Sen. R.J. Palmer called his first trip to the Democratic National Convention an honor.
As one of two delegates from Clark County, Palmer said the convention has proven local Democrats are as active as any party members.
“There’s a few Kentucky legislators here, and it’s been nice to sit down outside of Frankfort to talk about things that we’re working on,” Palmer said.
As an elected official, Palmer was selected by Gov. Steve Beshear to attend the convention, and Palmer hopes the experience will help him become a better legislator once back in Frankfort.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to see how this process works,” Palmer said.
One of the convention highlights, he said, was listening to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick talk about pension reform in his state.
“He actually worked with labor to come up with reforms. Not everybody wins, but they worked together because they all have common goals. To me, that is refreshing. ... That’s the way this process is supposed to work. Sometimes that’s been lost in Frankfort, and sometimes in Washington,” Palmer said.
The convention has shown that large groups of people can work together for a common goal, Palmer said.
Most legislators are focused on stimulating the economy and creating new jobs, according to Palmer.
“I think the economy is recovering, but it was a very difficult recession, and I¿think we have to continue to invest in education and infrastructure, and have our students prepared to accept new jobs that are created with this new economy,” Palmer said.
Democrats also are preparing for November, promoting the president’s policies and Democratic candidates across the country.
“I think just being at the convention itself is a lot of fun. You get the opportunity to hear speakers from across the country, all of them with the single common goal of preparing for ... the president’s nomination,” Palmer said.
Watching former president Bill Clinton speak, and his interaction with Obama was one of the best moments of the convention, Palmer said.
“It was amazing, a very special moment,” Palmer said.
The convention also has been a learning experience, with politicians and delegates from such diverse backgrounds interacting with one another.
“It’s been very interesting to hear many, many good speakers and listening to their background and what they’ve done,” Palmer said.
Delegates are optimistic about the future, and Obama’s chances for re-election, Palmer said.
“People here, of course, want him to have four more years to finish what he started. Being a member of the legislative body, I think it’s going to take more time. ... We’re all in this together, and we’re going to have to work together if we’re going to have an opportunity to succeed,” Palmer said.
Contact Rachel Parsons Gilliam at email@example.com.