More From the Floor
Chelsea Clinton makes it to the convention
By Richard Whittaker,
7:55PM, Fri. Jun. 6, 2008
9:11pm: Wah? Just named to the permanent committee on resolutions: Council member Sheryl Cole and Vince "Capitol Annex" Liebowitz. Well, he never said he wasn't partisan.
9:08pm: Nominations now: Kirk Watson is now the permanent state chair of the convention. Does that come with a stipend? Or at least discount car-wash vouchers?
9:03pm: Are we done? The credentials committee is reporting, which should be the closer, but that feels optimistic. Everyone has been credentialed, and the committee has dealt with a series of baffling and wonky challenges.
9:02pm: Kaine's zinger: "Tom DeLay's a Virginia resident now. Thanks for that." But he makes the takeaway point for the Texas Dems: that Virginia was reliably Republican for years, but has gone Dem in just about every way about the state house (in a weird mirror-universe moment, they still need five seats. Just like Texas. Spooky.), the Senate, and the presidency.
8:55pm The crowd energy is a bit low after two hours, but Gov. Tim Kaine, Obama's campaign co-chair and Virginia (btw, target state) head honcho is here at last. He's also the first person to deliver a big portion of his speech in Spanish. He passes on Obama's thanks (as well as his "profound admiration and respect" for Hillary Clinton), but said he couldn't be here because he needed to take the weekend off. And, you know, he has that engagement tomorrow that everyone is whispering about.
8:43pm: And an interesting closer from the House members. The final note went to Kirk England, the Grand Prairie former Republican who jumped ship last session. Hugged by Jim Dunnam, flanked by all House Dem incumbents and all the challengers for Republican seats, he was as much the posterboy as Noriega.
8:40pm: Jim Dunnam, king of the one-liners, strikes again" "We always try to remember those that are no longer with us. So we will have a brief moment of silence for Tom Delay. And Dennis Hastert. And Donald Rumsfeld. And Karl Rove. And thank god, George Bush."
8:34pm: Speaker contender Rep. Senfronia Thompson may actually have her own bid for soundbite of the night: "I was scared to speed because of the price of gas."
8:29pm: Rep. Eddie Rodriguez continues the jump to Obama, saying that he's now definitely on board.
8:28pm: Reps. Mark Strama and Patrick Rose take the mike together to refute the myth that they are actually the same man. So now the theory will be that they are actually clones. The similarity is just plain spooky.
8:18pm: Line of the night contender. "I'm Representative Jim Dunnam from Waco, and for the purposes of this convention, Tom Craddick is not recognized."
8:16pm: In a show of literal hand-holding unity, Reps. Rene Oliveira (Clinton supporter) and Yvonne Davis (Obama-ite) entered to "Higher Ground" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. No, Newsdesk is not kidding. They got the entire crowd going with an "Oh-Bah-Ma" and a "yes we can" chant. So now the talking point is talking back the House, and every rep is up on stage.
8:08pm: Talk about your thankless tasks: Former state party chair Charles Soechting had to follow Chelsea and talk about Speaker Tom Craddick.
8:01pm: Short but sweet from Chelsea, who was humble, pleasant, and very on-message: Hillary will definitely be getting behind Obama tomorrow. There was some hand-shaking afterwards from the stage, and a brief "Hill-La-Ree" chant from the faithful, but it's officially over. Still worth mentioning, because that seemed a million years away even on Monday.
7:52pm: The first acceptance in the room that the Clinton campaign is definitely over, and that the message is unity. Chelsea is here, and her intro cadre are saying that her mother will definitely be backing Obama tomorrow. Jason Smith from Harris County said that his heart is breaking for her.