Politics

Pelosi welcomes California delegation to DNC

Monday, September 03, 2012
Nancy Pelosi John Burton apologizes for comments Melissa San Miguel

House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, led the charge Monday as the Democrats get ready to convince Americans the president deserves four more years. The Democratic National Convention is officially underway in Charlotte, N.C. It's the first real working day there as the rest of the nation celebrates Labor Day.

The California delegates flew in over the weekend for their first big meeting and Pelosi met them for breakfast. She came to fire up the delegation and attack the opposition.

"Doing nothing is their philosophy... doing nothing... they do not believe in a public role," said Pelosi.

It's a message we're hearing a lot in Charlotte.

"They were against anything and everything including a lot of stuff they initially supported," said John Burton, the California Democratic Party Chairman.

"When I remind people that it's the Republican Congress that continues to obstruct any jobs initiative they realize the president is doing everything he can do and the economy is turning around," said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland.

This comes in response to Mitt Romney's speech.

"This president cannot tell us that you're better off today than when he took office," said Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.

"He is. All his friends are better off," said Burton.

Burton says Romney's better off and the message the delegates got was so is the country. Back stage Pelosi explained.

"This is not about, 'Are you better off now than you were then?' You better off than you would've been, had a Republican been elected,'" said Pelosi. When asked if that was a tough sell, she replied, "I don't think so. I think people have to know the facts."

And that's another aspect of this election that troubles Pelosi, she says Republicans are playing fast and loose.

"The Republicans don't care about the truth because they think with enough money will create its own reality and they have endless money," said Pelosi.

Pelosi told reporters deception and big money is a deadly combination, but in terms of big money, she outraised Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH.

"Well I'll compare our donor list to theirs any day of the week. I don't spend my time on pragmatic money. I think what the Republicans raise is very transactional and what I have are people who are idealistic about our country, most of it comes from small donors, they're just very enthusiastic about taking back the House," said Pelosi.

Pelosi is confident Democrats will take back the House.

Burton made headlines Monday when he was quoted comparing Republicans to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. He later apologized, but it sounded like, "I'm real sorry if your platform is one big lie." However, when we spoke to him, he walked it back a little bit.

A San Francisco Chronicle reporter reported on his first comments and asked Pelosi about the statement.

Burton said to the reporter, "That's not what I said. You want to hear what I said? You said, 'They're not telling the truth and if you're not telling the truth, you're lying.' And what I said was, the Joseph Goebbels concept was the big lie. If you tell it enough, people will think it's the truth."

Pelosi was asked if she had any problem with that and she did not. Burton said he wasn't calling anyone a Nazi, never used that word, he's just saying they're liars.

Democrats kicked off their convention with a party on Monday. They called it CarolinaFest and they attracted 30,000 people. There were people getting funnel cakes and getting their children's faces painted, while organizers were passing out Obama-Biden bumper stickers, registering Democrats to vote, there were musical acts such as Jeff Bridges and James Taylor. But as Taylor was playing, there was thunder and lightning and they had to shut down the show for a while.

Young SF delegate gets noticed at DNC
A young delegate from San Francisco is already getting noticed. Melissa San Miguel just turned 26 and this is her first national political convention and I'm taking bets, it's not her last.

When San Miguel tells me her time at the convention seems a little dream-like, she's talking about the American dream.

"I can't believe it's happening and it makes me think this is the only country where something like that can happen," said San Miguel. She grew up in a working-class poor family in the Mission District. "I come from an immigrant family, a union family, my dad worked in the boiler room of the Fairmont Hotel for over 30 years."

She still lives in the Mission District, but as a teenager she got into Lowell High School, then accepted into U.C. Berkeley and graduated magna cum laude in political science and was the valedictorian of her graduating class.

"It's amazing what our institutions can do when they're working really well how they can alter one's life path and at least for me that's what's happened. And that's why I work in what I do," said San Miguel.

She works for an education non-profit in legislative affairs advocating on behalf of low-income children. The biggest thrill of the convention she said was hanging out with Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the Union Farm Workers Union and recipient of the country's highest civilian honor -- the Medal of Freedom.

"To be able to be in her presence and talk with her and hear her experiences has definitely been very inspiring. I feel more than ever, at the convention, more motivated to get even more involved and talk to my friends and family some more about registering voters because this election is so important," said San Miguel.

San Miguel's story has been an inspiration to others and it's put her in the limelight. Monday she met with Pelosi as part of the San Francisco delegation.

I asked if she'd consider moving from education to politics and she already has. She is going to be working to turn out young Latino vote this fall.

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democrats, 2012 presidential race, elections, politics, mark matthews
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