The 2012 Democratic Convention by Jo Freeman
The Democratic party is a pluralistic party. It embraces its diversity by holding public caucus meetings, largely along demographic lines. In 2012 there were 14 such caucuses (sometimes called councils). The Women's Caucus was the largest of these, and had the morning time slot on Tuesday and Thursday all to itself, as well as the largest ballroom in the Charlotte Convention Center. The second largest was the Black Caucus, though it shared the Monday / Wednesday time slot with other ethnic caucuses. At this convention, members of the public had to register for a caucus in advance, stand in line to pick up a ticket, and go through a security search before entering the Center. Those who did not sign up in advance could pick up a ticket on the day and time of the caucus, if any were left. One had to wear the ticket to get into the meeting itself. Press were largely restricted to a special zone in each meeting and not allowed to mingle with the public. In the early morning and evening the ballrooms were used for prayer gatherings and watch parties for those who couldn't get into the convention itself. After Obama's acceptance speech was moved from the large stadium to the smaller arena due to weather, volunteers who had been given tickets to the former were invited to a special watch party in the Convention Center.
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