I'm Going to The Democratic Debate in Miami!

Part 1: The phone call, the freak out and the overnight shipping

Just dropping in with a less formal post here to let you all know that I’ve been invited to attend the second night of the Democratic Debates on June 27th as Congressman Swalwell’s guest! If you’re wondering what that shrieking noise is coming from the east coast…it’s me. Since this is a once in a lifetime experience for someone like myself (who watches politics like it’s sports and even went to a youth leadership political camp in high school) I thought it would be fun to just detail my thoughts and experiences in journal style with several parts here, so that you can feel like you’re right there with me and you can better get a sense of what I’m really thinking. Continue on at your own risk.

Some background: a month or so ago, Eric Swalwell was still trying to secure his place on the first debate stage along with many other Democrats. The DNC had set a requirement that the candidates had to meet a specific goal of getting at least 65,000 individual donors, with 200 each from at least 20 different states to qualify, so it became about the donor number versus the amount. He announced on Twitter that the first person to get him to 250 individual donors would win a trip as his guest to the debate in Miami. I support a lot of his positions and specifically what he is saying about gun control. I like that he is such a strong advocate for student debt relief. Swalwell openly discusses that he still has to contend with paying off his student loans and that makes me feel less alone in the whole law school student loan nightmare-shows he has skin in the game. Bottom line, I wanted to help him get on that stage so that we can hear these opinions and anything else he has to say. I also believe that hearing from qualified and talented leaders pushes the dial on our party platform and makes for a better primary season all around, regardless of who you end up voting for in the primary. So, I went to work on Twitter and my followers really delivered and we won the contest.

I received a fantastic phone call from the Congressman himself on Thursday to let me know that I would be going to Miami and attending the second night of the debate at the Arsht Center (pictured above). We had an excellent discussion about why he is running and what he hopes to accomplish. One thing that stood out most to me about Eric Swalwell: his heart is in this and he wants to see some major change that helps people. For me, a candidate needs to be authentic, have a strong sense of service and really enjoy talking to people about the issues and how to solve problems. As personable and real as Swalwell appears on our TV screens is how he presents himself on the phone and I really appreciate that about him.

I went online and overnighted Spanx before even pitching an idea for a story about it to my Playboy editor because…priorities.

So things have been a whirlwind so far-and in the Swalwell tradition of keeping it real I will confess a few things: I freaked over re-arranging and adding to my schedule but it’s all handled and was made so easy by Swalwell’s amazing campaign coordinators, shoutout to Izzie Olive. I went online and overnighted Spanx before even pitching an idea for a story about it to my Playboy editor because…priorities. I have four separate lists going for just a one day trip including packing, ideas for writing, practical issues and miscellaneous, because I don’t want to miss a thing. And I found just the right shoes (see below) that say “I’m a pro, this doesn’t faze me” but they also have that necessary preppy baller component to them. I’m ready.

I mean, how great are these shoes…


Amee Vanderpool writes the “Shero and a Scholar” Newsletter and is an attorney, contributor to Playboy Magazine, analyst for BBC radio and Director of The Inanna Project. She can be reached at avanderpool@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @girlsreallyrule.