Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 23, 2014

Democratic Convention Has Rough Logistical Second Day

After a near perfect first day of the Democratic National Convention, the DNC hit some major snags on its second night, which has been rife with platform fights, logistical problems and accusations of dishonesty.

First, spurred by threats of rain, the DNC decided this morning to move Thursday’s festivities, including President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, from Bank of America Stadium indoors to the much smaller Time Warner Cable Arena.

If the bottleneck at the door tonight is any indication, the scene Thursday is sure to be a madhouse.

The fire marshal closed entry to and exit from the arena tonight, citing capacity issues. Though the entryway was later reopened, reporters spotted countless high-profile officials among the ranks of those locked out of the building.

Then, the DNC hit a snafu with their platform, as they sought to avoid pressure from their critics by reinstating language in the platform referring to God and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the convention’s co-chairman, called for a roll-call vote from the delegates three separate times to equally ambiguous results. The voice vote from the delegates clearly did not deliver the two-thirds majority needed to pass the platform change, but Villaraigosa gaveled the vote to a close, declaring the change accepted and drawing boos from the crowd.

Compounding the problem, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz appeared on CNN and told a reporter that there had been no discord with the platform and that the change was merely technical, causing anchors to muse that she was lying.

“There wasn’t any discord,” Wasserman Schultz told CNN. Villaraigosa “had to make sure we had a two-thirds vote and when he realized that we did, we moved forward.”

Asked whether she was certain that the vote had reached the threshold, the chairwoman replied, “Yes, it was absolutely two-thirds.”

Wasserman Schultz’s comments caused CNN anchor Anderson Cooper to muse that she is in an “alternate universe.”

“To say flat out that there was no discord, that’s just not true,” Cooper added.

Wasserman Schultz was caught in another fib later in the evening.

After Roll Call reported that Gabrielle Giffords is in Charlotte and will deliver the pledge of allegiance on Thursday, Wasserman Schultz appeared on ABC News’ livestream of the convention and told anchors that the former Arizona Congresswoman is not in Charlotte but rather back in Tucson.

As the ABC anchors noted, Wasserman Schultz is not only chairwoman of the DNC but also good friends with Giffords, so she would know her whereabouts.

Moments later, however, a spokeswoman for Giffords confirmed that she is indeed in Charlotte.

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