Dream Come True: MSU Professor attends Democratic Convention
(Paducah KY) - Dr. Brian Clardy teaches history at Murray State University. During the summer of 2016, the professor was in Philadelphia as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He became a witness to history.
Dr. Clardy didn't get to a national convention as a delegate on his first try. He's been working toward 2016 since 1992 when he first ran to be a delegate. Getting there was a gauntlet. First he had to be chosen by his home county then by his congressional district. Clardy went as a delegate pledged to support Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In Philadelphia, Clardy saw stars like Alicia Keyes and Danny Glover. The entertainment surprised him. He saw stars of the Democratic Party like President Obama and the First Lady and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
He said that the First Lady's speech was wonderful.
When asked if Michelle Obama had a political future of her own, Clardy said "If she wants one, she can have one. We've seen this play out. Now that a first lady is a contender for the presidency, the precedent has been set."
He joked that he "photobombed" MSNBC's Steve Kornacki as he broadcast live from the convention floor.
His best moments were hearing the speeches. His worst moments were the demonstrations on the convention floor and booing during the invocation by Cynthia Hale and of civil rights icon Congressman Elijah Cummings on the first day. Clardy said the booing came from disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters around the arena.He thought the
When asked about the expense, Dr. Clardy said that it was expensive to stay in the city. His lodgings were in New Jersey - an inexpensive ride in on mass transit - an expensive one out in a taxi.
Serving as a delegate at a national convention was an exciting, uplifting experience for this professional historian. History was made and he was there to see it.
Editor's Note: Dr. Clardy will be the featured speaker at the Jackson Purchase Historical Society in November discussing John Tanner of West Tennessee. More details as they become available.