Carson woman describes life at the DNC |

Carson woman describes life at the DNC

Karl Horeis

Danielle Cook of Carson City is one of 33 Nevada delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. She’s easy to spot on in the crowd because her hair is dyed bright pink.

As of Wednesday she’d been seen on CNN, CNBC, C-Span and NBC.

“There wasn’t a diversity requirement (in the formation of the delegation) for pink-haired girls, but I met it anyway,” she said with a laugh.

The 27-year-old was selected to attend after giving a speech and handing out 1,200 fliers at the state convention in Las Vegas in April.

“I’m so thrilled to be here,” she said over the phone from Boston on Wednesday. “This is where the party’s at in the world right now.”

She saw Bill and Hillary Clinton speak on Monday, shook Madeline Albright’s hand that night, was inspired by U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama and met John Cusack. The actor spoke to the Nevada delegation Tuesday morning.

“He talked about how Nevada is a battleground state,” Cook said. “He said if Nevada had voted for Gore four years ago Florida wouldn’t have mattered. When it comes down to it, you just need one vote to win and we’ve got five of those votes.”

She’s excited about the number of young people at the convention.

“We’ve finally got something to rally around,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Democratic party like this. Normally we’re like corralling kittens – all running around with our own projects.”

The convention is being held at the Fleet Center in Boston. Cook wasn’t sure at first how Bostonians would react to the 4,500 delegates and countless media who invaded their city.

“But you know what? Everyone has been so nice. Everyone is helpful and points us in the right direction. It really has been such a wonderful experience.”

“Excited” isn’t a big enough word to describe her feelings, she said.

“I’m surrounded by people who want the same for my country that I do, and that’s just to move forward in a positive direction. Out here, if you’re not in the Fleet Center watching what’s going on, you’re at some party watching what’s going on in the Fleet Center on television.”

Cook is the congressional District 2 at-large delegate. Two other delegates were sent from Carson City: Brian Wallace, Washoe tribal chairman and vice chairman of the state Democratic party, and Jim Wallace, chairman of the Carson City Democratic Central Committee.

Cook has been involved with the Democratic Party since she was an intern with the 1999 Legislature.

“But I’ve been a political junkie since, I don’t know, at least age 12.”

Her father, David Cook, is a member of Carson City’s Republican Central Committee and is running for the state board of education. He taught her the importance of getting involved, she said.

“It is our parents’ job to put civic value at the top of the list. You know, if we don’t belong to our communities then we don’t have communities. So thanks, Dad.”

The threat of a terrorist attack has been on some people’s minds, but not hers.

“I’ll tell you this, I sure as hell am not going to New York next month. The Democrats are the good guys this year. (New York) is where the protesters are going to be – where the delegates are standing blindly behind a man who has no idea what’s going on. I mean, the poor guy has bitten off more than he can chew and no one has bothered to tell him yet.”

After seeing John Edwards – whom she originally supported for president – speak Wednesday and John Kerry accept the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination today, Cook will go to a family reunion in Illinois.

“Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to get on a plane with all this stuff,” she said. She’s collected a pile of signs, banners, lanyards, buttons and a box of Democratic macaroni and cheese.

“It has little donkey-shaped noodles,” she said.

Cook is excited about being a part of something that will be talked about for years.

“This is history in the making,” she wrote in an e-mail. “And there is nothing Bush can do about it but start packing.”

Contact Karl Horeis at or 881-1219.

pull quote

“This is history in the making. And there is nothing Bush can do about it but start packing.”

– Carson City delegate Danielle Cook from the Democratic National Convention