As everyone around me is returning from their final vacations of the summer, I am thinking about the politics of packing. I know what to pack for the beach: sunscreen, bathing suit, SpongeBob SquarePants floaties. But what does one pack for the Democratic and Republican conventions? The DNC and RNC are back-to-back this election season, making for a bipartisan suitcase experience. Tooth brush: check. Shampoo: check. Barack Obama underwear: check. John McCain underwear: check. Just kidding. I don't actually have John McCain underwear.
I will try to refrain from fawning over Obama too much. I can't speak for the rest of the media.
Nobody cares what I pack, except maybe for my mother (yes, Mom, I brought plenty of clean socks without holes), but they ARE interested in what the candidates take on a trip. What do you pack if you're the future leader of the free world? No doubt, both candidates will be packing flip-flops. But what else? Will Obama be packing extra flag pins? Will McCain get stopped by airport security for trying to sneak Karl Rove on board? Will Hillary have to pay the airline charge for extra baggage or will she leave Bill at home? How much pandering will fit in the overhead compartment?
Blogging is a new animal for me. In 2006, I got a taste for it when I blogged from the Super Bowl in Detroit. A political convention is the Super Bowl of the presidential campaign. Except, of course, it's an exhibition game and we already know who is going to win. My first convention was the DNC in Atlanta in 1988. Boy, have things changed since then! My doodles of Dukakis were sent back to the paper using an old AP photo wire transfer machine. Feels like that was the Stone Age. Here are some samples from a couple of past conventions that I have covered. Check out my 2000 GOP Sketchbook From Philadelphia. Or take a look at my work drawings from the 2004 DNC in Boston and the 2004 RNC in New York. Some people say these conventions are meaningless dog and pony shows. Well, it just so happens I love sketching dogs and ponies!
I am now ready to throw myself, my sketchbook and laptop into the mad teeming masses of Democrats and Republicans. If the crush of delegates and protesters gets too intense, I may need a dip in the hotel pool to calm my nerves. Where did I put those floaties?