Former Obama campaign staffers wandered the hallways sharing hugs with friends in the blogger community, and Obama T-shirts are a frequent sight on the backs of conference-goers. Booze-soaked parties are as much a part of the agenda as networking and political organizing. The 2016 presidential race and discussions about putative front-runner Hillary Clinton are only conversation topics when brought up by reporters.
The anxiety here is hard to define, but it might have something to do with the fact that liberals find themselves in the unusual position of being two-time winners on a grand scale.
For a progressive movement that started as an underdog insurgency fighting back against the powerful Bush administration, it's kind of weird to be on top for five years running. These activists crashed the gate a long time ago. Their ambitions are a bit less sweeping, more prosaic and narrowly focused.
"It's exciting to be coming together after we all performed really well as a party," said Jess McIntosh, a spokeswoman for Emily's List, a group that supports female Democratic candidates. "We ran really good candidates; we had really good issues and we won. So I think now we all get to stand around and talk about what do we do with a win, which might not be the most natural position for everybody here."