Kentucky Democratic delegates make time for UK, U of L football

LEXINGTON -- Kentucky delegates to the Democratic National Convention are taking a break from politics on Sunday to watch another partisian event — the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville football game.

Kentucky has 73 delegates traveling to the DNC convention in Charlotte this weekend. The official kick-off for the Democratic Party's fourth annual party is Tuesday but many delegates and their spouses began to arrive in Charlotte on Saturday and Sunday. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will accept the Democratic nominations for President and Vice President on Thursday at Bank of America Stadium.

Gov. Steve Beshear will be highest-ranking Democrat to attend the event from Kentucky. U.S. Congressman Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, bowed out, saying he needed to spend more time in Kentucky campaigning. Chandler faces Republican Andy Barr on Nov. 6.

Paul Whalen, an attorney and Campbell County Democratic Party chairman and delegate, said he traveled Saturday to the convention on a bus with 22 other delegates. There"was also a second bus that traveled from Louisville. Others traveled by plane or in their own cars.

The group is staying at the Country Inn and Suites about eight miles from the convention. "You would think that we were in Kentucky based on the license plates in the parking lot," Whalen said.

In addition to the delegates, students from Centre College in Danville are also at the convention. In October, Centre College will host the vice presidential debates between Biden and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee. Centre also hosted a vice presidential debate in 2000.

Whalen said that the delegates will be watching the UK-U of L game at the hotel and then will head to an official welcome reception later Sunday night at a local museum of art. Delegates from Indiana, Oklahoma and the U.S. Virgin Islands will also attend the welcome reception, Whalen said.

On Monday, there will be more meetings.

"We have a breakfast meeting," Whalen said. "We may have a special guest...Clint Eastwood," Whalen joked.

Eastwood's bizarre appearance at the recently concluded Republican National Convention nearly overshadowed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's acceptance speech last week.

On Tuesday First Lady Michelle Obama will speak and former President Bill Clinton will be the highlight of Wednesday's schedule, Kentucky delegateswere told.