by Jay Barth
Wednesday's breakfast for Arkansas's delegation was hosted by amiable Senator Mark Pryor, readying for a 2014 run for reelection. Outgoing Representative Mike Ross also made his first appearance at the Convention.
The breakfast's speakers included Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of the VP, who focused on the implications of "the Romney-Ryan budget" on programs for veterans. A more careful speaker, Biden has the charm of his father and obviously has a strong future in national politics. Virginia Senator Mark Warner, a good friend of Pryor's, popped in to emphasize the "future vs. past" theme that was introduced last evening at the DNC. A pretty good line from Warner: "In 2008, we changed the guard. In 2012, we need to guard the change." Finally, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack offered an emphatic "Yes." to the "Is America better off than it was four years ago?" question, highlighting the spike in farm incomes due to foreign exports, the increase in biofuel activity, and a major investment in conservation. Vilsack also aggressively defended the "food stamp" program that has been attacked by Republicans in recent months.
This afternoon, a party featuring Governor Mike Beebe will take place just before the convention goes back into session. It will be a late night as the roll call will take place just after President Bill Clinton's speech nominating President Obama for re-nomination.