Well, the bags are packed, delegates are heading to the airport, but everyone is still buzzing about Thursday night at Convention.
From former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Senator John Kerry's fiery speeches about the many successes of President Obama, to the nomination acceptance speeches by Vice President Biden and President Obama, the mood at the Time Warner Arena was positively electric.
Our own Congresswoman and Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin spoke of the Wisconsin she knows, one of fairness and hard work; a Wisconsin that believes in equality and creating a forward-looking economy that is built to last.
And primetime coverage kicked off with former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords from Arizona, who was shot during an event in Tucson, leading the arena in the Pledge of Allegiance. Escorted by her good friend and Chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz, there was not a dry eye in the house.
Thursday's evening coverage featured several actors and musicians, all helping to lend a celebratory air to the final night of convention, including actresses Kerry Washington, Scarlett Johansson and Eva Longoria, and musicians James Taylor, the Foo Fighters and Mary J. Blige. But it also featured solemn moments, including a beautiful tribute to our brave men and women in uniform who serve the country we all love with selflessness and courage, every day. To them, we all say 'Thank You'.
But the night really got moving as the hour grew later, because we knew that nomination acceptance speeches from our president and vice president were just around the corner. And they certainly did not disappoint.
Delegates were holding signs that read 'Fired Up' on one side, and 'Ready to Joe' on the other, a play on a now-famous line from a volunteer in Greenwood, South Carolina. The women went to a campaign event for the president in 2008, and decided the crowd looked a little too idle for her taste, so she led them in a chant of 'Fired Up, Ready to Go'. As the story goes, eventually then-candidate Obama heard the chants too, and after feeling tired himself, soon found himself as equally fired up and ready to go as the now spirited and energetic crowd. And thus, a mantra was born (and chanted several times during the convention by the crowd by the never-listless crowd).
After Vice President Biden delivered his nomination acceptance speech, where he thanked his son Beau for placing his name into nomination, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin came out to begin the proceedings for President Obama to officially accept the nomination for president.
Each speech laid out their case for reelection, that we as a nation face the clearest choice in generations; a choice between two fundamentally different visions for our country's future. That couldn't be more true.
We face a choice between a vision for American that favors the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the rest of us, or a vision that strives to work for everyone, regardless of where you come from. A vision that our country should be sold to the highest bidder, or a vision that our hard work will pay off, our responsibility will be rewarded, and that everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share and plays by the same rules.
After the speeches concluded, the confetti dropped and the convention came to an official close, delegates and guests made their ways to their events or hotels to finish the evening, energized and motivated (or as we like to say, fired up and ready to go) by what they heard earlier in the evening and throughout the entire convention. This is the energy that will keep us registering voters, knocking on doors and making sure every single person who is eligible and wants to vote has the opportunity to exercise that right. This is the energy that will carry us through the late nights and early mornings, the long hours and the little sleep. And this is the energy that will help us emerge victorious in November, regardless of what anyone tries to do to stop us.
On behalf of the Wisconsin delegates to the Democratic National Convention, a huge 'Thank You' to each and every person who helped make this convention a rousing success. The legions of volunteers who gave up their time and energy to help everything run smoothly, the teams of law enforcement who ensured everyone's safety during the week, and especially the wonderful people of Charlotte who welcomed everyone with arms wide open and made sure we all felt at home, even in a new city. This is certainly an experience no one will ever forgot, and for that we are eternally grateful.
And, or course, to the Patch, for allowing us the opportunity to share our experiences with people in Wisconsin.
On to November!