Harvey Gantt and the family of the late Susan Burgess will have to wait another day for the convention’s official tribute to the woman who was as responsible as anyone for bringing the Democratic convention to Charlotte.
Gantt had been scheduled to introduce a video about Burgess, a former Charlotte City Council member and member of the Democratic National Committee.
It was Burgess, who died of cancer in 2010, who believed that her hometown could host a convention, when few others did.
Her son, Jason Burgess, said Wednesday’s delay came after some earlier speakers had gone long.
James Taylor’s set shortened
He’d planned to sing four songs at Thursday’s installment of the Democratic National Convention, but after the event was moved back to Time Warner Cable Arena, singer James Taylor’s set was “trimmed” in half.
He plans to sing “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved by You” and the state’s unofficial anthem, “Carolina on My Mind.”
But it’s not Taylor’s shortened performance that disappoints him most.
“I just hate it that 65,000 people have been told they can’t come,” said Taylor, raised in Chapel Hill. “I’d wanted as many fellow North Carolinians to see this president as possible. It goes to show you can’t get the weather right all the time.”
Thirsty? Cocktails on the menu
The delegates get most of the attention in the convention hall, but behind curtains on the suite levels big-dollar donors and VIPs are drinking $100 bottles of Absolut vodka and $31.50 six-packs of Budweiser.
The alcohol options are listed in the “premier package” catering menu obtained by The (Raleigh) News & Observer from a Democratic convention website. The “Hometown Carolina” lunch or dinner package – which serves 20 and costs $1,149.95 (before service, delivery and taxes) – includes baby back ribs, collard greens, mac and cheese, butter biscuits and chicken pot pie. Levy Restaurants is catering Time Warner Arena.
Want to celebrate? A bottle of Perrier-Jouet Fleur de Champagne from Epernay, France, costs $220. Get Korbel Brut from California for $45. Or make it a real party with a pitcher of “Margarita Madness” made with Jose Cuervo Gold for $48. Serves six.
The old and the young
Oldest DNC delegate Elzena Johnson had a great day Wednesday. “I was interviewed all day,” said the 97-year-old delegate from Terry, Miss.
She got a special thrill Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Arena. She met – and even got a peck on the cheek from – Cory Sagapolutere Sene of American Samoa, at 17 perhaps the youngest DNC delegate.
“I’m so pleased to meet you,” Johnson told Cory. “Please come visit me in Terry.”
“I would if it wasn’t such a long drive,” the teenager said,.
He leaned over and gave her hug and told her he was delighted to meet her.
Johnson turns 98 on Sept. 25, three days after Cory turns 18.
• “We work with the macro issues and we work with the macaroni and cheese issues.” – Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland
• Slashing what we invest in schools, in roads, in research and development, in clean energy and in the things that protect our most vulnerable just to cut taxes for those at the top – is ridiculous. It’s wrong. That’s the Romney-Ryan budget. It isn’t conservative. It’s harsh, it’s radical and it’s wrong.” – Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy
Staff writers Lynn Bonner, Andrew Dunn, John Frank, Jim Morrill and David Perlmutt contributed.