Follow along with Jen Sorensen as she reports from Charlotte, N.C.
Chronicle cartoonist Jen Sorensen (her Slowpoke comic runs every other week in our Comics section, p.85) is on the ground in Charlotte, N.C., this week, reporting from the Democratic National Convention. We have all her latest coverage – photos, tweets, and insider insights – posted on the Newsdesk blog, but we've collected some of the highlights so far below. Stay tuned for more from Sorensen; the convention doesn't wrap up until Thursday, Sept. 6. (Looking for Wednesday's coverage? Check here.)
Saturday, Sept. 1
Greetings! Cartoonist and occasional political blogger Jen Sorensen here. I had so much fun covering the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver that I'm doing it again.
On Saturday I leave for Charlotte, N.C., where I'll spend the better part of next week immersing myself in the hoopla surrounding the renomination of Barack Obama. I'll be blogging, tweeting, posting cell phone photos, and hopefully drawing some cartoons as I have time.
While it's true that the outcome of the convention is a foregone conclusion, I'm fascinated by the details surrounding it. It's a big spectacle bordering on the surreal, with plenty of behind-the-scenes wackiness. One moment, you're brushing past Jimmy Carter; the next, you're photographing a Midwestern delegate in a giant corncob hat. Some real drama is sure to unfold too, as protesters of various stripes collide with extremely robust security forces. So, watch this space!
Sunday, Sept. 2
I arrived in Charlotte last night amid hordes of bubbly convention-goers. Before I begin covering the week's events in earnest, I'd like to say a few words about my own perspective. Those of you who are familiar with my comics know I have fairly strong political convictions, and I'm going to let 'em rip as necessary here.
Like many progressives, I've had mixed feelings about the first Obama administration, but I'm hoping for a successful convention. At the very least, the country needs a palate-cleansing after last week's dreckfest in Tampa, Fla. I want to see Elizabeth Warren smack down Chris Christie six ways from Piscataway. As a self-employed freelancer, I want to see the Affordable Care Act defended. I want to hear the Republicans' barbaric stance on women blasted back to the Stone Age where it belongs. Yes, we live in a berserk plutocracy where rhetoric typically falls short of reality. But in these fact-challenged times, I'll take what I can get.
While waiting for my luggage in between flights yesterday, I spoke with a 26-year-old delegate from Austin named Heather. This will be her first national political convention. When I suggested that Obama's initial coronation in Denver 2008 would be hard to top, she quickly countered, "But this will be his last one!"
I've been jaded by too much triangulation to feel that level of attachment, but I wouldn't object to some of that Denver magic here in Charlotte.
Monday, Sept. 3
I wound up waiting out a storm at a bus stop with a protester named Larry from the Florida panhandle. He'd been at the RNC in Tampa, and was riding a bike around Charlotte with a sign bearing a poem he wrote.
I wasn't quite sure what to make of the sign at first, but I believe he's referring to conservatives of different backgrounds sharing a common worship of the market. Larry noted that security was more obnoxious in Tampa.
I closed out the day at a house party hosted by Raw Story who, contrary to their name, did not serve undercooked meat. A reliable source there told me that Gretchen Carlson of Fox & Friends had a lackey carry her stilettos today as she walked around in more comfortable footwear. That source may or may not have employed the term "Gretchen Carlson's shoe bitch." Am I bringing you behind-the-scenes deets or what?
Tuesday, Sept. 4
An eventful day here in Charlotte, N.C. For me, it started with a Planned Parenthood rally at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Yes, this is probably the first time in history that those two organizations were mentioned in the same sentence.
A human pillpack led the proceedings, and Rush Limbaugh's favorite slut Sandra Fluke was on hand to slut things up.
As the event came to a close, another storm ensued, and PP began passing out pink ponchos. Always have protection!
I caught wind on Twitter of a standoff between police and Occupy Wall Street protesters just a couple blocks away, and wound up walking right into the middle it. The protesters wanted to march toward the convention, and as I arrived, the police allowed them to do so as long as they stayed on the sidewalk.
Marchers chanted "Free Bradley Manning, arrest Barack Obama!" At the Convention Center, a Gulf War vet got into a heated exchange with an Occupy protester in a pig-snout hat who was criticizing U.S. drone strikes.
A number of Obama supporters, mostly African-American, began chanting "Four more years!" while the protesters yelled about civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Then it began to pour again. I snapped a pic, then headed inside to dry off.
Inside the Convention Center, Castro's speech was well-received, as were Lilly Ledbetter's, Deval Patrick's and Michelle Obama's. I have a lot to say about night one of the convention, but for now I'll have to refer you to my Twitter feed: @SorensenJen.