Two district conventions were held together in the fire station a mile or so from my house this evening at 7pm. This isn’t the kind of event I would have predicted I would be spending an evening on a couple years ago even, but having spent so much time bemoaning a combination of disappointing candidates and meaningless votes in Texas, I felt I owed it to my self-respect to make the most of this day when neither were true for me. And apparently I’m not done yet.
Driving up at 6:55, I was stunned to see people lined up outside in the chilly night, and I was lucky to get one of the last places to park around the firehouse. While I waited outside, cars would begin streaming into the church parking lot down the street, and people would build until a crowd of a couple hundred or so were milling about, chuckling about how much worse it would have been if it were during yesterday evening’s ice storm, asking each other about Texas caucusing arcana, and having a look at what exactly Texas Democrats look like.
The doors opened at 7:15 and it was over an hour for everyone to get inside the door, and have them put their names down for one candidate or another. The question was constantly asked if we had to stay or if we could go once we had signed in. The answer was the latter and by far most people left, although I stayed just to satiate my curiosity. The caucus was called to order, a temporary chairperson and secretary were selected, who then presided over the nomination and voting in of a permanent chairperson and secretary.
The names were counted, and the proportion used to split the district’s delegates to the county convention (where delegates will be selected in similar fashion for the state convention… where the delegates to the national convention will be selected, also in kind). My district was assigned 18 total delegates, 1 delegate per 15 people who voted democratic in the last gubernatorial election — curiously that’s only about 270 which seems a small number compared with the number caucusing tonight. Here, Obama won 11 to Clinton’s 7. I heard from the next room that their district fell in similar proportion.
We were sectioned off into two corners of the room to select our 11 delegates, plus 11 backups, to attend the county convention on March 29th. Only 17 remained so the Obama camp had to settle for 6 backups.
One of which seems to be me.