Finally settled in at the Fairmont downtown after searching fruitlessly in the beginning for a wireless connection.
The most significant thing I've seen so far tonight is Oakland City Attorney John Russo throwing his weight behind Obama and MCing tonight's event. Last night we saw San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera at a rally for Hillary attended by Bill Clinton, Gavin Newsom, Carole Migden and Oakland Vice Mayor Henry Chang.
So now at least we know who wants to return has-been bureaucrats to Washington and who might actually be interested in some original ideas at the federal level. We haven't seen much talk from analysts about what an Obama cabinet might look like, but for some of us, that's one of the most intriguing questions of all.
Also appearing tonight in the Fairmont's glitzy Grand Ballroom -- an aesthetic surprise for the campaign of a self-professed reform candidate -- was San Francisco board president Aaron Peskin, who pointed out that perhaps the most important thing to occur today was two counties in the Bay Area actually running out of primary ballots. The secretary of state says California could see one of the highest turnouts in a primary election in state history. Peskin's remarks energized the crowd almost more than any others.
Sup. Bevan Dufty also spoke declaring that the huge turnout of young voters for Obama across the country is leading him to believe it may actually be safe to visit more of the nation's historically red states, places like Idaho and North Dakota that will likely grow more accustomed to LGBT politicos as younger generations grow older.
"I'm sure there are a few gay bars there I could go to," he joked.
Sup. Ross Mirkarimi noted that several prominent local Greens are backing Obama, including the president of San Francisco's Board of Education, Mark Sanchez, and Jane Kim, the highest vote getter in the last board race. He added poignantly that as one of the few Iranian American public officials in the United States, he's right to be concerned about saber-rattling against Iran by the Bush White House. Obama, he said, would reduce tensions between the two nations and defeat the president's neoconservative agenda in the Middle East.
Sen. Leland Yee spoke very briefly, but frankly, his comments were dreadfully unoriginal, something about a bunch of diverse kids playing together in a room. He delivered it forcefully, too, which actually made it a little worse.
Finally, Barbera Lee told a compelling tale about she didn't believe in paying attention to national politics during the time she attended Mills College years ago -- until she saw the nation's first black, woman presidential candidate speak at her school, Shirley Chisholm, to whom Obama has frequently been compared. Chisholm was also the nation's first black, woman member of Congress, elected in 1968. She ran for the presidency in 1972.