Last Night at the Convention

While I firmly believe in the Democratic process, I find I have little patience for rah-rah events. When there’s juts one candidate running for a post, the meeting should be brief, perfunctory and get everyone focused on the campaign itself.

I apparently am in the minority on this point so last night delegates from across the fourth congressional district gathered at Central High School in Bridgeport to anoint Jim Himes as the Democratic candidate for Congress. While a foregone conclusion, what could have taken thirty minutes was stretched to close to ninety.

Everything about the event had a haphazard feel to it, from the poorly decorated gymnasium to the lack of an adequate sound system. Upon arrival, delegates had to sign in then sit in our assigned town places. There was a great deal of hob-nobbing going on as people renewed acquaintances and candidates for various state offices worked the gym in the hopes of solidifying support before moving on to the state convention next week.

Around 7 we were finally called to order. Himes’ two young daughters led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and then a woman sang the National Anthem. We then had a moment or prayer, which I found utterly out of place.

After that, we had to go through the staged selection of chair, vice-chair and secretary for the evening’s event. Since it was all planned in advance, people had speeches prepared and from our corner, Connor Pfeiffer stood to nominate his mother, Devon, our town chair, as secretary. We then took a vote to adopt the State Central’s rules for the evening, a vote I abstained on having never been sent them for review as a delegate.

We then had a lengthy nomination speech followed by an evening lengthier second. Had the sound system actually worked, both might have had more emotional impact. Finally, someone moved that we nominate Himes by acclimation which was done with rousing voices. Himes took the podium and made a strong speech about what he’s done and what needs doing.

When he finished, for some reason State Rep. Bruce Morris took his turn at the microphone and went on for a while. Before we knew it, the meeting broke up without anyone moving to adjourn – so much for the rules.

From Central, we headed across town to the Black Rock section and Matty’s Café, a rundown dump of a bar for the after-party. At least the drinks were cheap and the Met game was on one of the televisions. It grew crowded as people chatted, candidates shook hands, and slowly Himes himself made a circuit.

Obviously he was happy, and when he got to our table, the talk was about supporting small businesses, which would be where job growth would actually occur in our state.

All in all, it energized the already committed and time will tell if that will translate in actually getting out the vote in November. My guess is it will since we have many key offices to fill at the state and federal level.

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