In previous conventions, and even at the RNC this year in Cleveland, the process was much smoother. But let’s go back to the beginning. Upon exiting from the parking garage, the street was filled with barricades and uniformed officers. Basically in pairs every 2 feet or so. They were all very nice, and I spoke with a few to thank them for keeping the place safe. The common answer was that they were going to do everything they could to make sure everyone was safe. No shooting in any directions was something we all agreed upon.
All the doors except one was closed to the Convention Center. Security was tight: Metal detectors and bag checks. I saw one person pulled to the side for a “conversation” but wasn’t close enough to get details. The Philadelphia Convention Center spans multiple blocks, so to get where to the credentials area meant going upstairs, crossing inside over the street and then coming back downstairs to the location.
The doors were to open at 9, but there was some problem. Doors finally opened for credential pickup around 9:30 and they only let two people in at a time, one for the DNC side and one for the Secret Service line. I picked up Matt’s and my Secret Service credentials (WOW!) and our shared DNC credentials. It will be necessary to get new Hall passes every day to go inside the Wells Fargo Center. These creds need to be picked up only during a small window in the morning at the Convention Center, which is 5 miles from the arena. Logistics, logistics.
But it’s all good! Fun to add to the convention goodie collection. I’ll see how much swag I can pick up all week. The best piece of swag from 2012? A Planned Parenthood thin rain poncho. It folds to nearly nothing and I’ve been using it ever since: much lighter to tote around than an umbrella.
Upon leaving the Convention Center, there was a guy in a pig mask which covered his whole head sitting behind a “Hillary for Prison” table, with lots of sheets of paper, which looked as if they were produced on a typewriter extolling Donald Trump. A picture was not on his dance card. While I was watching him, he took off his pig mask, which was actually a whole head pull-on. It must have been hot in there since he was drenched in sweat. Face it: it’s in the 90’s with high humidity. There’s a direct correlation between pig man sweating in the heat and how the whole Trump campaign is being run. Just sayin’.
My plan for tomorrow is to scope out the Wells Fargo arena and the Media Pavillions, and you’ll be there. Since I’ll be on a phone and not a computer, follow me on twitter at @DocJessDCW for the late pix with a full day wrap-up in the late evening.