Hottest Ticket in Town

Anne Martens

I had the good fortune of riding on the plane with Governor Barbara Roberts, who told me stories of Convention's past and made it very clear that you can't do all the things that you think you're going to do. Speaking of things, the sheer volume of mail and email invitations and the many packets of events and organizations and trainings and whatnot is simply overwhelming. Piles of mail. So far, the "find somone interesting and follow them" theory has been working really well for me.

Last night we went to a DNC staff only reception at King's bowling alley (yeah, I know I'm not staff). Picture red neon on the lanes, a neauvou-retro feel, and a bartendress with a T that says "bowlers make better lovers." Security was tight - the conversation went something like this: big man in black shirt, "hey, can I see your credentials," me, "oh, we were just in there," him,"ok, go ahead." The room was packed as America's brightest young politicos did their best impression of a frat party.

Tonight, after the delegation welcome parties, the hottest ticket is the Rock the Vote kickoff at "Boston's hottest nightclub." Bands (lots of 'em), and phatty dj Paul Van Dyk. It's on like Donkey Kong.

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    Wait, you're bowling with DNC-only staff (and presumably knocking back a few really fine beers), and the only conversation you can relay has to do with lax security?

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    The room was packed as America's brightest young politicos did their best impression of a frat party.

    This likely is at the very least a runner-up for my worst nightmare.

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    b!X and Jeff -- I respect your comments, but let's keep in mind that the conventions of both political parties mostly ARE just big frat parties. (I volunteered at one.) On top of this, the news channels graft a slick TV production meant to introduce the ticket to voters. But all the policy work is done long before the delegates get to town. They are there to cast votes for the nominee and to represent their state parties, but behind the scenes it's basically just a big bash. For delegates, it's an opportunity for networking and political star-watching. (Perhaps the TV stations should run a disclaimer across the bottom of the screen: "This show is being filmed before a live studio audience. No actual political decisions are being made.") I don't expect Anne or Jesse to post any riveting policy analysis -- or to even find anyone who really wants to talk substance. This week is all about image & spin. I'd love to have a week-long policy wonk-fest (hey, I attended 4 OPF conferences!) on TV, but that's not what the conventions are. I enjoy hearing tidbits of the inside scoop as it happens, without waiting for them to get home. So for the political geeks stuck here, don't skimp on the gossip about campaign strategy and tactics! And take some photos, too.

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    Just to be clear, the major part of my nightmare isn't the politico part, its the frat party part, in any context.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    -- I'm looking forward to more convention information, from any and all angles. I think I can sort it out so let's see.

    If Anne reads these, the suggestion I toss to her there is to stay alert to crossing paths with Danny Schechter and comparing notes with him. It's biased -- he's a friend. He's also very informed and a world-class go-getter.

    He blogs his News Dissector blog at

    There'll be a thousand blogs to check into this convention week. Perhaps his interest some and of course others interest others. There's just no such thing as having too many versions of verite. Let a hundred bloggers blossom.


    One political eddy I'd like to see become an issue is multiple vice-presidents. Kind of like a coalition government. So Kerry could name Edwards V.P.1, first in succession, and as contingencies V.P.2, V.P.3, V.P.4 and such, who stand in succession to V.P.1, (not succession to Prez, in case that's a constitutional knot). Multiple V.P.s could be a framework in which to develop Regional coordination and 'government' management. Which is a trend that seems to be emerging where one-federal-size-fits-all is simply not responsive to and doesn't fit all the wonderful strengthy hurley-burley variety of people and concerns that fill this country. Naming four V.P.s also could be a tactical counter-positioning against plotters and sots who go about playing both terrorized ends against the middle. The possible political combinations among four figures of White House merit are too many to connivingly anticipate.


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