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Early Thursday afternoon, Rock Hills Bump Roddey was about to head to Time Warner Cable Arena so he wouldnt get left out.
Hard to blame him, because thats just what happened Wednesday, when Roddey arrived at the arena for the second night of the Democratic National Convention to find that security wasnt letting anyone else in.
I could have come to the arena earlier, he said. I was on schedule, but apparently I was behind schedule.
Roddey had stopped by a reception before heading to the convention activities, which concluded Thursday night when President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden accepted their partys re-nomination.
As a result, Roddey missed all of Wednesdays speakers including President Bill Clintons rousing discourse and the delegates roll call, where each state took turns casting its votes.
The South Carolina delegates who managed to make it to their seats located to the left of the stage near the delegations of Puerto Rico, Washington and Montana stayed long after Clinton spoke and well after midnight to cast their votes for Obama and Biden.
Edith Childs of Greenwood acted as spokesperson for the S.C. delegation, casting the votes after leading the delegation in a chant of, Fired up! Ready to go! Childs used the civil rights-era chant to rally volunteers setting out to register voters, and started a round at a 2008 Obama campaign stop.
Thats when it caught on like wildfire, Childs said.
Roddey, who watched Wednesdays proceedings on television, said he felt awful when he couldnt enter the arena.
Roddey wasnt quite as disappointed to have missed South Carolinas turn in the roll call, because he was able to see many states cast their votes before the broadcast ended.
A home run
State Reps. John King of Rock Hill and Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg were eating lunch late Thursday morning at a restaurant at the hospitality center sponsored by the Myrtle Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute.
King was impressed with Myrtle Beachs efforts to gain visibility at the convention. The group trucked in a load of sand and built a sand castle depicting Obama.
That kind of effort will make South Carolina memorable to convention goers, King said, and bring about a lot of change in South Carolina.
King called Clintons speech the night before a home run...coming from someone who has the experience.
Clinton did well to point out, he said, that our president inherited the problems, and he even said that no president, including himself, could have fixed those problems in four years.
Meeting the first lady
Roddey, King and Cobb-Hunter were among delegates who received a visit from first lady Michelle Obama, who stopped by the Black Caucus Wednesday morning.
Cobb-Hunter had a chance to shake hands with Obama and was surprised that the first lady spent 30 or 45 seconds with her, chatting about needing to return to South Carolina and giving her a hug.
As seasoned and cynical as I am and can be about politics, that was just wonderful, Cobb-Hunter said. I just have such admiration and respect for her as a woman, as a woman of color. She is class, she is professional, shes graceful.
Shes all of the wonderful adjectives...that any woman should aspire to.
A self-described political junkie, Cobb-Hunter said she was pleased to see the number of women in the U.S. Senate, but being a woman of color, she was also reminded that minority women have another barrier to break.