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California has lousy convention seats, but delegate finds the best of the worst

Keith Umemoto is attending his sixth Democratic convention
Keith Umemoto is attending his sixth Democratic convention

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Thursday night, Barack Obama makes his case to the nation at the Democratic National Convention why he should be re-elected. Everyone in the arena wants a good look at the president. 

Keith Umemoto, originally from Los Angeles, is a convention veteran. His father took him to conventions as a child. This is his sixth convention as a delegate.

He says that experience helps him snag the good seats. 

Rule 1: Get there early.

As soon as the doors open to delegates, Umemoto is inside the arena. Today that was 1 p.m. ET.

Rule 2: Scope it out.

Umemoto says he surveys the landscape and picks his spot.

Rule 3: Make the best of a bad deal.

Umemoto says California's seats "are not as prime as Illinois or Delaware." That's because there's no Californian on the ticket and we're a reliable "blue" state.

Rule 4: Be fast.

Umemoto says he makes a bee line for the seats he wants, spreads out his stuff, then heads back to the hotel.  He'll return to the Time Warner Arena in a few hours with the rest of the delegation, secure in the knowledge he's done what he can to get a good look at President Obama.

Umemoto is lucky he has a seat at all. The president's speech was supposed to take place at a 70-thousand-plus seat outdoor football stadium, but predictions of thunderstorms moved it back inside the arena.  That leaves about 40,000 people on the outside looking in, watching instead on TV.