A quick report from the May 19th Massachusetts Democratic Convention. Though it lacked the drama of last year's shindig, it's a great opportunity to meet with and exchange ideas with motivated Democrats from across the state. Of course, there was much celebration in the air, as we feted the Democratic victories in 2006 across the country and especially here in Massachusetts. Newly elected officials such as AG Martha Coakley and LG Tim Murray spoke, and there were some quality training sessions.
And the Richardson campaign was, I would say, more strongly represented than any other presidential campaign. First off, to my amazement many of the campaigns arranged no presence. (Frankly, compared to my experience in 2003, things were a lot less hyped this time around.) Richardson's folks were the first to arrive on site at 8ish and the last ones to leave toward 5. A group of us were handing out information and talking to folks out front, hanging out with some fellow Democratic activists. I'll just say that at the front gate, we outnumbered the presence of all the other presidential campaigns...combined.
After the speeches, resolutions, and charter amendments were discussed and voted upon, delegates and guests went to training sessions in the UMass student center. Several issue groups, companies, and candidates had set up tables, and I was at the table for much of the convention. We ran out of lapel stickers, and bumper stickers. Several dozen people signed up for the mailing list, asking when Richardson was going to be in the neighborhood next (we'll let you know soon as we find out). I saw senior citizens and Young Democrats excited about our grassroots campaign, folks of every skin color -- and lots of union colors, too. Despite a media that can't count past three, plenty of people realize what Richardson has to offer.
It was great to meet people interested in Richardson, and it wicked to talk with Democrats from across my state about the race. There is a lot of curiosity about Governor Richardson, his experience, and his platform. He was a near-universal top three or top-two candidate, and the more people learned the more impressed they were. Oddly, even folks committed to other candidates told me that Richardson is the most qualified candidate in the race.
Thanks to everyone who was there -- I don't want to name names since I didn't catch some foks' names. It was a great time, and a great response. Special thanks to the Mass Equality volunteer who pointed out at one point that my sign was upside down. As I told her -- so are this president's priorities. And it's great to back a man with the ability to clean up the mess that's being left behind.