I caught up with local delegate and Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler today in the convention hall. This is the first national political convention for Dumler, a 2009 U.Va Law School grad who just turned 27. Dumler, who hails from Scottsville, says the Virginia contingent has been treated very well at the convention.
“They have definitely rolled out the red carpet for us,” he told me, adding that beyond Virginia’s swing-state status, the sweet treatment reflected a lot of hard work on the part of Virginia Democrats.
I suggested that it might be tough for this year’s convention to live up to the excitement of Denver ’08, but Dumler wasn’t so sure. “Being in the arena right now proves nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. The place was indeed brimming with bouncy, happy people; we found a rare calm spot to talk next to the compost bin.
But what about progressives who are feeling blasé this time around, or worse? People upset about drone strikes and civilian casualties in Afghanistan? That subject doesn’t come up much inside the Hall, but I suspect it’s on more minds than just those of the protesters outside. Dumler shares my concerns about that issue and others that have chafed at the base. How does he reconcile it all?
“There will never be a perfect candidate; there are things I’m disappointed in,” he says. “If you care about drone strikes, there are probably 50 other things you care about [that Obama has done right]. It ain’t perfect, but if you can hit the target nine times out of ten…”
Dumler was among of the last delegates to leave the convention hall after the roll call last night thanks to Virginia starting with a “V.” The admittedly exhausted Dumler began making his way out just shy of 1am.