Posted at: 09/07/2012 11:36 PM
| Updated at: 09/07/2012 11:38 PM
By: Dan Levy
ALBANY - Many of your neighbors are back home tonight, tired, weary, and ready to catch up on some sleep. Most of them will probably tell you they're not at all displeased about the way they feel, given what they have experienced.
They are delegates to the Democratic National Convention that just wrapped up in Charlotte, North Carolina Thursday night.
It's not every day when you have a front row seat to American history. That's exactly what happened this week to Thomas Wade, Rensselaer County's Democratic party chairman, who arrived back at Albany International Airport Friday night after fulfilling his duties as a delegate at the DNC.
"The enthusiasm for President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden was even greater then I would have anticipated," Wade said. "There was an electric atmosphere in the arena."
Amsterdam lawyer, and the mother of three young children, Bethany Schumann-McGhee, also attending her first convention, shared the electric atmosphere, convinced that the DNC line-up did a great job firing up the base.
"I think we can get the message out that these many new jobs were created," Schumann-McGhee stated. "Things are really moving in the right direction and I think that message is going to get out. It was really well articulated at the convention."
Marion Porterfield of Schenectady, returned home with plenty of souvenirs, not to mention vivid memories of President Obama's acceptance speech.
"He really talked about how we're all a part of this," Porterfield says. "He included us and that's what's really important, to make anything work, the people who benefit also (need to) participate."
The question that now arises is: how will Americans who didn't attend the national conventions be affected?
"I would say a good percentage of the people have decided but it's going to be up to a few states," says Gustavo Santos, of Guilderland. "Like Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Florida, New Hampshire and some of the states in the Midwest."
Don Clarey, the Albany County Republican Chairman says he thinks the upcoming debates between Mitt Romney and President Obama will go a long way to deciding the election. He also thinks the jobless figures released Friday, indicating unemployment dropped from 8.3% to 8.1% is something that should worry the president.
"I think it'll put a hole in his balloon," Clarey, who has attended five GOP conventions, including the one Tampa last week, said. "(Especially coming) right after the convention. That's bad news and it's not good for the country."
Clarey also believes Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that allows anonymous, unlimited campaign contributions, may play a large role in determining the presidential race.
Democrats say they, too, are concerned about Citizens United, but they're also confident they can overcome any fundraising disadvantage by organizing and by having more boots on the ground.
Don Clarey's son is a WNYT employee.