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DC vs. The DNC -- A Study in Contrasts

During this election season, I've been blessed to attend two very significant events -- the Democratic National Convention in Denver and the inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, DC. Both of these events were historical and emotional for me, and I was glad I attended both. However, there were stark differences between the two -- at least for me.

Traveling companions
I'm a firm believer that who you're with can make or break a trip. When I went to the DNC in Denver, I was with my new friends from California. Even though I'm usually not a fan of traveling with strangers, I really appreciated these women. They're a really great bunch, and we worked well together. We arrived on Tuesday and stayed until Friday.

On the other hand, I wanted to experience the inauguration with folks who were more familiar to me. That's why I traveled to New York City to be with the girls and guys who have become my second family. We then took a bus to Washington, DC for the day of the event.

To say that the weather wasn't an important factor would be an absolute lie. When we went to Denver in August, the weather was pleasantly hot. We were able to walk around outside in our shorts and stuff and be comfortable. In contrast, we dealt with bone-chilling, mind-numbing cold in DC.

Don't get me wrong -- I expected to deal with inclement weather in January, but that was absolutely ridiculous. The country was experiencing some of the coldest temperatures on record, and we who braved it caught the worst of it. Of course, I'm so thankful that the snow and rain the meteorologists had been predicting didn't come to pass. That would've made a bad situation worse.

Emotional State
The mood in Denver was festive. There were parties galore, and there was a celebratory air floating through the city. There was also an anticipation that was palatable. Everyone was excited and determined to do whatever it took to get our man in the White House. Even Barack was upbeat, and that mood was reflective in his speech.

Fast-forward to January. Our country is in complete chaos. Companies are laying workers off left and right, and people are losing their homes at an alarming rate. We're fighting two wars, and Barack's promise to bring our troops home has taken a backseat to the current economic crisis. In addition, Barack himself has suffered the loss of his beloved grandmother -- the rock of his family. At this point, everyone is looking to him to make things right. I personally loved the speech he gave, but it was obvious to me that the heaviness of the moment was upon him.

Organizational Issues
I'm not really sure what kind of training and preparation the city of Denver had gone through prior to the Democratic National Convention, but it was thorough and extensive. Everything concerning that event -- from transportation to the flow of traffic into and out of Invesco Field -- was handled efficiently. I personally commend the city for it.

What I really wish was that the good folks of DC had had access to Denver's manuals. It was almost like the millions who converged on the city to take part in the inauguration were unexpected. The trains were crazy, the flow of information was crazy, and some people who had tickets were denied entry -- completely unacceptable. DC was, in my opinion, a study in pandemonium and mayhem on January 20th.

My Overall Analysis
After all was said and done, I'm very happy that I got a chance to experience both the DNC and the inauguration. However, I think someone in our nation's capital needs to learn how to host millions of people before the next election because the unabashed foolishness that was Washington, DC was unacceptable to this citizen.


djdannak said…
As one of your New California friends who was a traveling companion to Denver...this study in Contrasts hits the nail on the head...I am glad I got to see both, but in DC...something just wasn't right...


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