Alaska Democratic Convention delegates party, hobnob

Posted: Monday, August 14, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- One of Vice President Al Gore's daughters was the star attraction as Alaska's delegation hobnobbed with fellow Democrats from Oregon and Washington state at a reception paid for by BP-Amoco and Microsoft.

Kristin Gore didn't take the stage Sunday night at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, choosing instead to mingle with the crowd. She thanked Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles and his wife, Susan, for their support and cheerfully posed for dozens of pictures with delegates.

''Very personable,'' concluded Matthew Nicolai, a delegate from Anchorage, who turned over his camera to show off a tiny digital picture of himself with the slender blonde. ''That's why it's worth it to go to these pre-convention receptions.''

Gore, 23, said she hoped to help turn out younger voters.

''I was really just here to meet people,'' Gore said.

Knowles and others served up some feisty campaign rhetoric to the cheering partisan crowd.

''What brings us together is our fight for jobs, families, education and children,'' Knowles said, to a roar of approval.

Speeches aside, the evening was mostly about networking, with party operatives from the three state exchanging gossip and shoptalk. The combination of Democratic activists and corporate sponsors produced some visually arresting groups.

Alaska labor leader Mano Frey, wearing khakis and an AFL-CIO shirt, carried on an animated conversation with a sleekly dressed Mrs. Knowles. Suit-wearing executives from BP-Amoco schmoozed with the governor a few feet away.

Brian Sullivan of BP-Amoco estimated the party cost the two companies between $20,000 and $30,000.

Buffet tables were laden with food ranging from gourmet pizza to rich chocolate cake. Beer, wine and liquor flowed easily from open bars, with only red wine banned from the event to prevent stains to the museum's porous tile floors.

Delegates from Alaska accessorized snappy party clothes with large buttons depicting the letters SOB with a bright red slash through them. The meaning: no Son of Bush, a jab at the Republican nominee.

However, the badges may spark some confusion if they ever pop up in Juneau, were the hulking State Office Building is known as the SOB.

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