August 30, 2008
Here are two videos of the spotlights playing over the huge crowd that was at Mile High Stadium for Barack Obama's acceptance speech:
This is a bit of the fireworks following Obama's acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic convention.
Here is a slideshow of my photos from the 2008 Democratic Convention. I will organize and post videos as soon as I can.
The button in the lower right of this slideshow frame lets you see these full-screen. The "Info On" button at the top lets you see captions.
I think it looks better with a higher resolution if you go to Flickr to see them. AND you can see and download much higher-resolution versions of each pic if you want.
August 29, 2008
Here are the first couple of photos from last night:
Click this one for a larger image:
There was no internet access at Mile High Stadium, and I arrived rather early. I have tons of pictures and a lot to say, but a plane to catch. So it's all coming Soon.
August 28, 2008
Ah, I have internet access at last! Did you catch Obama saying "Mile High Stadium" last night instead of "Generic Corporate Name" Stadium? Good for him!
August 27, 2008
I went for a walk. A fast-moving motorcade passed, Obama in back seat of a big Suburban, heading toward Pepsi Center.
Sorry I have not posted today. I have been in events and meetings all day. And then the long, long, hot walks covering vast distances between events - with no transportation.
There is just too much going on during a convention. This only happens every four years, a huge gathering of Democrats from all across the country. This is people who have been working hard for years to help elect the people who can restore our country. It is like a super Netroots Nation but with maybe 30-40,000 people here. The thing about it is, everyone here is ON OUR SIDE. So it is all brothers and sisters, everyone you talk to. Even the cab drivers are all for Obama. (Today's driver was for Hillary but is for Obama now...) Progressive values: community. Everyone in it together, watching out for each other.
Question: was there a focus group that spat out the words, "I'd like to see the words, 'Made In America' again." How many convention speeches have had those exact words in them?
Tell me -- how does someone lose a computer battery? But I did! I'm OK: I have the huge, bulky extended battery in the computer. But where did the normal battery go? I'll be buying a new one I guess.
In my email is the usual Costco Deals email. It just seems so strange to get an email like that on day three of this frantic whirlwind, hundreds of convention emails, TVs all around me here at the Big Tent blasting the convention. Costco Deals?
Anyway, I WILL be writing later, even if it is after I get back. I have a lot of things from this that I want to put into words.
August 26, 2008
OK, I am avoiding talking about what people are saying at the convention. Part of that is because when I look at a TV screen I see people talking about what people are saying at the convention but not showing you what people are saying at the convention.
But another part of it is that I am "inside the bubble" here and things are flying at me too fast to let me gather up an informed opinion. I know a lot less about what is happening on the stage at the convention than YOU do.
I picked up my credential this morning, and this evening made my way to the security perimeter, and then got in the line to go through the "security tent." Here is a photo of the line:
The convention hall is a big sports arena. It's crowded:
All the seats are already full. Really full. But I found a seat. Here is the view:
Yes, this is BEHIND the stage. But it is a seat and it is IN the hall itself!
So after enough of this I found the Blogger Press Room:
And put up this post. Like I said before, I'll put up videos later when I can.
Update I just learned that there are good blogger seats if you get there early and claim one.
I saw Carl Bernstein on CNN or something either last night or this morning, and he said that media should spend more time covering the convention instead of talking about it. Yep.
I'd like to spend more time covering OR talking about it and less time on half-hour or forty-five-minute walks between events. It is HOT out!
I went to a Blogger BBQ with Howard Dean. It was noce that they threw this for us. But it was on the other side of the convention center, another half-hour walk, and afterwards the Secret Service wouldn't let any of us back in through that entrance so we all had to walk around the entire perimeter... As I have mentioned, the distances here are vast, making it near-impossible to get from one thing to another.
I'm pretty sure that they noticed that some of the bloggers have been gaining weight, and arranged this convention in a way that requires us to work a lot of it off. They want to keep us healthy so we can keep blogging promoting their candidates -- for free of course.
I am uploading a video from this to YouTube as well and will post it here when ready.
One problem that many people attending this convention are forced to deal with is the sheer distance between events. First, getting from the airport into town is a very expensive cab ride with few other choices.
I was immediately struck that there is no light rail system out to the airport! I don't understand how a major airport near a major city could have been planned and built without incorporating light rail from the start. Of course, this was all done in the unfortunate oil/car-dominated era that we are all working to end...
In town convention events are vast distances apart. Even inside the security perimeter itself things are far apart. It is a long walk in the sun to get from the Pepsi Center to the Tivoli, where the Starz Green Room is. It is a very long walk from the Big Tent to the Starz Green Room. Etc.
Getting my official convention credentials this morning meant taking a cab for miles, to a hotel in another part of town. (Long lines, waiting, waiting...) And then there were no cabs available to take me back. Miles and miles... There was a free city "16th street mall" shuttle that helped part of the way.
So this is a problem with this convention. Having things far apart might be OK if there was some way to get from one place to another. You can't have a car here but everything seems to require that you do.
And of course in the larger picture this is the problem with the way America has built up its housing/mall/freeway infrastructure. You have to have a car, period, or you cannot participate in the modern America except in a few larger cities that have well-thought-out transportation. This requirement that you have a car imposes a certain cost on people. But there are plenty of people who can't meet those costs and are forced to drop out of participation. So look what happened in New Orleans when Katrina hit. Many people simply could not evacuate because they did not have their own cars, and there was no real transportation available otherwise.
America has created distances between people, classes, and even physical distance requirements that work against us in the long run. This kind of approach, where you can't participate if you can't afford your own car is anti-democracy. In the case of this convention, it was just dumb.
August 25, 2008
It is about 6:45pm Denver time in The Big Tent -- the "blogger central" of the convention. Finally some time to blog. Senator Ted Kennedy just spoke. That was quite a moment, reminding us that America was once able to send people to the moon, and that maybe one day we can get back to that kind of vision. Later Michelle Obama speaks and I will post an update.
They have a live audio feed from the hall itself, and big-screen TVs around the tent with network coverage, so you don't always see on the TV what you are hearing. That is probably a very good thing because I don't care what Wolf Blitzer says and I can safely say that none of the bloggers here do either.
There are supposed to be about 400 people here in the blogger Big Tent. That seemed about right today. This is a steel-frame temporary building that was just finished Saturday, I think. The name comes from the Republican Party's focus-group certified slogan, which means that everyone is welcome to vote for Republicans -- and no matter what you end up giving tax cuts to the rich and losing your health insurance, savings, pension, home and job.
Around Pepsi Center
There is a very big perimeter around the Pepsi center itself. I walked several blocks around that over to the other side of the perimeter. As you walk you pass so many people heading to or from the convention, many of them recognizable. "Isn't that ...?" Paul Begalia riding in a bicycle taxi. Journalists you've seen on TV, etc...
The convention has a different crowd that the big tent -- people are dressed better. Bloggers tend to wear shorts and t-shorts. In the convention hall (I learned four years ago the hard way) a guy would tend to dress up much more and you might feel out of place without a sportcoat. (I don't know how to describe the same thing for a woman.)
Starz Green Room
After walking (and walking) I checked in at the Starz Green Room. It is well air conditioned. You see, that matters a lot when there are hundreds or more people everywhere you go, after walking on a hot day with the sun at this altitude burning you. And everyone here does a lot of walking because of that several-block security perimeter.
The Starz green Room has a film festival going on, and the Seachange Forum panel series. Click through and scroll down for the schedule.) I wasn't able to stay long, but it is a great, welcoming environment, professionally run with great content. If you have a credential into the convention itself you should look at the schedule and reserve a place for one of their events.
More Big Tent
So this evening many people have gone over to the convention hall so it has cleared out and is somewhat less of a zoo (there is free beer). You can actually find a seat now, but not that many I was an idiot who didn't get his credentials in time so I get to stay here. Tomorrow I will be in the hall.
Here is what I look like blogging on a couch here:
(Taken with Flip Video supplied by the Voter Genome Project)
Click here to see today's earlier convention post with pic and video.
Let me know what you want me to cover here at the convention.