LJWorld.com weblogs Live from the Democratic Convention
It's been an emotional journey
_Editor's Note: Tess Banion, left, is one of three local delegates to the Democratic National Convention who will be blogging at LJWorld.com. Check back regularly to see what they're saying._Wow, the last few days have been a blur. It seems like I have been in Colorado for a month. I tried to make this convention, my first, something more than just a party. The truth is I spent a lot of time walking, getting blisters and miscalculating how long it took to get from one place to the next. The anti-war march on Sunday was good but the women's equality march was a bust. I showed up with three delegates, looking like nurses searching for a hospital. I found only one woman, dressed appropriately, in white, wearing a marvelous straw hat. She was posing for pictures and didn't seem all that interested in marching anywhere. So went all my attempts at being a good delegate. What has surprised me the most is the level of law enforcement on the street and my reaction to it. I began to think about what people in the Middle East must go through every day. Police officers with guns on every corner is not a sight I would want to live with on a daily basis. One night we were near an area where a bomb threat had been called in, so we had to move. It made me think of how open our open society is and how much we take for granted. It is true that it takes great skill to deliver a speech that will be remembered beyond a week. Clearly, Hillary Clinton, gave the speech of her life. As a supporter, I was so proud. My daughter, also named Hilary and an Obama supporter, sent me a text message "Class Act" as her description of Sen. Clinton. Many of the speeches at the convention, most not seen by the public (thank goodness), are warm up drills and would not rate more than a five on a 10-point scale. Wednesday, I cast my ballot for Hillary Clinton. I knew it was a symbolic gesture. But it was an important event for me and the people that elected me to go to Denver. Three of our Clinton delegates changed their support to Obama during our time in Denver. Hillary met with her delegates and released them, they could vote for whoever they wanted. Her speech before her delegates was short but clear. She was ready to move on and she wanted us to move on with her, but she would allow us to move on our own pace. The roll call was more emotional than I had expected - the arena exploded when Hillary Clinton asked that Sen. Obama be nominated by acclamation. My friend Margie Wakefield (a Clinton delegate from Lawrence) and I cried and held each other. The journey was over. It also seemed like a great heaviness had been lifted. There will be those Clinton delegates and voters that won't support Obama but my sense is they are far fewer than the press is describing.I put on my Obama T-shirt as soon as the roll call was over.