A chat with an alternate delegate from Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado ” Colorado’s Third Congressional District alternate delegate Nick Isenberg is the only delegate of any kind to attend the Democratic National Convention from Garfield County.
Isenberg answered the following questions over a cellphone while riding a noisy bus Thursday afternoon. He was heading to Invesco Field in preparation for Barack Obama’s formal acceptance of the Democratic presidential nomination. About 75,000 people were expected to show up.
Why did you go to the convention? I had to campaign to do it. I was elected through the Third Congressional District. I’m representing not only all Democrats but especially Democrats with disabilities.
What does it mean to be the only delegate of any kind from Garfield County? I think there’s about 75 delegates and nine alternates. Every morning at 7 you show up at the Grand Hyatt for breakfast and they give you your credentials. And if there’s any delegates that don’t show up, their credentials go to alternates. When you’re on the floor you voted for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.
What kind of delegate-related things have you participated in so far? I was on the floor Tuesday night. Someone gave me his delegate credentials because reporters were climbing all over him and they were using his wheelchair as a tripod and it was very unpleasant. … Monday and (Wednesday) I’ve been in the balcony with the other alternates celebrating our alternate lifestyle.
What has been the high point of the convention for you so far? (Wednesday) night was just incredible when Hillary announced all the New York delegates were voting for Barack Obama and that she made the announcement so there would be unity in the party. Melissa Etheridge sang “The Times They Are A Changin’.” Between having women so involved and a black candidate become a candidate and gays being treated with respect ” I’m choking up now as I talk to you about it ” I was so proud to be a Democrat. … Monday night we had a delegate-protesters meet and greet. I was happy to meet all the protesters. They were all anti-war protesters. They couldn’t be more anti-war than I am, but it was fun. Tuesday night ” they play music while they’re changing the stage and this lady was kind of dancing by herself. I said, “Next time I’d like to dance with you.” Next time all the reporters and photographers went nuts. I understand we were on CNN, maybe Fox, C-SPAN, TBS. We were probably all over the world. I have no idea.
How crowded is it? It’s busy. In the Pepsi Center you can hardly move. You squeeze people in tuchis to tuchis. People are sitting in the aisles, and there’s no room to move.
What do you think of the protest activity and the police presence? We didn’t see much of that. I have never found “the cage” where all the stories were about ” the fenced-off area for protesters ” because I wanted to go over and talk to them. … The 16th Street shuttle, which we used for part of the trip back from the Pepsi Center wasn’t going part of Monday night. Apparently there were some demonstrators blocking traffic or something. The cops won’t tell you what’s going on, but they’re out in mass. Never seen so many cops. Even a game warden from the Division of Wildlife was working security getting into the Pepsi Center.
What do you expect from Obama’s acceptance speech? Barack Obama is an incredible speaker, and I expect it to be incredible, and the best speech he ever gave. He is so good I don’t know what to expect.
Are there any theories on what he’s going to say? No. I expect his sister will speak, too. I’ve seen her on C-SPAN, and she’s very articulate. Michelle (Obama) spoke Monday night, and she is incredible. If you run for president you better marry someone that’s a good speaker, I guess.
What do you expect from Obama’s presidency if he were to win? I think he will do things that have never been done before. I think Hillary Clinton is an incredible traditional politician. (Obama is) an incredible nontraditional politician. He doesn’t say the things he thinks you want to hear, he says what he believes is the truth. His solutions are not shortsighted. … He won’t take the easy way out, but he’ll take the right way.
Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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