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Seattle Times Political Caucus

The Seattle Times Political Caucus is an online community aimed at adding diverse voices to our coverage of politics. How we'll use the Caucus will evolve over time. But the idea is to create a conversation with people of various backgrounds and political beliefs. As the election season unfolds, we'll ask participants to weigh in on key political questions and then post their comments here.

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August 28, 2008 3:23 PM

Commemorating women in politics

Posted by Richard Wagoner

This post is by Carey Christensen of Stanwood, who is volunteering at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Christensen is a member of The Seattle Times Political Caucus. She'll file occasional dispatches about her experiences at the convention.

By Carey Christensen

Although I am an Obama supporter, as a woman, it was easy to feel the poignancy of the Emily's List event celebrating the 88th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Gathered to commemorate the strength of Democratic women in politics, we were again praising another man at the top of the ticket. It had been oh, so close!

Hillary Clinton was the top draw at the Sheraton Hotel Ballroom; she spoke early and eloquently in the line up, in order to accommodate her busy schedule. She took many of the thousands in the crowd with her when she left, obviously some not interested in the rest of the speakers, who included Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Obama.

A surprise treat was the unscheduled appearance of Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, who was tapped as a last minute speaker when the originally slated governor could not attend. Gov. Gregoire was given the choice responsibility of introducing Michelle Obama, which she did with a forceful endorsement of the Obama/Biden ticket that was fortified by her early support for Obama, including their joint appearance at the Key Arena in Seattle in February. She was able to tell the crowd that she and Michelle had already formed a close working relationship based partly on Michelle's fundraising efforts for her in the state, a relationship that Mrs. Obama emphasized in her own remarks.

Another Washington state point of pride was the appearance of Darcy Burner's picture and bio on the revolving big screen slide show of "Rising Stars" that played repeatedly before the event began. Supported by Emily's List, Darcy is hopeful of unseating Rep. Dave Reichert in the 8th District.

My daughter, Elizabeth, and I then took in the general scene along Denver's 16th Street Mall, filled with convention goers and locals alike. Protesters were easy to find, usually attended by a squad of police officers and an audience that treated everything more like a circus sideshow than a political event.

Regarding security: I heard reporters interviewed on Denver radio yesterday say that the security was tighter for the convention than it had been for the Olympics in Beijing. This is easy to believe, as law enforcement is ubiquitous, including bicycle, horse, and motorcycle mounted squads, foot patrols, roving SWAT teams, and rooftop riflemen. It makes you wonder what can’t be seen!

My next report will be after Obama's speech at Invesco Stadium. Hope it lives up to the hype.

Carey Christensen, 50, has worked on several political campaigns and has served six years as the Washington state representative for the Parkinson's Action Network, traveling yearly to Washington, D.C., to learn and lobby. "I grew up a Republican, and cast my first vote for Gerald Ford in 1976, then for Reagan in 1980. That was the last time I pulled the lever for a Republican."

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