Boston, Here We Come....

Jesse Cornett

I’ve never thought of myself as a writer, and as the idea of this blog has been developed, I have never thought of myself as a regular contributor. I did, however, enthusiastically agree to blog from the floor of the Democratic National Convention, starting next week in Boston.

My original thought was that Blue Oregon would have the very first blogger from the floor of the Convention. As it turns out, blogging from the Conventions is big news this year. At least the Democratic Convention has given press credentials to numerous bloggers, meaning that I will be among the first, but by no means the first. Next I thought I would be the first blogger from Oregon but an open call from a fellow Delegate to post on another blog suggested otherwise. So, I guess we are stuck with being the first local Oregon blog with bloggers on the floor of the Convention.


By way of background, this will be my second Convention, I also went in 2000. Prior to 2000 I had never done anything political and gave a great speech to a small group about the importance of engaging young people in the political process. I heard lots of chatter about my selection over some veteran activists, people thinking they’d never see me again after the Convention, but got elected anyhow. Boy, they were wrong (but I bet they wish they were right sometimes and just hoping that I would go away).

Late last year I decided against pursuing a delegate slot. It seemed apparent Howard Dean would be the Party’s nominee, and with his groundswell of support in Oregon, I thought I should defer to one of the people who had been working so hard for his campaign. I had personally been a supporter of U.S. Senator John Edwards’ campaign.

As some Deaniac friends of mine will recall, I was given a really hard time for my support of Edwards, who through the fall was polling about equally to Carol Mosely-Braun, much like Congressman Earl Blumenauer was given a hard time for his early December endorsement of Senator John Kerry. The Dean and Edwards’ campaigns both ended, Dean’s much earlier than most expected. After they were both out I quickly and enthusiastically began supporting Senator John Kerry and soon decided I would try to attend the Convention after all.

The rules and selection process for the choosing delegates aren’t especially challenging, but the fact the “Congressional District” Democratic Committees put on the first tier of selection and that is one of their only functions, and that it occurs once every four years, made for a long, confusing process, both for a candidate trying to figure it out in advance, and the actual process of the event.

About 12 days before the selection meeting I got the list of all the people running. I was one of 46 names running for three male delegate slots. The fact that I wanted to go to the Convention was lost for a few days while my competitive spirit kicked in. From that moment until the meeting, the only thing that I wanted was to win.

I ran a mini full-fledged campaign for my seat, though I made one potential mistake which was bringing 14 dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts to the meeting. Maybe it wasn’t a mistake that I brought the donuts however, nobody seems to ever notice (or care) that I made nearly 300 phone calls, sent out 207 letters and 115 postcards, actually stenciled 180 individual donut bags, created 160 labels with 40 separate factoids about myself for the back of the bags, or signed up 22 friends who gave up their day to come support me. Recently I was introduced at a rally with the Krispy Kreme story. I guess I did run a campaign that was somewhat similar to a class president campaign might be waged.

Now after four years of activism and a career as a political “staffer,” here I go again to another Convention (yet still not the class president).

Comments

  • Pat Ryan (unverified)
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    Jesse,

    The Doughnuts were great. As to your comments about the simplicity of the selection process, I can only respond: Compared to what?

    As a late arrival to the Democratic Party, I find most of the process stuff to be positively Byzantine. Some of the arcana presumably serve the excrutiating fairness doctrines of the party (of which my Asian-American wife is no doubt a beneficiary), but I suspect that the folks who design this stuff actually dig the heck out of the complexity and their mastery (?!) of it.

    Anyhow, I'll be outside the big convention center with my nose pressed against the window. If you have any leftover doughnuts toss me one on your way by. Have fun.

  • (Show?)

    I have no beef with the process, it is just riddled with rules sent down from those in DC, which are not always easy to understand, mainly because they change EVERY time the are used.

    I'll make sure to share any union-made donuts in Boston and we'll have to work to get you inside (legally, folks) for part of the affair.

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    In addition, the DNCC has set up state party convention blogs. Here is Oregon's:

    http://blog01.kintera.com/dnccblog/or/

    In addition to those who will be posted here at BlueOregon, Becky Gladstone and Jenny Greenleaf will be posted on The American Street (a site already mentioned).

    There is apparently an interest in getting some of the delegates to cross-post to the DNCC state blog.

  • Scott Jensen (unverified)
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    Jesse, I will look forward to your account and recording of the Convention! Congratulations Man! It must be an awesome feeling. Stay Safe, Stay Sane and let's Lick Bush in 2004!

  • Moses Ross (unverified)
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    Jesse, as one of your Deaniac friends, I must admit my original surprise to your now obvious insightful support of Sen Edwards. Dean had the big Mo but lost it. Edwards ran a fantastic, smart campaign and positioned himself well for the veep slot but I venture to say he took a cue from you and passed out krispy kreme donuts to the Kerry veep committee. :)

    Represent us out here in Oregon well my friend! Wish I was there. I watched the Monday evening speeches live on the internet but I can only imagine the thrill and energy of being there on the floor. Tell us all about it!!!

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