Our final day in Charlotte as conventioneers was finally here and I personally could not believe it. This whole week had been an experience and I was eager to see what was ahead for the rest of day. Little did I know it would prove to be my best day yet. We began the day by getting up a bit later than usual, which was a relief for us as well as the professors I’m sure, and headed to our favorite breakfast place in Charlotte. Once we finished eating breakfast we took a group picture to remind ourselves of all we had shared this whole week then we made the already familiar drive to Charlotte. Since we did not get to eat breakfast with any state delegations we thought it would be appropriate if it went ahead and headed to the caucus meetings for the day. Furthermore since it was the last day of the convention rumor had it that some important speakers were to give speeches that day. Rumors did not disappoint, at the women’s caucus we got to see Michelle Obama speak, at the LGBT caucus we saw Senator Al Franken, the governor of Delaware and some other speakers.
Although all of the events that transpired were very inspiring there was one more thing coming my way. I got a text message from Professor Dewitt to come meet him and so I did. Once I got to where him and Professor Azriel were sitting they explained to me that Jim Galloway from the Atlanta Journal Constitution had an extra press pass for the last day of the convention. When I heard those words utter from their mouths I became truly ecstatic and could barely contain my emotion. The professors then went on to say that we had to be fair and the fairest way to do this was draw a name out of a hat, of course all of the students agreed and the process was on its way fairly soon. When the Professor Azriel finally pulled the name out of a Starbucks bag it happened to be me! I was so thrilled because I never thought that at my young age of 21 I would have the privilege to watch a sitting President address the nation.
Jim Galloway promptly contacted me and explained what was going to happen. He was very nice and told me that once we got to the stadium, since I was with the press, I was to remain neutral and not cheer or clap. I quickly agreed, even though on the inside it killed me because most people that know me know that I’m an ardent supporter of the President, but I realized that I had to display professionalism. In the process of waiting for him at the convention hall I met syndicated columnist for the New York Times David Brooks and even got a picture with him!
Once Mr. Galloway met me we headed down to where all of the press was. He showed me around the AJC tent then told me to go ahead and poke my head behind some other organization’s curtains. I was very hungry and knew that I wasn’t going to be able to eat once we got to the stadium so I bought myself some lunch. I was maybe on chicken finger into my lunch when Mr. Galloway called me and said it was time to head to the stadium. I unequivocally responded with an affirmative response and was on my way back to the AJC space. I met Aaron, who is another reporter, and he was very nice and took me to the stadium. When we finally got to our designated space he asked me if I wanted to walk around on the floor of the convention and I said of course!
It was very surreal to be at the floor of a national convention. There were so many people, so much media, so many actors acting in different ways based on their political calculations. I felt so young around all of these people who have been doing this for decades but at the same time I felt like this is where I was meant to be. I had been blessed with a tremendous opportunity and I was going to take full advantage of it. I walked around the floor of the convention for around an hour and of course recorded and took many pictures.
I walked up to our designated spot, as I had promised Mr. Galloway I was to remain quiet and not cheer for any speakers. The day went on and it was a wonderful spectacle of how democracy works in our nation. All of these speakers were speaking to our American family and our American principles. They led up to our President giving his acceptance speech to the nation. In a way seeing all of these political figures on a stage humanizes them greatly. I quickly realized that they are good people trying to do what is best for our country. I will never be quick to judge another politician again, whether that politician is Republican or Democrat.
The entire day was a build up for the President to give his nomination speech and what a speech it was. In my opinion our President spoke of what values are unique to America and he explained what we have been through as nation. This recovery has not and will not be easy but when America is tested we come out stronger on the other side. The President outlined clear and achievable goals for our nation over the next decade. Not only was the speech an inspiring vision for America but seeing the speech in person added a different dynamic to the state of our nation. I wish that all of America could have felt the energy that swept across the entire stadium Thursday night because it was unlike anything I have ever felt. The love for America and the vision to move our country forward was tangible throughout the entire night. I quickly realized that this is a man who is doing all in his power to turn our nation around and will continue to do so in the next four years. It was a distinct privilege to hear from our President in person and I hope it will not be the last.
I want to personally thank the two outstanding men that directed this whole operation. Dr. Dewitt and Dr. Azriel thank you so much for this week. This course has taught me more than any other class and I was privileged to be a part of it. Both of these professors have an outstanding passion for instilling learning in their students and are very intelligent men. I hope the faculty as well as the entire university recognizes the phenomenal job these leaders have done over the past week. I look forward to working with you in anything you ever need; I will be here for you. I also thank the Political Science Department and whoever else made this possible that I may have forgotten. I would also like to deeply thank Chairman Mike Berlon, Communications Director Eric Gray and chief of staff Angelia Knight because their kindness and hospitality was beyond anything we had expected. The Democratic Party of Georgia treated us with the upmost respect and on behalf of Kennesaw State University I offer my deepest gratitude. Of course, I cannot thank Mr. Jim Galloway enough for giving me the opportunity to hear our President speak live; so thank you sir your kindness will not be forgotten. I would also like to give a shoutout to my wonderful roommates Max and Plamen. Y’all made the experience so much more rewarding and I enjoyed talking politics and world affairs; we must keep in touch! Same goes to the rest of the students that embarked on this very special trip for us. If I have forgotten anyone I apologize but do know that I am deeply and truly thankful for all that was done for us throughout this week and your efforts will never be forgotten.