PHILADELPHIA — 12 p.m.: When South Carolina Democratic delegates next gather, it will be on the floor of the Wells Fargo Arena for their official Democratic National Committee photograph. After 5 p.m., they will hear from former State Rep. Bakari Sellers and S.C. Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison. Later in the evening U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., will give a speech. Finally, Hillary Clinton will formally accept the nomination of president, the first woman to do so in American history.
10 a.m.: Fran Person, the Democratic candidate for the Fifth Congressional District, made a surprise appearance at the South Carolina and Louisiana delegation breakfast.
A former Gamecocks football player who now works for the University of South Carolina, Person spent many years in Washington, D.C., as a personal aide to Vice President Joe Biden, whom he considers “another father.” He came to Philadelphia largely to watch Biden give his Wednesday night speech on the stage of the Democratic National Convention.
Person is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who defeated veteran Democrat John Spratt in the GOP wave of 2010.
He spoke about the need to expand the party’s representation in the state delegation, where U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn is now the only one.
“Congressman Clyburn,” said Person from the stage of the hotel ballroom where delegates were gathered, looking down to wear Clyburn was seated at a table up front, “I’m running because of you.”
After breakfast, Person told The Post and Courier that Spratt, who served in Congress for many years, has given him advice throughout the campaign so far.
“He said, ‘look, this is winnable,’” Person recalled, “‘but you have to touch voters. You have to get in front of them. You have to give them an alternative.’ Just because somebody’s unsatisfied with their congressman if they’re going to vote for me if they don’t’ know me.”
He said that in traveling around the district, he has found that constituents “don’t know” Mulvaney.
Mulvaney, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has contributed to the dysfunction for which Washington is so often criticized, according to Person.
“He represents an ideology,” said Person. “He is the problem within the Republican Party keeping them from getting anything done. He’s a guy who was proud to shut down the government, proud of sequester cuts. But what his he done for people in our district?”
Though Person’s wife is from South Carolina and has deep family ties throughout the state, Person himself is being criticized by Republicans as an outsider with ties to “establishment” Democrats in the nation’s capitol. Person said he wasn’t going to hide from his background or be ashamed of his ties to Biden.
“The vice president will come down to support me and I’ll be proud to stand with him,” Person said. “Mick Mulvaney is not a patch on Joe Biden’s jeans. He can talk bad about Joe Biden all he wants. If we had more Joe Bidens, we’d have a better country.”
Person said to remember who South Carolina political legend Strom Thurmond asked to deliver his eulogy from his deathbed. His longtime colleague in the U.S. Senate, Joe Biden.
9 a.m.: U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., is considered a “rising star” in the Democratic Party and Congressional Black Caucus. A close friend of U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., Richmond said at the South Carolina and Louisiana delegation breakfast Thursday that he was the “luckiest man in the world” to get to go to work each day in Washington, D.C., to sit beside the third ranking Democrat in Congress and the most senior African-American lawmaker on Capitol Hill.
Richmond also hinted his friendship with Clyburn has let him in on a little inside knowledge about the political future of S.C.. Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, who used to work for Clyburn.
“I already know where Jaime’s going,” Richmond said. “Jaime may not know where he’s going, but I do, because Jim already told me.”
Harrison has been named as a possible replacement for outgoing Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and a potential successor to Clyburn should the 76-year-old lawmaker one day retire.
Harrison is speaking on the main stage tonight in the 5 p.m. hour. He’ll directly follow former State Rep. Bakari Sellers, considered another possible candidate for Congress in the years ahead.
Clyburn has let him in on what S.C. Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, a former Clyburn aide, might
8:30 a.m.: South Carolina and Louisiana met Thursday morning for their last joint breakfast meeting of the Democratic National Convention, which wrapped with Donna Brazile, the interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Convention, calling in on speakerphone to say hello to the contingents. Brazile is from Louisiana.
Breakfast program speakers were in somewhat of a reflective mood hours before the final convention session, where Hillary Clinton will deliver her nominating speech as the first woman to lead a major party ticket.
They also had a dire message to communicate: Go out and vote for Clinton, and Democratic candidates up and down the ticket, and get friends and family to do the same.
Describing this election as the most consequential in his lifetime, S.C. Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison ended with a reading of a sobering poem from the Holocaust called “First They Came For me.”
Of course, Republicans were expressing a similar sentiment in Cleveland last week, though their warning was against a Clinton presidency, not a Donald Trump administration.
Please check back at www.postandcourier.com for updates throughout the day.