“Essentially, you realize very quickly the depth of the amount of history and the largeness of the world stage and how big the Democratic Party really is at an event like this,” Rep. David Bowen, the Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, tells Madison365 from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. “To represent the great voters of Wisconsin is an honor. It’s extremely cool to be out here.”
Bowen saw up close and personal some United States history yesterday as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic Party’s 2016 nomination for the White House, becoming the first woman to head the ticket of a major party in U.S. history.
“We are all coming around in unity out here. We had a lot of folks who supported the [Bernie] Sanders campaign and his platform and they are very passionate about the issues that they care about — and rightfully so,” Bowen says. “While people are frustrated, the way to build unity is to be authentic and honest about what we’re dealing with and how we can really engage people on all of the things that we care about.”
Bowen says that this is truly the most progressive platform the Democratic Party has ever seen. “We need to be loud and clear that if it were not for Sanders supporters pushing the progressive message and issues to take shape in the Democratic Party platform, it would not be where it is today,” Bowen says. “It’s a huge win for the Sanders campaign and their supporters because they now have a firm hold in the Democratic Party and they are the reason that we are growing and the reason we are growing more progressive. We need to continue to move in that direction.”
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) said that is was an incredible honor to be able to nominate the first woman ever, Hillary Clinton, for President of the United States. “Madame Secretary, I am Tammy Baldwin from the great state of Wisconsin and I am so proud to represent the Badger state and our 11 sovereign tribes here tonight,” Baldwin said as she announced the roll call vote for Wisconsin last night at the convention. “Wisconsin is a state where workers still make things from chips, tools, and paper to cheese, brats, and beer. We are home to the Bucks, the Brewers, and to America’s team — the Green Bay Packers. Tonight we have 49 votes for Senator Bernie Sanders and we have 47 votes for the next president, Secretary Hillary Clinton.”
Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee) said in a statement, “Not only have we made history by electing the first female presidential nominee of a major party, we have selected the most qualified person ever to run for president. Hillary Clinton’s experience, her personal qualities, and the vision she has for America is exactly what we need to keep moving our country forward.”
In a symbolic show of party unity, Clinton’s challenger Bernie Sanders told the chairwoman from the convention floor that Clinton should be selected as the party’s nominee during a state-by-state roll call. Earlier, delegates from South Dakota had given Clinton 15 votes, ensuring that she had more than the 2,383 votes needed to win the nomination. Clinton ended up with 2,842 votes to Sanders’ 1,865 votes.
“When Bernie Sanders made the motion to nominate Hillary Clinton and to have all the votes support her, that was really an honor to see that,” Bowen said.
Who is Bowen most excited to have bumped into at the star-studded event so far?
“Everybody,” he laughs. “You see some of the heavy hitters that we have in the Democratic Party all around us here. It’s an honor to get a chance to engage with them. But then there are also folks that you don’t normally get to see in person. I saw [former CBS news anchor] Dan Rather out on the floor of the Democratic Convention. He’s a huge pillar in the world of journalism. I remember watching him as a kid and because of him I paid attention to current events. I was probably just as star struck to see him as I was Alicia Keys.”
Bowen says that he is excited to listen to President Barack Obama speak on behalf of Hillary Clinton tonight at the convention.
“[Former] president [Bill] Clinton was excellent last night,” Bowen said. “I think the president coming to speak today we’ll get some really keen insight on being able to mend and build unity in the party and to make sure that the issues that we care about are being addressed. This is his last convention as president. I know he will be inspiring and talking about looking forward.”