Susan Wood of Aberdeen is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. A graduate student in the School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University, she is writing each day of her experiences.
Unity and change were the themes of the convention on the first night and, somewhat in the way of a huge pep rally, the feeling was transferred to the delegation.
Most of the first night speeches were inspirational, but with very little ad-libbing and a lot of sound bite stuff
Being a part of the rally was, however, very energizing and a lot of fun. I think the Democratic party will leave New York with their differences, but speaking as one.
Ron Brown must be upset with the Maryland delegation because our seats are in the rafters. It's like sitting in the bleachers of Memorial Stadium; plenty of binoculars to pass around. The Jerry Brown delegates are also upset with Ron Brown because he has yet to give their candidate a speaking slot.
So far the convention forums, held during the day, provide the most substantial information about Democratic policy. A health care forum sponsored by the New York Academy of Medicine concluded that the health care problem this country faces is an almost insurmountable dilemma and a more uniform and accessible health care plan must be adopted immediately. Basically everyone agreed there is a problem, but no one agrees on the solution.
I also stopped by a forum sponsored by the National Organization for Women. The Democratic party is calling 1992 the "year of the woman" and featuring six women who are challenging incumbents for Senate seats in '92. Our own Barbara Mikulski is leading the way for these women. She is now the only Democratic woman in the Senate, but is looking for company.
The women are getting a lot of mileage out of the Thomas-Hill hearings and Dan Quayle's "Murphy Brown" blunder in their election campaigns.
After the forums I stumbled across Exhibition Hall, where the most valuable items at the convention -- the trading pins -- were being exchanged, sometimes at premium prices. I was very pleased when I picked up two "John F. Kennedy for President" pins for a song from a private vendor. It's New York after all, and you can always make a deal.