CHARLOTTE, NC – With official proceedings beginning tomorrow at the Democratic National Convention, members of the Rhode Island delegation met at a reception this evening where Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse urged them to have take advantage of the next three days.
“There will be a lot of good material to bring back to Rhode Island and send a strong message about President Obama and the work to be done to get this country moving again,” said Whitehouse to his fellow delegates. “Have fun, but pay attention for those telltale moments that you can take home.”
Before the reception, RI Future caught up with RI Democratic Party Chair Ed Pacheco and Executive Director Stephanie Mandeville at their temporary office in the delegation’s hotel in Concord, about 20 miles north of the city.
Both were still excited from the delegation’s first look at Time-Warner Cable Arena convention site yesterday. According to Pacheco, the RI delegation has prime spot behind Pennsylvania and just about 100 feet from podium. If you’re looking for Rhode Island on TV tomorrow night, they will be to the left of the podium. How did our state score such a good location? “I don’t reveal my secrets,”said Pacheco.
The delegates were delighted to finally be in the convention hall, said Mandeville. “It was like a kid’s first trip to Fenway.”
They had a chance to tour the convention floor, get the feel for Rhode Island’s space, and participate in a rehearsal of the roll-call process led by Convention Secretary Alice Germond. In something that sounds like it could be either a bit of wisdom from a ten-time convention veteran — or perhaps a wee bit of a prompt to keep things moving — Pacheco reported her advice to the delegations: “Pretend it’s 1:30 in the morning.”
According to Pacheco, delegation Chair Gordon Fox is still working on his roll-call announcement. “He’s trying to work in they typical things, like coffee milk,” said Pacheco, “But also wants to recognize that in Rhode Island, we stand on the shoulders of great senators like Claiborne Pell, whose policies we not just important for our state, but the whole country.”