WRITINGS BY JEN SORENSEN
"LIVE FROM THE DNC"
Below are excerpts from my coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The full blog is available on the C-VILLE Weekly website (scroll down for link to the newer posts.)
Welcome to Denver
August 23rd 03:42pm
Indications that this city is about to put on a massive party are everywhere - from the airport decorations to the Hooters Restaurant sign informing Barack Obama "YOUR TABLE IS READY." Hmm. could Hooters possibly be a tentacle of McCain's "Hot Chicks Dig Obama" campaign, or was that just Hooters being Hooters? I'm guessing the latter.
August 26th 12:51pm
Can I just say having to use the word "Pepsi" all day long is making me feel slightly tawdry?
Two words describe the experience of walking into the Center: sensory overload. The lobby is a sea of bodies, all trying to go different directions. I could barely move without whacking people with my backpack. I finally made my way into the main hall, which I have to say is pretty damn exciting the first time you do it. The dazzling spectacle below takes your breath; it's like being on the deck of a starship looking out at, uh, a really big political convention in outer space.
My view from the altitudinous Periodical Press Gallery:
The stage is on the left; my view is from slightly behind. If you look really closely, you'll see the podium -- and if you look really REALLY closely, you'll see Nancy Pelosi standing behind it giving her speech, I swear! (Pelosi: "McCain has experience... being WRONG." Not bad.)
Ye Roll Call
August 27th 07:18pm
Well, that was dramatic. I just stepped out of the roll call where Hillary stopped the proceedings and released her delegates. Big, big cheers erupted from the crowd when she stepped into the hall, and they kept coming. I found myself sitting next to an alternate delegate for Hillary from San Antonio, Texas named Sabrina Fernandez ("Sabrina like Kate Jackson from Charlie's Angels, not like the teenage witch" she insisted). Sabrina, who worked for former Texas State Senator Carlos Truan, is a staunch Hillary fan -- she admires Clinton's support for Latinos, wants a woman in the White House, and likes the fact that Clinton knows her way around Washington. "She's the best person," she said. But Sabrina is a still voting for Obama in November, explaining that she's been a strong Democrat since she was a kid. She emitted a soft noise of disappointment as Hillary turned over her delegates, but applauded the announcement of Obama as the nominee. Such was the case, I suspect, for many Hillary delegates here.
I've noticed many media outlets are painting a fairly contentious portrait of the convention. While I've heard reports of minor confrontations elsewhere -- a correspondent for French TV station TF1 told me about a shouting match between Clinton and Obama supporters somewhere outside of Pepsi Center -- I have to say the mood inside is civil and overwhelmingly cheerful. I've wandered around this place a lot, and I've seen no Hillary supporters demonstrating against Obama, I've heard no booing when Obama is mentioned, no visible support for McCain except that one guy. So whatever ill will still exists here (and I'm not denying that it does), I think it's being sensationalized somewhat by controversy-seeking news media.
Smooth Sailing in the Stadium
August 29th 02:25am
It was a star-studded evening at Invesco Field/Mile High Stadium, kind of like the Lollapalooza concert I saw in Scranton in 1992, only with politicians. And even better. As far as I could tell, the show went off without a hitch and lived up to everyone's big expectations. You probably don't need me to tell you that Obama's speech was a humdinger.
Both Mr. Slowpoke and commenter Toby have informed me that the media is obsessing over the Greek columns that were behind Obama, of all things. After all those hours of speeches filled with juicy lines, they're talking about the freakin' set decorations?! I'm sorry, that's just sick.