Jen Just is a schoolmate from long ago (don't ask how long) who was a delegate to the Democratic Convention this past week. She has been kind enough to answer a few questions about the experience, which I thought would help some of those who have never been to an event like this get a feel for what it is like for an attendee in a way which is a bit more personal than watching the speeches and events on television.
Jen is a mom and a writer and was an Obama delegate from Connecticut. She kept track of her experiences at the convention (a bit fitfully) with a blog called Things to Do in Denver When You're Jen, some articles for the New Haven Register and a collection of photos, some of which I've included here.
So, with thanks and no further fiddling around, here are my overly convoluted questions and her straight answers:
DN: Going back to the prelude to the convention, how did you react to the selection of Senator Joe Biden as Obama's running mate? What do you think Biden adds to the ticket and is there someone else you'd rather have had in that spot?
JJ: I was so happy that Joe Biden was added to the ticket… hate to sound like some of the pundits, but I do agree with some of them! He adds unquestionable foreign policy experience, he is 'in Washington but not of Washington,' going home to Delaware every weekend, and he can ask the blunt questions that are often deferred to the VP pick. Plus he’s a nice guy who’s been through some horrific challenges and come up smiling. A quality human being.
DN: I assume that you saw or ran into some of the PUMAs. Do you think they were driven more by love of Hillary, dislike of Obama or some other motivation? Are they really going to vote for McCain in large numbers, or were they coming around by the end of the convention?
JJ: I think many of them were coming around by the end of the Convention. I haven’t talked to anyone recently who said they were going to vote for McCain. It is hard to believe, once you take emotion out of the equation, that any Democratic woman would vote for a man with such an abysmal record on issues important to women. As for motivation, as an ardent Obama supporter and Democrat I am actually a little unsure as to their motivation. I am guessing that in the vast majority of cases it was a combination of having been long-time Hillary supporters and being emotionally invested in seeing a woman become president. (I am guessing many of them are re-examining their passion for the latter after examining John McCain’s pick for VP – I think most Democratic women would assume a female president would be pro-Choice.)