PHILADELPHIA — 5 p.m.: South Carolina’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention had the afternoon off before returning to the Wells Fargo Arena for the third session of the week. With two of the four days of the event behind them, many members of the group used the opportunity to reflect on festivities thus far.
Kathy Hensley of Lexington County, her credentials lanyard loaded down with political buttons and pins from past and present conventions, said South Carolina had the best seat assignment this year of the past four Democratic conventions she has attended. She said she noticed less advertising than in years past, perhaps, she said, due to the fact that corporate sponsors declined to participate at Donald Trump’s nominating convention in Cleveland last week.
“They’d go all the way up to the ceiling,” Hensley recalled. “I loved it. I love all the pieces.”
Jane Pulling from Pinopolis, who originally came to Philadelphia as a delegate for Bernie Sanders, said she was now excited to nominate Hillary Clinton, the first woman to lead a major political party ticket.
“I love how some of the ideas of the Sanders campaign have been incorporated into the platform,” Pulling said, listing a dilution of superdelegates as one achievement.
Kenny Oubre of Charleston grew emotional recalling an angry confrontation instigated by Sanders supporters towards Clinton delegates en route to the arena earlier in the week.
“It hurts,” said Oubre, who said he spoke from the perspective of being a gay man. “I understand the passion that (Sanders supporters) have, but we’ve got so much at stake. So much at stake. We’ve progressed so much in the past eight years and if we don’t unify we are going to hand the election to Donald Trump and everything we’ve worked for will be taken away in a heartbeat.”
Delegates tonight will hear from President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and 2016 vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, currently a U.S. Senator from Virginia.
Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting survivors Polly Sheppard and Felicia Sanders are expected to speak sometime between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
12:30 p.m.: The South Carolina delegation was abuzz on Wednesday morning with the discovery that the New York Times ran a front-page, above-the-fold photo of three Palmetto State delegates to the Democratic National Convention: S.C. Democratic Party Executive Director Christale Spain, Marguerite Willis and State Sen. Margie Bright Matthews.
The photo was taken on the floor of the Wells Fargo Arena on Tuesday night after Hillary Clinton officially became the first woman to be nominated to lead a major party ticket.
At the South Carolina and Louisiana delegation breakfasts, speakers included Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
South Carolinians will reconvene at 4 p.m. when the third session of the DNC commences.
This evening, Polly Sheppard and Felicia Sanders, two survivors of the Mother Emanuel AME Church massacre, will speak on the DNC main stage. They are scheduled to speak sometime between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., after actress Angela Bassett and before former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly.
Giffords, like Sheppard and Sanders, had her life changed by gun violence. Then a U.S. Democratic Congresswoman from Arizona, she was almost killed by a gunmen during a district event in 2011 and is still in recovery.
Check back at www.postandcourier.com for updates throughout the day.