An American Experiment in Democracy: an essay on the Democratic National Convention

This article is from Creative Loafing of Charlotte. It is my essay on a week spent covering the Democratic National Convention.

Warren's speech catered to, and maybe reassured, progressives. "No, Romney, corporations are not people ... people are people," Warren said. "They dance, they live, they love, and they die, and that matters." It was simple, empathic rhetoric, and I liked her.

Then came the Big Dog, who delivered the greatest speech from a former president since Teddy Roosevelt took on his successor and declared, "We stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord."

Half of Clinton's speech was ad-libbed. I hung on every word. My tongue was in my throat. There was new momentum in the air.


After a photo shoot, I took Siegelman to a shaded concrete bench outside the arena, breaking the ice by revealing a couple skeletons from my own closet. He was going to federal prison for six years, seemed a broken man, and I wanted to get on his level.

"I am going to prison on Tuesday, September the 11th," Siegelman said, as we chatted more freely now. "After that, my voice will be silenced and I won't be able to speak out."


The Obama "Change" slogan from 2008 seemed prescient, at least when it came to the faces of the folks who were with me inheriting the Democratic Party. Obama's new slogan, "Forward," keeps me hoping that that's where we are headed.


pay off debt

we can, 14,000B income--tax Estates-Income at 1945-1980 rates.We had great growth under those rates.
It is so dumb to have a 2013 budget of 2900B Revenue-3800B Spending and 900B Deficit with our income.
Rank above Chile and Mexico As Least taxed in oecd and 4th on Inequality.
Third World???

clarence swinney

Michael, will you be writing

about your interview with Siegelman? I enjoyed your coverage of the convention but it seems like the real story to read is the one on one access you had with him.

We ran a short Q&A

We ran a short Q&A that focused on his mindset going to prison. There was also much talk about what Karl Rove and Jack Abramoff did behind the scenes, but what really happened has been documented elswhere and more in-depth.

He did seem hurt but ready to deal with going to prison. He was a very nice man, and I even asked for advice on passing the bar and finding a job, considering that he used to be a state attorney general. The tradition in my family is not to judge folks.

Contributing reporter for Creative Loafing
3L at the Charlotte School of Law
2009 New Leaders Fellow at the Center for Progressive Leadership