Monday, July 18, 2016

#AFT100, #AFT16: Waiting for Hillary, Waiting, Waiting, Waiting... and finally she's here

Monday, July 18 - 5:30 PM
I've been in the convention hall since just after 2 PM - with Arthur Goldstein and Jonathan Halabi - check their blogs on my blogroll,
twitter, and facebook accounts as they are doing a much more serious job than I am - I'm just trying to stay awake. We all have press passes and wanted to set ourselves up in the press section - of which there are 2 and both areas suck. We are behind a platform where camera people are set up blocking our view of the stage - we can watch Hillary on TVs - or we can lean over into the aisle and watch her live.

Ok, here's my day in a nutshell - up at 3:50, AM wife gets up about 5 hours earlier than usual to drive me to airport for 7AM flight. Hit massive traffic jam at entrance to JFK - but have TSA precheck godsend - connect with Jia Lee, Arthur and Gloria for coffee - flight goes well get in at 9 AM central time, get surface transit to hotel, dump stuff in room, go to convention center - run into CTU/CORE's Jackson Potter on way to lunch with CTU crew - Arthur and I join them - then joined by Boston teacher - they ask loads of questions about MORE, UFT elections - WHAT? - retirees vote and almost 50% of total?

Fred Klonsky talks AFT democracy here: Random thoughts. AFT democracy.

Back to convention hall - run into Unity fave - retired Michael Mendel - nice to see him again, get visitor passes - need a delegate - which of course we are not - to vouch for us - grab old pal who is in Unity to do so - wander around waiting to get press passes - tight security so we wait till after 2PM to get checked by secret service at press entrance - we are thrilled to get frisked by secret service -
Halabi, Goldstein and moi - photo by Gloria Brandman
we are only 3 in the giant hall by 2:30 - it is now 5:40  and Randi is talking followed by a bunch of speakers until Hillary gets here.

Press people just told us we can run up and take some photos of Randi and Hillary when they come out together and after the speech Randi will come back to the press area to talk to us and answer questions - I'm sure she will be happy to see us - but frankly I have nothing I want to ask her -

See George Schmidt on his scooter --

They keep showing archive footage - nice piece on anti-teacher conservative Regan Nation At Risk report that began ed deform - leave out that Shanker and AFT supported many of conclusions of reports - the winners get to rewrite history.

Speakers include Helen Gym from Philly who along with Leonie Haimson founded Parents Across America, Steve Zimmer who beat back millionaire ed deformers in election for LA school board. Rouses crowd with passionate speech calling for Hillary election.

Rod Sherman from NYSUT - retired Pres of Plattsburg union -- says usual stuff.

Meanwhile Arthur and Jonathan are tweeting away with funny stuff--
Arthur Goldstein Retweeted
Ed Lettis
@TeacherArthurG #MakeAmericaWaitAgain
Arthur Goldstein Retweeted
Liz Brown
@TeacherArthurG Drone attacked her charter?
Arthur Goldstein
AFT is now playing Elton John and hoping for the best. #AFT2016 #WhereIsHillary
Arthur Goldstein
I hope Hillary has some better material about being late than the joke she told with Bill de Blasio. #AFT2016
Arthur Goldstein
Maybe they don't know where she is. Maybe she had to go back to the plane to find her hot sauce, says @Jd2718x. #AFT2016

6PM -  stalling as Hillary is delayed - rumor she is in Cincinnati -- hey - she can just do a video and live stream it to the cardboard Hillary - from where we are seated it makes no difference.

Music or musac - people waving Hillary signs so they don't freeze to death - we can do an exercise class - or start serving sandwiches.

Mary Cathryn Ricker introducing 2 senators from Minnesota - the Al and Amy show. Al Franken is still funny. Poor Amy Klobuchar has to follow him. Amy is funny too - she is the senior senator. She quotes local poet laureate Garrison Keillor - one of our faves -- All AFT members are above average. Her mom was a teacher - and involved in one of first strikes. She mentions how her mom took her to see Hubert Humphrey speak -- in 68 we scorned Hubert and ended up with Nixon.

Amy brings up Hillary right away - maybe to remind us of the comparison. I'm thinking -- Who would you vote for now - Humphrey or Nixon in 68? Just think - the left rejected Humphrey and got the Dem Party reform they were looking for in 72 - the McGovern disaster.

She thanks Bernie Sanders and his supporters in this room -

By the way - what's going on in Cleveland? I had a vision of people rolling into the convention center packing - bazookas, grenade launchers, driving tanks up the ramps - like a Turkish coup - which the Trump takeover of the Republican Party may turn out to be similar to.

Randi is back at podium -  former VP Walter Mondale is in audience.

More musac - hit me with your best shot - now another video of Hillary - but time is coming --

Randi makes intro speech - press allowed to go up front to film -- I join them and get some footage with my phone - will be posted to FB. Almost 7PM.

Hillary comes out - first time I've seen her in person. I was a big fan 25 years ago - and I am still excited to see a major world celebrity from so close up. OK - fan time over - back to seat in press section
when mild disruption breaks out with people shouting "stop deportation." They are drowned out by shouts of Hil-Ary and people surround them and put up Hillary signs to block them. I run over and get some video which I put up on facebook.

Oh, you want to know what she is saying? A lot about the seat at the table - she doesn't say stool but we know.

Read Arthur and Jonathan since they are being serious reporters. She does attack on Trump and Pence - neither one should be anywhere near children - or something like that.

They told us Hillary's speech will be 45 minutes and then Randi will come back here to talk to us and answer questions.

It's over and time for me to post this report -- maybe more later.
Bye Hillary

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