Local delegate settles in at DNC

Editor's note: Democratic National Convention delegate Paulie Brading, of Medford, offers her impressions of the convention, which continues through Thursday in Denver. Republican National Convention delegate Donna Cain, of Rogue River, will write from that convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul on Sept. 1-4.

Whisked from the Denver airport onto a shuttle for arriving Democratic National delegates Sunday, I heard voices from the Nebraska, Texas and Mississippi delegations mixed with my own as we rode together to our respective hotels. The Oregon delegation is staying at the same hotel as the Washington state and Arizona delegations, 256 delegates in the same hotel.

As one of the latest delegates to arrive last evening, I had the pleasure of being greeted in the lobby by Jackson County Commissioner Dave Gilmour, all decked out in official credentials. Dave briefed me on convention information, sometimes referring to his notes on his BlackBerry. The 2nd Congressional District delegates, all from Jackson County, know we can depend on Dave for accurate information.

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Why was everyone in a circle looking at the floor by the buffet this morning? Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and his twins, well into the crawling stage, were on the floor enjoying themselves. The twins were wearing matching bibs that read "Kids should vote, too." A ribbon fell from his daughter's baby fine hair, soon a lacy sock was missing and his son was displaying his fine set of lungs.

Howard Dean greeted the Oregon delegation with his characteristic enthusiasm, saying he wished every state was just like Oregon. Wonder what he said to the Arizona and Washington state delegations eating their breakfasts in adjoining rooms when he greeted them?

Sen. Wyden, wife and twins with him, announced his plans to campaign for Senate candidate Jeff Merkley. Wiggly William made certain Dad was brief, contorting his body into a series of positions signaling his desire for crawling, certainly not cuddling. Congressman Earl Blumenauer sent us out the door for our official delegation photo with an impassioned request to return to Oregon fired up! A slowing economy and the Iraq War lasting longer and costing more lives and money dominate conversations.

Now it is time to enter the Democratic convention frenzy. The fabulous light rail system in Denver will put us on site in just a few minutes. More later.

Brading is chairwoman of Jackson County's Democratic Party.

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