Locals: High energy, optimism at DNC
by Anna Oakes
Local elected officials were gushing
with optimism and enthusiasm during a report to the Watauga Democrat from the Democratic National
Convention on Tuesday.
"It's just been an incredible experience
so far," said Andy Ball, a Boone Town Council member and one of two convention delegates from
Watauga County. "We're welcoming folks to the state."
representing North Carolina as a delegate at the convention is Boone Mayor Loretta
"The energy is incredible. I think we're going to win
North Carolina," Clawson said, referring to President Barack Obama's campaign for
Ball echoed Clawson's sentiments, noting they have
heard from a number of political analysts -- including CNN's James Carville and NBC's Chuck Todd
-- about the possibility of the state going blue once again in 2012.
"We're discussing North Carolina and Virginia, and other places like that are in
play. "I think we're in really, really good shape at 60 days out," he said.
Former state legislator and Democratic N.C. House of Representatives candidate
Cullie Tarleton joined Ball and Clawson at the North Carolina delegates' breakfast on Tuesday,
where women's issues were the main topic. Delegates heard from Gov. Bev Perdue, N.C. Secretary of
State Elaine Marshall and Donna Brazile, DNC vice chairwoman for voter registration and
"I think the women's issues and addressing that
has been one of the most important things to me. We need to get the women out (to vote)," said
Clawson, who is sharing a hotel room with Watauga Democratic Party Chairwoman Diane
Ball, who represents the Young Democrats of North
Carolina on the N.C. Democratic Party State Executive Council and is serving a second term as a
Young Democrats national committeeman, said he is excited to be a part of the largest youth
delegation in the state's history.
Surpassing its goal of 19
delegates under age 36, the Young Democrats of North Carolina succeeded in getting 32 delegates
under 36 elected to this year's DNC delegation -- that's up from four in 2008, Ball said. North
Carolina sent 158 delegates to the DNC this year.
having an effect on the energy," Ball said. "It's just been a fantastic experience for me as a
young leader in the state party."
Both Clawson and Ball commended the city of Charlotte for a smooth-operating event.
"There's been very little delays or any kind of issues at all," said Ball.