ground are absolutely crucial. Encourages aggressive pushback for McCain and keep attention on the economy! McCain negatives are rising! Pleased at how aggressive Ploufe sounds about the campaign's progress and attitude: they want to 'lay the wood' to McCain. He says, based on their behavior over the last two weeks, McCain and Palin don't deserve the presidency. Love. It. God, I love smart guys!
5.04 - jill biden is very sweet but not very dynamic. Then again, it's been a loong afternoon. My hormones are making me googly eyed for Joe Biden. Huge standing ovatn for his role in creating VAWA. Jeez, he's telling a dating story!! My lord, he is really chatty and goes from a mom story to how great the Obama family is and the SCOTUS and now to Palin and the 'debate.' All in one sentence.
Re: Palin, Biden says 'being a woman is not the same as being there for women.' Huge applause. Great line but I'm thinking about how a line like that would play in the media. Generally, good stump speech stuff. The crowd is like putty. It's hushed in here; he goes after the Values crap and posits progressive policies are our expression of values. Hey, hello, hot secret service guys. Very tall, very still, very 'I will tackle your ass.'
5.32 - so need a drink. Parched! Sen Amy Klobuchar from MN does the rah rah rah for getting a filibuster proof Senate. Big picture, folks - it's not just the White House we need to fight for!
More in part 2.