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Monday, September 03, 2012

 7:51 AM 

Delegate Diary: A great first day in Charlotte

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Sachin Chheda
Delegate diary
It's late Sunday night, and I'm just remembering a great first day in Charlotte.

I arrived this afternoon, making the snaking 3 hour drive from Raleigh on state highways and country roads. It was a great way to quietly prepare for the week ahead - which I know will be exhausting. I took care of the "batteries" issue I wrote about Friday, and arrived just in time to join my fellow Wisconsin delegates at a Welcome Reception at the Carolina Raptor Center.

Of course, many of us talked politics, but we also just enjoyed the chance to get to know each other a little bit. The party was one of more than a dozen around Charlotte, and included delegates and guests from Iowa and Nebraska as well. We sipped local brews, feasted on Carolina BBQ, and heard music and stories from locals.

I especially appreciated the chance to talk with a board member from the Raptor Center, a local tourism official who voted for Obama in 2008 but is still undecided for 2012. She was clearly not impressed by the GOP convention, but wants to see a clear articulation of Democratic ideas for the next four years. I think she'll be on board after this week. Our Convention has tremendous local participation, and a lineup that will clearly show the differences with the Republicans. I think our party's goal is an honest conversation about the issues. Last week, the GOP spent a lot of time burying the things they believe in that most folks oppose, and whatever side you're on, we all deserve better than that.

Tomorrow kicks off with a delegation breakfast at our hotel, and then a day full of meetings, service activities, a public street festival in downtown Charlotte, and of course, a few parties.

More to come!

Follow Sachin on Twitter at @skchheda or friend him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sachinchheda

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