As the Republican National Convention wraps up, the Democrats are packing their suitcases to head to their own convention which takes place September 4-6 in Charlotte, NC.
Forming in line at the airport is John Olsen, a superdelegate from Clinton.
Many know Olsen as an active Democrat in town and in the state (he was the former chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee, co-chair of the Platform Committee, and a national committee member since 1996) and as the president of the AFL/CIO of Connecticut.
Olsen, a native of Greenwich, has resided in Clinton with his wife Janeen since 1995. He has three children and one grandchild.
He's also what is known in the world of political conventions as a superdelegate.
What's a superdelegate you ask?
As defined by Wikipedia, superdelegate is an informal term commonly used for some of the delegates to the Democratic or Republican National Conventions.
Unlike most convention delegates, the superdelegates are not selected based on the party primaries and caucuses in each U.S. state, in which voters choose among candidates for the party's presidential nomination. Instead, most of the superdelegates are seated automatically, based solely on their status as current (Republican and Democratic) or former (Democratic only) party leaders and elected officials. Others are chosen during the primary season. All the superdelegates are free to support any candidate for the nomination.
Olsen said that there are about three superdelegates in Connecticut out of 102 "regular" delegates heading to this year's convention.
"To be a superdelegate you need to be a former chair of the state party, or a member of Congress," he said.
The number of delegates per state is set by number of electoral votes, said Olsen. It is mandatory that the number is gender-balanced and includes different ethnic groups as well as groups representing veterans, gays, and other factions, he said.
At the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this year, there's not a lot of suspense over who will be the Democratic candidate for president, so why even hold the meeting?
"It's important for the party to come together and talk about what we stand for," said Olsen. "There's great value to it to showcase your candidates and your message. We all need cheerleaders."
Olsen, who has attended every DNC since 1980 with the exception of one for President Bill Clinton, finds it an opportunity to meet and socialize with the leaders in the state of Connecticut as well as national leaders to discuss party issues.
"We are a very diverse and opinionated group with different ideas," said Olsen. "But in the setting of the DNC we find what unifies us."
Olsen said that for the Republicans, one of the purposes of gathering was to find out more about Mitt Romney - the man and the candidate.
For the Democrats, who support the Obama/Biden ticket, it's about showcasing their candidates and solidifying their platform.
"We have a minority president elected by a majority," said Olsen.
Will we see Olsen on TV wearing a funny hat?
No, he says, but if your goal is to get on ABC News, then wearing a sky-high red, white and blue hat or a big block of orange cheese disguised as a hat will certainly up your odds of press coverage.