We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
As anyone who has had the pleasure of enjoying a political tête-à-tête with Eleanor Holmes Norton can attest, It doesn’t take much for the District’s delegate to the House of Representatives to morph into a localized version of Howard Beale. So when Norton’s 2012 Democratic National Convention went totally awry, one expected outrage of epic proportions. First, a D.C. Vote-organized autonomy march Norton was to speak at was stunted when Occupy protesters and responding police bogarted the route. Then, D.C. delegates were banished to the worst seats in the house, while Guam and Puerto Rico got plum spots close to the stage. The biggest insult? Norton wasn’t allotted speaking time, as she had been at every convention since 1992, despite slots apparently being available and heavy lobbying from District leadership. Finally, the official Democratic platform called for “full and equal congressional rights” for D.C., but not statehood. Norton’s response? She called the experience “a bitter pill to swallow,” but held back the righteous anger we expected. Perhaps Norton realized that the Dems probably had bigger issues to handle than catering to the capital—after all, despite the ugly duckling treatment, more than nine out of 10 District voters still gave their votes to Barack Obama in November.