So there’s two public levels of seats in the Wells Fargo Center -there’s also a club level and skyboxes, but access is restricted to both of those.
The lower level has access to the arena floor, the parts you see on TV. Delegates, fancy pants journalists (I’m definitely not one of those), and big shot VIP poobahs have access to this level. The food is better, the views are better, and the concourse is wider.
Upstairs is “riffraff land.” Even if you have passes that say pleasant things like “Honored Guest,” you’re still in steerage class. Fewer food stands, more crowded, smells worse, you get the idea. The lowest level of this motley collection of lost souls is called “Media – Arena” with a teal credential. The lowest form of life in Conventionland is a pass called “Guest – Hall.” Think of it as “stateless refugee,” you can come to the event but you can’t enter the arena – at all. You are doomed to circle the concourse for all eternity.
I was “Media -Arena” (one celled organism) until torso, when I got lucky and got a delegate pass, right in time for the super uptight security people to get even more uptight and start kicking out the impostors. Like me.
But, I thought as I got tossed unceremoniously out of the Maryland seating area (which was fair, as actual delegates should get seats before shmoes like me), at least I can go on the floor. Keep moving, don’t block the walkways, stop for a video or photo now and again, all is well. My pass does say “Delegate – Floor” after all.
So what does uptight security do after clearing out the non-delegates? Close the floor. Which was colossally stupid. Because there are NEVER enough seats for all the delegates, as some big chunk of them is always moving around, going to the bathroom, charging a phone, or planning a 2018 campaign (more on this soon). So with the ability to roam the floor, where are the dispossessed pass holders going to go?
You can guess, even though it was beyond the capacity of the brainiacs running security here. Those miffed pass holders are going to head up to the second level, and yea verily, they are going to DEMAND prime seats on the mezzanine. Which is going to flood an already crowded upper level beyond capacity. Such that right now, there are 30-40 people waiting forlornly outside every single section on the 200 level, hoping against hope that they will be wble to even get into the arena (for which they have a ticket, mind you) but who are being shut out of the chance to watch the one thing they paid a lot of money and endured a whole lot of bullshit to get to and really, really wanted to see – Hillary Clinton’s speech.
This is wrong, it’s elitist, and it’s stupid. If there aren’t enough seats to satisfy all the ticket holders, the answer isn’t to banish people from the event, it’s to either use the floor to absorb overflow or to print fewer tickets. And let’s be real, the people getting shafted aren’t the big shots and self-important people, either – it’s the activists, the young people, the volunteers, who’ve come from all over the country at great effort and cost, only to be shoved aside because the party couldn’t run a, well, party.
Personally, I’m OK. I’ve had a blast just being here, posting videos and writing goofy blog posts. I have no overinflated sense of my importance here. I gave up my crappy media pass so my good friend Reggie Oldak, a Clinton booster for as long as I’ve known her, could get in and see Hillary speak. I’m not complaining for me. But I am complaining for the people craning their necks as we speak, listening to Chelsea and in a minute to Hillary. But they’re not SEEING it. Which is why they came. And they’re not seeing it because of stupid, pointless, officious, overweening and overbearing so called “security” decisions that serve no purpose but to screw people over.
There’s something very, very wrong here.
Personally, I blame Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Everyone else does, right? Ba dum bum. Try the veal.
Seriously, there has to be a better way to run this railroad.