Politicon was held last week at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. On its third term, Politicon is a place for people who are both into politics and pop culture – they’re there to hear about political issues from personalities they’re grown to love on TV and radio.
I attended on Saturday, with my “must” for the day being the discussion between Chelsea Handler, a bonafide liberal, and Tomi Lahren, a young conservative pundit. It soon became apparent that this was also the “must” for hundreds of people. The Pasadena Civic Auditorium was at capacity by 3:15 pm, with the discussion scheduled for 4 pm. So we sat there, waiting like civilized people, for 45 minutes, some folks on their phones, some having lunches that stunk up the auditorium, but everyone in high spirits waiting for what felt like an upcoming Hollywood star sighting.
The auditorium erupted right on the dot at 4 pm when the ladies stepped on the stage. And very quickly the ambiance of party changed into an ambiance of political divisiveness. Chelsea had the support of the majority, after all we’re in California, but Lahren had her crowd too. There were lots of cheers and lots of booings. In fact, Chelsea scolded the crowd a few times, asking for respect and for less interruption.
Lahren lost points, per say, when, while speaking against Obamacare, she admitted to still being under her parents’ health insurance – one of Obamacare’s most popular provisions. On the other hand, Chelsea made an unnecessary comment about Marco Rubio (she called him a non-man) that in all truthfulness made her look bad and could have been avoided completely.
The first half hour of the discussion was fun. People had the time of their lives taking pictures and streaming bits and pieces of the conversation on their phones. The truth is that it would probably have been best to leave it at 30 minutes, because as time went by the conversation began circling (often back to health care) and became just a back and forth between two women who evidently lacked actual expertise and obviously weren’t going to agree on much. With time, the crowd became more agitated, with screams and reactions from the audience booming increasingly stronger. Those less bellicose began to leave the auditorium; 45 minutes into the conversation the stream on the way out was constant. For the sake of transparency, that included me.
It was mostly fun, though, and it generated a lot of talk on the internet. Following that discussion, Chelsea moved onto yet another stage, one much less heated because it was with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Politicon was fun. It continued Sunday, with people like CNN’s Ana Navarro, who I really wanted to see, but to my chagrin had to miss. Anthony Scaramucci bailed out. Shocker!… not.
Here’s looking forward to a fourth Politicon next year!
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