Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Denver: Day Three

Long day so I don't have time for more than bits and pieces.

-- Morning breakfast with the delegation was uneventful. 40 minute wait in line to pick up credentials for the day. Speech to the delegation by the Lieutenant Gov of Arkansas. Blah.

-- Went to an early panel at the GreenStarz theater which is within the security perimeter of the Pepsi Center so it's not available to the public. My husband tried to drive me there but could only go part of the way. Long walk. Everything was delayed because the panelists had a hard time getting through security. The panel included Arianna Huffington, Jonathan Alter (of Newsweek) and others on "The Blogosphere vs. the Mainstream Media." Mainstream folks are still defensive about their reporting style and there was a strong whiff of superiority from them in relation to the bloggers. The more interesting comments came from the audience who questioned the media pile on of negative narratives like "Obama cannot connect with blue collar whites." Isn't it equally true that those descriptions of Obama as "the other" are codes for racism and feed the alienation?

-- chatted with a Tennessee delegate and shared notes on what it is like to be progressive in a red state. He's a political numbers guy -- follows the polls. His recommendation: The Survey USA and Rasmussen polls should be taken seriously. Electoral-vote is a solid state-by-state information source.

-- Had other events I wanted to attend but they were downtown and getting there was difficult. Seems there is transport between the hotels and the convention during the period when it's in session, but if you want to attend other events inbetween, they don't make it easy.

Saw snippets of a documentary about a doctor paralyzed in a bike accident who becomes an advocate for stem cell research> Attended part of a panel on the Emerging Powers: implications for American Foreign Policy and a Conservative/ Progressive debate between Thom Hartmann and talk radio host Dennis Prager. Prager is a right-winger who is stuck in the 60s culture wars, defines the left in a completely warped way and revels in vicious distortions. Couldn't stomach it.

The one take-away from the Foreign Affairs discussion: how Obama, with his focus on diplomacy and mutuality, can avoid appearing a wimp . Goal of foreign policy is building friends and isolating your enemies.

Then to the Pepsi Center. The NC delegation has terrible seats-- up in the rafters and on the side. I wondered what NC did to Obama to be relegated to Siberia. But one of the delegates said that last year the delegation had great location because of Edwards and the party likes to rotate those good positions.

The first few hours were a bit boring - desultory, stilted speeches, but my fellow delegates were lively and we were kind of the "dancing delegation" We were all crammed together a bit tightly. People came and went, but for a time I had Secretary of State Elaine Marshall on one side, a Congressman (not mine) on the other and the Governor and his wife sitting behind me. Later the surprise appearance by Edward Kennedy was stirring. Michelle, of course, was amazing. When the energy was flowing, the lights and color and music and the sense of unity was intense. Indescribable.

I had snagged some free tickets for a Willy Nelson concert at Invesco Field for me and my husband. After the convention, I exited the Pepsi Center and walked toward the stadium but apparently there was no easy and safe way to get there. I aborted the mission and was bussed with the rest of the delegation to an evening reception hosted by a Raleigh law firm. Had a good talk with a Durham County Commissioner who has organized a tour of the Denver Transit system for delegates tomorrow. My husband went to the Willie Nelson concert and had a great time,

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