As Democrats gather in Charlotte this week to officially nominate President Barack Obama for a second term, Florida delegate Shannon Love will be offering an on-the-ground perspective of the convention. Here is her latest dispatch:
Last week Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told residents to “embrace the crazy.” Coming into Charlotte, this city apparently has the same feeling. Coming off the plane, I was greeted no less than three times saying “Welcome to Charlotte.” The traffic was pretty intense, taking an hour and a half for what Google claimed would be seventeen minutes.
The Florida delegation, the largest in state history, has a closely located hotel just blocks away from the Convention Center, as well as the Bank of America Stadium. Meanwhile, in addition to the DNC guest festivities, CarolinaFest seems to be out in full force throughout the area, with delegates, media, and local residents. The Muse epicentre has replaced Channelside with a main area for media, having the stage for MSNBC as well the CNN Grille. What’s perhaps most interesting is how much more accessible the Democratic Convention areas seem today compared to the Republican National Convention. While hotels ask that only overnight guests enter the hotels, it’s clear that there are more centrally located community events that anyone can access.