Delegates catch sleep on the go in sleepless city DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION



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.

New York is the city that never sleeps, and this is also true of delegates.

Nate Landow, the Maryland state Democratic Party chairman, hosted a party for the Maryland delegation at Tatou, a trendy midtown Manhattan nite club. Paul Tsongas also hosted a party at Tavern on the Green overlooking Central Park the same night.

The Maryland Tsongas delegation jumped between the two parties until almost dawn. My roommate, Brenda Brisbane, another Maryland Tsongas delegate, and I then went home for a short nap and rushed to our 9:15 a.m. delegate roll call.

Every morning Nate organizes a meeting with various convention dignitaries after our 7:30 a.m. delegate breakfast. Today we hear Senator Bill Bradley and Senator Jay Rockefeller. Breakfast for me these past two days has been a bagel from a street vendor and a coffee as I was running to our 9:15 meeting.

During the week I have had the opportunity to meet Barbara Mikulski, Paul Sarbanes, Nate Landow and other dignitaries. But Tuesday night I got to shake hands with Jimmy Carter.

I went down from Maryland's sky box seats in the Garden and checked out the floor. I was right by the Georgia delegation when President Carter was passing through. I can now say I have shaken hands with the first president I voted for who didn't win.

At Wednesday's morning meeting, Pat Smith, state chairman of the Tsongas campaign, announced that Maryland would vote united on the first ballot, meaning all 85 votes would go to the Clinton-Gore ticket. I think it's a great move toward democratic unity.

I went again Wednesday to what they call "delegate boot camp." Boot camp is a series of afternoon sessions on issues included in the Democratic platform. I have been sitting in the back, just in case I need to catch a few winks for the next night.

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