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Monday, August 25, 2008

 11:10 AM 

Delegate Diary: Breakfast packed with top state Dems

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Stan Davis
Today is the first day of the DNC and the first daily Wisconsin delegation breakfast. Before breakfast, I took probably too much pleasure in watching the new arrivals on the elliptical machines next to me sucking wind as they tried to adjust to the fact that there is no oxygen in whatever this is that we are breathing out here.

After picking up my delegate credentials for the day, I headed into the breakfast. Lots of friends and former colleagues were there including Gov. Jim Doyle's Chief of Staff Susan Goodwin and Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Boyce. I happened to sit next to former Doyle staffer and Clinton Delegate Shawn Pfaff. In a sign that the Democratic Party is coming back together nicely, Shawn told The Wisconsin State Journal this morning that he was 100 percent behind Sen. Obama. By the time I was done working him over, I had him up to 110 percent. Many elected officials were also there including (and I am sure I will forget several) Ron Kind, Kathleen Falk, Russ Decker, Mark Pocan, Gwen Moore, Dawn Marie Sass, Pat Kreitlow and Gordon Hintz. Secretaries Roberta Gassman and Celia Jackson are both delegates and were at breakfast as well.

Dem party Chair Joe Wineke kicked the program off by telling us all of the rules and how everything is going to work over the next four days. Then he introduced them morning's keynote speaker, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. After providing a nice summary of all of the positive things that have been accomplished since the election of Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress in 2006, Tammy got the delegation energized by talking about the importance of electing Sen. Obama because of President Bush's vetoes of legislation such as S-CHIP, which would provide health care to 9 million currently uninsured children in America. Having attended three previous conventions herself, she told all of us first-timers to make sure to take it all in and appreciate the enormity and the historic nature of what is happening here in Denver. I intend to do just that.

The program continued after Congresswoman Baldwin, but I had to leave at that point. I am heading over to the convention floor in a few minutes to be interviewed for a Webcast on Voice of America that will be broadcast all over the world (but not in America). My main goal is to avoid creating any international incidents before lunch.

After the interview, I will be heading to the meeting of the African American Caucus and then to a couple of policy briefings later in the day. The convention floor opens at 3 p.m., and I plan to be there to see Speaker Pelosi gavel the proceedings to order and listen to many of the speakers that are scheduled. I scored a ticket to the Democratic Governors Association party tonight, so that should wrap up my Monday and probably start off my Tuesday as well.

-- Davis is a government relations partner at Axley Brynelson LLP.

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