Denver: Day 1

Jeff Alworth

I have a fair amount to report back from the day's activities, but I just left a party of the Oregon delegation where I mentioned to at least! five people that I was on the way home to blog.  Must make good on our promises  I'll limit myself to a global comment and a couple of observations, though, and pick this up tomorrow.

The global comment is this: inside the convention, things are far less focused, less packaged, and generally more chaotic.  We have become so used to the stagecraft of the cable stations that we forget that on the convention floor events don't happen with reaction shots from emotional crowd members.  In our poor seats (a wee bit behind the stage, and way back--but we'll talk about that later), things seemed smaller and somewhat more remote. In the building, ones senses are taking in a lot more information than fits in a single screen, but it tends to diffuse the experience. 

The upside to this is that you pick up the vibe of the building.  When Michelle spoke, she mentioned both Hillary and Joe Biden in pretty quick succession.  What I noticed in the building was that the two cheers were about equal--interesting, given that the main story the MSM is flogging is that 49% of the delegates are in revolt.  There were also a few times when direct appeals about Obama were made, and these received far greater enthusiasm.  And gauging the audience response to the speakers I saw--Teddy Kennedy was clearly the show-stopper.  He received rapt attention, punctuated by roars.  I had the great pleasure of sitting in front of Barbara Roberts, who said that as a Kennedy delegate in '80, it made her heart warm to see him speak.  But the truth is, there was great and seemingly universal warmth throughout the building.

Okay, my anecdote.  I was cruising the streets, chatting people up, and during the afternoon, I cooled my heals on a bench next to a semi-transient vet.  We had a very nice chat, and eventually I asked what he thought about all these Democrats in town.  He was nonplussed: "I don't know what they're doing marching around here, I already know what they believe.  Why do they have to have a big party to advertise it?  You know, if it was me, I'd save the money and go invest it in the campaigns."  Hmmm...

Okay, more tomorrow, including pics and video--if I can get my act together (because I know you're just dying to see some actual images).

  • DanOregon (unverified)

    Why did Oregon's delegates get the crappiest seats in the house? I hope they'll get a better position for Thursday's speech at Invesco.

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    Because they know Oregon will go Obama. Michigan and Florida both up front.


    "Take that, Iowa and New Hampshire. Even though about Michigan and Florida originally had their delegates stripped for holding early primaries, both states are now getting prime seats at the convention - "better seats than Iowa and New Hampshire," Michigan party Chairman Mark Brewer said Monday. Brewer told his delegates they'll be sitting on the convention floor just to the right of the podium, behind host state Colorado. Florida delegates will sit just to the left of the podium, behind vice presidential pick Joe Biden's state of Delaware. Michigan moved up its primary to challenge Iowa and New Hampshire, the two traditional primary election lead-off states. Iowa is to the right of Michigan, behind Vermont and farther away from the podium. New Hampshire delegates are seated behind Florida and Nevada."

    That's their punishment from the DNC for trying to hold their primary early.

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    I bet if the entire Oregon delegation sat up and left in the middle of a prominent speaker, they could get better seats.

    Michigan and Florida who broke the rules, got better seats than Oregon. Oregon folks need to raise some hell and get better seats. Stuck behind Puerto Rico??

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    Raise some hell? Nah, I'd prefer the swing states front and center so when their viewers at home watch the convention they see they're home state is front and center. It just makes sense. I'd take a win this November over Oregon's delegation being able to have a better view of the stage any day.

  • DanOregon (unverified)

    I get giving "swing" states good seats, what I don't understand is why Oregon, which is polling closer than about 30 states, has such lousy seats, worse than some areas that have ZERO electoral college votes.

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    Fine, when 2012 comes and Oregon is seated outside the convention hall we'll know who to point the finger at! Katy said not to raise hell. ;)

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    Ha! I'm just upset that I put a "they're" instead of a "their."

  • Nolan (unverified)

    We had excellent seats in 2004, maybe the best of the non-ticket states (Massachusetts and North Carolina). Michigan had equally good seats that year too, but I agree with Katy: you gotta do what it takes to mend fences and WIN. Bygones are bygones; continuing to punish them is not worth losing by 0.5%

  • kabonfootprint (unverified)

    nice post!...kabonfootprint..

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