Long lines and high energy marked the beginning of the end of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Kim Harrington of Richmond County was there and shared what she saw.
“It was electrifying — just unbelievable energy,” said Harrington on Friday, exhausted but happy. “One thing I walked away with was a deeper understanding of what Obama has done while in office.”
Harrington said there were several video segments played on screens showing personal accounts of people who worked in the auto industry. She said President Obama has helped revive the auto industry with the bailout, which the industry has since paid back.
Harrington — working as a journalist for The Charlotte Post — said the morning of the last day was filled with long lines. Because of weather threats, the event was relocated from the Bank of America stadium to the Time Warner Cable Arena, and people with credentials were concerned they may not get in.
“It was kind of crazy. It was all about making sure you got in,” she said. “I had to wait in line. And then when I got in, even members of the press were looking for seats. It was organized chaos.”
She said she felt explosive energy move through the crowd as the president took the stage, prepared to accept his party’s nomination for a second term.
“There was definitely a feeling of unity,” she said, which she felt among what she described as all races, beliefs and orientations.
Meanwhile in Rockingham, Pam Dillman, President of the Democratic Women of Richmond County, watched President Obama’s speech on TV.
“That was just wonderful,” she said about the speech. “Now we’ve only got 60 days to let people know to get out and vote. We have important issues to look at. It’s unbelievable what he’s done. My favorite part was when he talked about us all working together.”
Dillman and Priscilla Sanders began planning for a bus trip to the convention in Charlotte several weeks before the event. With plans nearly secured, they were alarmed to hear that credentials had somehow run out. Attempts to garner credentials from other states were finalized and the trip planned just the day before news broke that bus tours would be cancelled due to a venue change prompted by weather threats.
Unable to attend, credentials were refunded and White House staff said the president would arrange a conference call with people who were unable to attend due to the changes. Sanders said she looks forward to the chance to speak directly with the president, and hopes to ask him to come to Richmond County for a visit.
Preston Waddell of Rockingham was serving as a delegate at the convention, but did not return phone calls made by the Daily Journal this week.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.