Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Denver: Day Four

Not sure how the convention seems via the TV lens, but inside the Pepsi Center it was for the most part a big yawn, The energy level was dismal. Over-managed. Artificial. Pedestrian. This political convention feels like business as usual -- except more boring. And this is the best that a change candidate with a supposedly brilliant campaign staff can muster?

A group of us in the delegation were literally shouting at the speakers. 'Fire Us Up" "Give us some Meat!". The same "American story" --an urban version of "I was born in a log cabin and achieved the American dream" -- over and over and over. It's really wearing thin. Maybe because we have to sit there and listen most of the time.

You want to jump to your feel --not drag yourself up to wave the signs they hand out at an obvious "applause line". Schweitzer towards the end of his speech really got us going. It's so clear being in that hall when the juice is flowing and when it ain't.

Hillary's speech? A lot of us Obama supporters were a bit nervous though we had been assured by the Clinton whip in our delegation that it would be fine. It was.

I spent some time wandering down to the podium area where the crush of bodies exhorted to "keep moving" feels like a madhouse. I saw a few media personalities: Wolf Blitzer, James Carville, David Gregory, and Andrea Mitchell among others.

Lots of people took pictures of my silly yellow hat. My New York City friends Luis and Lupe saw me on PBS. I think the hat helped.

Earlier in the day, we went on a tour of Denver's innovative light rail system and spoke with some transit officials. Were joined by Cong. David Price and a handful of county commissoners. Denver's system is impressive and exceeds ridership estimates.

I later went to a panel on the use of online campaigning with Joe Trippi, the deputy online directory of the Obama campaign, and a Google guy. Some interesting stats I may add later. But the bottom line is that there is a lot of visibility because it is so new, but the actual impact in still quite limited. Chief asset is the mobilization of online activists and providing them with effective tools for traditional grassroots organizing.

Lots more but too tired. A laundry list of weird stuff soon.

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