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Dearborn delegate Fred Hoffman sports a new Obama shirt at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, on Monday.
Courtesy of Fred Hoffman
Greetings again from Charlotte, where the excitement is palpable for the first political convention ever held in the Carolinas. The Democrats have assembled as never before, not just in numbers, but in diversity. . . .It is so refreshing to be in an environment that celebrates everyone - old, young, black, white, brown, yellow, gay, straight, abled, disabled, ethic, CEO, workers, retires, rich, poor and every distinction in between. My old friend George Hackett used to refer to them as "hyphenated Americans" but the reality is that in diversity there is amazing unity. - - - BECAUSE OF THE HOLIDAY, the convention planners long ago decided to forego the traditional first-day session and replace it with a series of open-to-the-public issues seminars and a good, old fashioned street festival. The latter was so jammed you could hardly move around. And what made it extra special was running into poohbahs dressed not in suits and ties, but in shorts and tee-shirts. I ran into, as my late dad would say, big shots and little s--ts. (self-edited!). I saw Hasidic Jews and hajib clad Muslims. On one stage was the Ballet Folklorico, and on another were such stars as North Carolina's famous native son, James Taylor. I saw black folks with their baby carriages and old folks in wheel chairs . . . .business people wearing Obama buttons and blue haired matrons lecturing young girls on the fight for women's rights. . . .lots of gay folks (the most delegates ever, at least one in every delegation for the first time in history) and tons of "average" (if there is such a thing) people who just came uptown with their families to celebrate. - - - SO TOMORROW, the real work begins. Our delegation meets at 7 a.m., and then there are a series of meetings and events leading up to 5 p.m. Convention session at the Time Warner Cable Arena. We just got a look at the seating chart, and I see Michigan's 203 delegates (of 5,963) will be near the front stage left, neighbored by Florida, New Hampshire, Colorado and Virginia. We'll take up the party platform and hear from a number of folks leading up to the live broadcast hour, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., when keynoter Julian Castro (San Antonio's rising star mayor) and First Lady Michelle Obama will address delegates - and the nation. . . .Fired up and ready to go!