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August 26, 2004

A Look Back On Boston: Charlotte Arbogast

The following entry was submitted by Charlotte Arbogast, who served as a press aide to the Democratic Party of Virginia during both the Virginia Democratic Convention and the national convention. She is a junior at Harrisonburg High School.

It all began early Sunday afternoon when I stepped off the plane only to find the most gorgeous city I had ever seen, Boston. It was so full of character. When we arrived at the Hotel Commonwealth (a fitting name for us Virginians), I was so relieved because it was such a nice hotel. After unloading all my stuff, I checked in with the lovely Laura Bland, who handles media and communications for the party. She informed me that my first task was to go to a party with her. At first I was a little dismayed that I was having to attend a party (I know already the hard labor is beginning), but this was what I signed up for.

We went to this beautiful gallery on Newberry Street with the photographer, Aaron, and his wife, Elisabeth. The gallery was filled with very interesting paintings. I heard one was valued at $16,000. At the gallery we mingled and I did my best to assist Laura and Aaron. Then a reporter came and wanted to interview a few people from the Virginia delegation. After rounding up a few delegates, we met him outside for the interviews. After the interviews were over we headed back to the hotel.

The next party I attended was the Virginia Delegation party located in Hyde Park in a library. There I caught up with all the Virginia Delegates and met a few from West Virginia. Following this party, Fran Framme (wife of Larry Framme and basically my second mom), Aaron, Elisabeth, and I rode the bus to the huge concert party. However, not all that interested in staying, we rode the T (Boston metro) back to hotel. Riding the T was a first for me! Then Fran and I met up with Larry and Mark Bowles and we went to this cute restaurant in Cambridge. There we met up with two young guys and had a great dinner, at 11 pm!

The following day, Monday, I woke up and didn't have a whole lot to do so I went shopping! Now again, this was very strenuous work!

Later that night I was able to get a pass to go onto the floor of the Convention. This was a great night. We heard Hillary and Bill Clinton speak. And as usual, Bill Clinton rocked the house. This was also the night Jimmy Carter spoke. He was so calm and put together. Monday was definitely a good convention night.

Tuesday afternoon Fran and I did some sightseeing and shopping. We went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and it was lovely. It was so gorgeous. There was courtyard and artwork from many different artists.

Tuesday night I did not go to the Convention. Thought I would wait for a better night. Come to find out, that was one of the best because Obama rocked the house. For the next couple of days it was all about Obama, but I had missed it. However, I did see Teresa Heinz Kerry speak on C-Span. She did a wonderful job on commanding the audience's attention.

Wendesday afternoon I went a few places with my aunt. We went to the main hotel for a lunch meeting and being the dork that I am, I had good time hearing all about campaign finance laws. Then we went to this event at the Shubert Theater. We got our seats and on stage was Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, Al Franken, and the director Robert Reiner and a few others. It was very entertaining.

Wednesday night I was so excited to go to the convetion. This was the night my man Al Sharpton was speaking. After hearing him speak in Richmond early this year, I could not wait to hear what he was going to say tonight. I went to the convention with my aunt Susan Swecker. She is (at least from what I can tell) a very important person within the DNC. And because of her I was able to meet Michael Moore. Susan had tickets to get up into a suite at the convetion. After hanging out there for a little while, we seemed to notice a large crowd walking by. After realizing it was Michael Moore, we jumped right in to try and get a picture with him. He was so nice he stopped and Susan snapped a picture of me and Michael Moore. I was so excited.

After a while I wanted to get back to the floor as to not miss Al. Then he spoke and I was complete! He was amazing. Following this I wanted to go to the bathroom before John Edwards spoke but after exiting the floor I found out that I was not going to be allowed back on. There were too many people. So I stood outside and watched it on TV with (state party chairman) Kerry Donley, who was also shut out.

Later we were able to get in before Virginia announced our votes. This is when Susan and I ran into Marvin, John Kerry's assistant. He knew us from early in the year. We talked to him and then I met Susan's friend Charisse. Charisse and I soon spotted P. Diddy and rushed down to try and meet him. We got a few pictures of him and he was able to sign my credential. I was so excited.

Thursday night I went to the convention again. But this time I put my butt down in a seat and stayed there. I was not going to get shut out on the night of Kerry's acceptance speech. This was also the night that the Governor Mark Warner spoke. He did a great job. And word on the street was that I was on C-SPAN for like 2 seconds during his speech. Kerry did an awesome job speaking. There was so much enthusiasm and passion in the room. Then the confetti and balloons came down and I had a blast with those.

All in all, the convetion was one of the best experiences I had. It was so unique and a grand oppotunity for me. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. Susan, Louise Ware, and of course, Laura Bland.

Posted by laura at August 26, 2004 03:28 PM


Go Blue Streaks!

JK all the way!

Posted by: Blair Reeves at August 30, 2004 08:39 AM