Friday, July 18, 2008

A Super Interview

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Ed Espinoza was kind enough to let me interview him about going to the Denver Convention. Here’s what he had to say:

Doc Jess: How many conventions have you been to?

Mr. Super: This will be my third, I was at Los Angeles in 2000, and Boston in 2004. LA was better suited as a city to host the convention. The venue was not as big in Boston, and the on-going Big Dig made it hard to get around.

What will make Denver different?

Denver is a great city. I was there on vacation a few weeks ago, and went white water rafting, hiking and to a baseball game. Denver is not only a great city for a convention, but a great vacation destination, and the attendees will have opportunities to do many of the things I did there on vacation. It’s a great outdoors city.

At a lot of conventions, all the pictures are from indoors. They could be taken anywhere. But in Denver, there will be lots of outdoors options, and that will be great for the delegates to see when they’re not at the convention.

It will also be great for the country to see our party come together in Denver. We’ve been trying to get a convention here for a long time.

Speaking of outdoor options, will you be visiting the protest area?

Absolutely. It’s a chance to see not only convention protests, but issue protests. I love the free speech aspect of it.

Did you have any trouble getting a plane ticket or hotel room?

The plane ticket was easy, especially since I’m coming in a day early. The hotel was also not a problem, since the states already had room blocks.

I had heard that there would be problems with Florida and Michigan.

Well, when the rooms were assigned, no one knew what that the delegation sizes of these states would be.

Who pays for you to go to the convention?

Delegates either pay their own ways, although some have sponsors.

You wrote in a DCW post that “good comfortable shoes” were really important, so I have to ask, what kind of shoes and insoles will YOU be wearing?

Nordstrom black lace-ups with custom-made fiberglass orthotics. Plus, rubber soles, which makes walking around much easier.

Excellent choice. How do you feel about the “no fried foods” deal?

I’m from California, so I don’t eat a lot of fried foods. But I thought they had reversed it. Face it; everybody likes a good onion ring from time to time.

What is the best trinket you ever got at a convention?

Believe it or not, it was a shaving kit at the 2004 convention. It sounds minor, but when you travel as much as I do, it really comes in handy. I had picked up a DNC Convention Barbie at the 2000 convention and thought it would be a hot seller on ebay, but not so much.

Maybe if you pick up some convention souvenirs at Denver, we could raffle them off on DCW and send the money to the campaign.

Great idea.

Are there people that you don’t know, who seem to go to “every” convention, that you are looking forward to seeing?

Political activists come in all shapes and sizes, and I love them all. Remember, political activists aren’t normal, we do this for fun. Something you always see at conventions are hats – the more interesting the better. That’s always fun to watch.

In addition, I’m looking forward to meeting all the college Democrats, looking forward to their enthusiasm: actually it’s always terrific to see the new people. And also, the people who have been coming forever. I meant it when I said I love them all.

I remember you blogging about the number of phone calls and emails you received before you endorsed. Anyone still calling?

I have a file with about 500 e-mails, and 200 written letters, from people who lobbied me before I endorsed. I haven’t heard from the campaign since. However, I did receive a lot of “thank you” emails from Obama supporters, and to this day, I’m still receiving a steady stream of e-mails from a small, spirited handful, maybe 5 – 10, HRC supporters asking me to change my mind.

Will Hillary’s name be placed in nomination?

There will absolutely, without a doubt be a roll call vote. It’s a chance for each state to sing their praises, showcase their history, and say “The great state of (name) casts “X” votes for “Y”.” And Hillary will get some of those votes.

Any final thoughts?

I’m excited, and I’m really looking forward to the convention. I think it will be great to see all the new people at the convention, and the very best part will be seeing the acceptance speech at Invesco Field, filled with as many people as it can hold, all there to see the next President of the United States.