Democratic Convention: Day 3

A Maine state rep from Kittery reports from Philadelphia

Today we had Bernie at breakfast with an appetizer of Martin O’Malley. Yes, both Bernie and Jane looked tired but no less energized, and he finally talked with us without the same speech that I have heard four times. Now he was talking about the future and Our Movement to elect local and state candidates to enable opportunities for all of us. In his 70s, he is in it for the long haul.

All of us from northern New England congratulated him, his passion, his leadership. Now it is our turn. I hope I can convince my fellow Berners that this is an endurance run. We have all worked so hard since February and before. In the spring, a Bernie nomination seemed very possible. The fact that the DNC rigged the process makes this battle harder. I am hoping for a resurgence in that spirit of hope in the spring of 2016. Keep on keepin’ on.

My caucus was ‘Small Business’ today, and there was not a lot of new information, but I again enjoyed the sounds and smells of downtown Philadelphia. The new giant downtown Convention Center adjoins the old produce market, packed with booths of meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and baked goods. Walking around downtown, I saw the contrasting mega-malls replicated in many locations. Not a good urban plan to ignore the street and create a center city fortress of generic commercialism.

The convention was again an entertainment show, but there was content in the finale. Joe Biden fired us up with his middle-class message, calling out the Donald for the fraud that he is. Tim Kaine, the VP candidate, was tolerable but not exciting, flavored vanilla. I am getting pretty tired of the words stronger together, but maybe I am just tired.

Then, the president emerged, a man who makes all the other candidates seem puny. What power there is in seeing 10,000 fired up Democrats appreciating and already missing our first black president. Barack was at his finest and everyone in the hall went wild. I got dozens of Facebook posts from friends who said how much they will miss this fine president.

Honestly, my enthusiasm level dropped in the final minutes when Hillary came on the stage to hug the president.

Deane Rykerson is the founder of Rykerson Architecture, a Maine state representative, and a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He holds a masters degree from Harvard University. He lives in Kittery Point.