When I walked into the Michigan Delegation’s breakfast and reception room at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Charlotte, one of the first people I saw was Detroit News Editorial Page Editor Nolan Finley. He was doing what a typical news person would do, kibbitzing with the assembled Democrats, asking a few questions, et.al. Nolan said to me, “Hey, why don’t you write some blogs about this?”
I hadn’t intended to do much writing about this event, but this was an opportunity too historically significant not to address—and too much shaped by ironies to avoid.
One of the interesting things is the determination by the Party as to who would be able to attend some of the events, given that there were not enough delegate badges to go around. So the decision was made by the Michigan Democratic Party leadership to have a lottery at the end of each morning’s breakfast. This was deemed to be a fair way of distributing many of the additional passes available to guests of the delegates.
Given that the invitation extended to guests of delegates is a long-time tradition, why a lottery? Some people felt like they were playing “the big game” back home in the casinos. Why not, instead, first-come-first-served? That way, those who wanted additional tickets would make their way early enough to receive the passes, and those who didn’t get there early—well, those are the breaks.
But this is just one of those things that the Democratic Party in Michigan has to shore up. It has to clarify how those who have access and influence can be merged with those who have the enthusiasm and the volunteerism to be involved in the Party. Many were complaining about the fairness of the process.
Hopefully, the Michigan Democratic Party will be able to expand its base and include many who voted for Obama four years ago, but who are now wavering. Perhaps the Michigan Democratic Party should have made a special effort to give these additional tickets to young people, the disabled, and some of the “edge” voters who will make the difference in this upcoming election. That is a projection for the future.