After yesterday’s preliminary events, the DNC kicks into full gear today. Delegations begin each day with a breakfast that provide both an opportunity for logistics of the day to be discussed and speeches to be given. The Arkansas delegation is sharing a hotel and breakfast each day with the New Mexico delegation — a group evenly split between Clinton and Sanders supporters. The speakers this morning included former Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor (who served on the DNC platform committee and has been named a Vice-Chair of the Convention), New Mexico Congressman Ben Luján (the incoming chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and who focused on the need for more Democrats to step up to run for Congress in Arkansas), and the Latino and African-American Outreach Directors for the Clinton campaign. As a Navajo blessing provided by a member of the New Mexico delegation opened the breakfast, the contrast with the Republican National Convention last week in terms of diversity is a stark one that was commented upon by several at last night’s opening party and was highlighted by the Clinton operatives. Luján’s talking points focused on the importance of party unity (a plea for Sanders and Clinton folks to be nice to the other candidate). Another key topic of discussion at the breakfast was the news that broke in today’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on the flagging of thousands of eligible voters for purging by the Arkansas Secretary of State; the story was used as a rallying cry by Democratic Party chair Vince Insalaco. Speaking of voter turnout issues, former University of Arkansas SGA President Billy Fleming is now finishing his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and is around the festivities this week; he had a good piece in today’s Democrat-Gazette on the ongoing efforts to create a vote center on the University of Arkansas campus to aid students, faculty, and staff in their efforts to vote.
The time leading up to the opening gavel this afternoon is dedicated to caucus meetings at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.