Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 2

               Today was even busier than yesterday. We had breakfast at 8:30AM at an old style diner called Matties Diner. It was my first time eating at such a 1950s style diner. After a hearty breakfast we headed to the convention center to collect our credentials. The heat was increasing as walked several blocks to the convention center. However, it turned out that we did not need credentials to enter the caucus meetings; they were open to the public. At this point, because my fellow classmates will be blogging a summary of just about the same series of events, I thought I would differentiate this blog post by concentrating on a particular set of events and expand on them. Thus, the first caucus meeting of this convention that I attended was that of the Native American Council.
              The meeting began with a native prayer to the Great Spirit that transcends tribal differences. The prayer included a best wish to Barack Obama, who the Natives called “our great leader.” Hence, the tribes, even among their long history of activism for sovereignty (which was never clearly defined throughout the meeting), see Barack Obama as their great leader and clearly pledge allegiance to him. I was surprised to learn that the Cherokee nation covered an area of seven states including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South and North Carolina, Florida, and even Kentucky. The concentration of inhabitants would certainly vary among the areas. The speakers varied in tribal origins (there were even several tribal leaders present); however, all were in agreement that government (US) to government (tribal) relations have been at an all time best under President Obama. A major occurrence at this council meeting was the presentation of a social media tool called “Dashboard” which has been specifically created to further the Party’s mission of re-electing President Obama. The ability to create groups and local community teams within those groups in order to better coordinate activities and events certainly appeared better developed than what Facebook currently offers in regards to political campaigning. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and Representative Mike Honda from California stopped by and fired up the crowd.
              The second major event was the Bloomberg panel program entitled “Politics and the Media: Bridging the Political Divide in the 2012 Presidential Election.” The panel members were Marcus Brauchli, executive editor of The Washington Post; Matt Bai, chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine; Ben LaBolt, national press secretary for Obama for America; and Olivia Ma, news manager at YouTube. The discussion that followed was very informative to me because it included information from a recent poll conducted by USC Annenberg and Harvard’s Institute of Politics concerning Americans’ views on various forms of news media, people’s news consumption habits, and people’s preferred news sources. I took notes that will prove essential for my research paper later on along with the results from my surveys.  
              In conclusion, today was sensational. (It seems that every day so far is progressively building up towards the climactic final day).

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