After waiting on credentials for days filled with uncertainty, the Democratic Women of Richmond County’s bus tour was cancelled amidst a change of plans at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte that is in full swing.
The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced Wednesday that convention programming, originally planned for Bank of America Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 6, would be moved to Time Warner Cable Arena, the site of the first two days of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, due to severe weather forecasts. The DNCC also announced that President Barack Obama will address community credential holders in a conference call on Thursday. Call information will be emailed directly to community credential-holders.
Priscilla Sanders of the Democratic Women of Richmond County said she was disappointed about the change of plans, but looks forward to the chance to speak with the president.
“They have cancelled the bus tour,” said Sanders Wednesday morning, after she received notification from the DNCC. “The buses can’t come in due to a weather threat. There will be a full refund.”
Last week the Democratic Women struggled to garner credentials to the event. Credentials had run out and Sanders and President of the Democratic Women Pam Dillman networked with other states to get the credentials they would need. The bus was scheduled to leave from Ollie’s parking lot in Rockingham at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning. After getting the credentials they needed, but hearing about the cancellation, Dillman is not discouraged.
“Life is not easy and sometimes you get pushed back but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to vote for (Barack Obama),” said Dillman.
“We have been monitoring weather forecasts closely and several reports predict thunderstorms in the area, therefore we have decided to move Thursday’s proceedings to Time Warner Cable Arena to ensure the safety and security of our delegates and convention guests,” said DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan.
“The energy and enthusiasm for our convention in Charlotte has been overwhelming and we share the disappointment of over 65,000 people who signed up for community credentials to be there with the president in person. We encourage our community credential holders and Americans across the country to continue to come together with their friends and neighbors to watch and participate in history. The president will speak to these credential holders on a national conference call tomorrow afternoon, and we will work with the campaign to ensure that those unable to attend tomorrow’s event will be invited to see the president between now and election day,” Kerrigan said.
“I don’t know when I’ll speak to the president,” said Sanders, “but when I do speak to him I will let him know we were a little disappointed but that we appreciate the phone call, but I will have one question to ask: that he comes to Richmond County so the supporters (from surrounding counties) will have an opportunity to see him and meet him in person.”
Meanwhile, at the convention in Charlotte, Richmond County’s Kim Harrington is taking in the growing excitement and shared her experience of seeing the president.
“The energy here is so high and it’s contagious,” said Harrington on Wednesday. “There are throngs of people in the streets and cops and security on every corner.”
Harrington said the word on the street in Charlotte is that the Democratic National Convention has given the city “a shot in the arm.”
“Last night at the Time Warner Cable Arena you could feel the anticipation building for Michelle Obama to speak,” said Harrington. “It was very crowded, there was not an empty seat. I didn’t expect anything less (from her speech) and thought it was honest of her to admit her apprehension towards her husband running for president. She didn’t want to jeopardize what the family had before.”
Harrington said the overall tone of the speeches was not derogatory towards Republican candidates.
“I liked how the speeches weren’t in attack mode. It was subtle. I liked their approach. They didn’t say any names but you knew who they were talking about.”
Harrington, who is working as a journalist to cover the convention for a publication, said she got to cover the landing of Air Force One, which was greeted by 50 members of the National Guard’s family and friends. She said when President Obama landed, he spent about 30 minutes speaking to each of the members who greeted him. Harrington heard from other journalists in the crowd remarks about the president’s patience.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.