Kansas delegates to the Democratic National Convention were buzzing Tuesday about their neighbor — U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, the 5th District Missouri congressman.
Apparently, a handful of Kansans were able to sneak in behind the former Kansas City mayor at a congressional campaign committee event. He also unleashed the “full Cleaver” at a meeting of the convention’s Faith Council.
He spoke in a “very dynamic way,” deadpanned Kansas delegate Missy Taylor.
Moses was eating a meal, Cleaver told the group — a story not told in Scripture. A stranger came by and joined the meal, but forgot to give thanks first.
Moses then struck the stranger, Cleaver explained, and God intervened.
“Why,” the Almighty asked, “did you strike your guest?”
“Because he failed to give you thanks,” Moses replied.
“Well,” God sighed. “I guess you’re just more religious than I am.”
Cleaver will speak to the convention this afternoon.
His topics are ones he speaks about frequently — civility and faith.
Cleaver, who heads the Congressional Black Caucus, helped form the House Civility Caucus, and he’s a United Methodist minister.
He said his remarks have been screened by Democratic fact-checkers.
“They do not want a problem like Ryan had,” Cleaver explained, referring to GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.
Ryan was widely panned for several inaccurate or misleading remarks in his convention address last week in Tampa.
Seen on the elevator at the Time Warner Cable Arena: GOP mastermind Karl Rove.
Aren’t you in the wrong place, a reporter asked.
“Were you in the wrong place in Tampa?” Rove replied. “Then I’m in the right place here.”
He then suggested U.S. Rep. Todd Akin was in the wrong place when he talked with an interviewer about rape and abortion.
Dutch Newman is fired up.
Missouri’s oldest delegate at age 92, Newman still runs the Westport Landing Political Club and has been buddies with all kinds of Democratic big shots over the years, including Jimmy Carter and Al Gore, who used to call her for updates during his 2000 presidential run.
Newman has attended every Democratic convention since 1968 — save for the 1984 convention when she had a sister and daughter in the hospital at the same time and decided to stay home.
“I love ’em,” she said about the quadrennial gatherings. “This one especially. I’m excited about the convention so the voters will finally get to hear the truth.”
Seniors, Newman said, have much riding on the outcome of this election with the futures of Social Security and Medicare very much on the line.
She called her first convention in Chicago “a little scary.” That convention is remembered for violent clashes between police and protesters.
Oh, Newman isn’t the oldest delegate in Charlotte. That distinction belongs to 97-year-old Elzena Johnson of Terry, Miss.
The Democrats focused on women voters Tuesday, as expected. The Republicans did the same thing on the first official day of their convention.
Marlys Shulda, a Kansas delegate, said she thinks the Democrats can easily win the battle. She expected to hear Akin’s name a few times.
“We had five bills pass last spring in the Kansas Legislature addressing women’s reproductive rights,” Shulda said. “I don’t think there’s any question that we have the stronger case.”
Democrats also sponsored a women’s issues all-delegate caucus Tuesday. Recent polls suggest the so-called “gender gap” has narrowed.