Binion visits Democratic National Convention

Published 12:53 am Sunday, September 7, 2008

Robert Binion of Clanton attended the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver the last week of August.

Just getting there, however, was more than half the fun, depending on one’s definition of “fun.”

Binion ran as a delegate for presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama but missed by a short margin. He then talked to Joe Turnham, Alabama Democratic Party chair; Jerome Gray, statewide coordinator for Obama’s camp; and Dr. Joe Reed, chair of Alabama’s Democratic Black Caucus, only to find out that tickets were extremely difficult to come by.

“I’m still going to go to the convention, regardless,” Binion said he told his wife after discussing it with her.

It had been 40 years since he had attended a Democratic National Convention – since 1968 – and he wanted to experience it again.

“On the first night, I had to stand outside,” Binion recalled. “I talked to different people. Me and a man from California were discussing how hard it was [to get in].”

Around noon Thursday, Aug. 28, Binion called Reed and found out he had only one ticket left. After telling Reed that he also needed a ticket for his wife, however, Binion was able to get two special guest tickets for Thursday night.

“The line was six miles long before you could get to it,” he said. “I drove a rental car and parked within 300 yards of Mile High.

“That shows you how God moved,” he was quick to add.

Binion chose to sit farther back than he could have because he said he wanted to see the whole picture of what was going on.

“People were crying, cheering. There were cheers of joy,” he said.

For Binion, it was all worth the 3,500-mile trip.

“I enjoyed it,” he said.