Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Denver Day One: Ted Kennedy Brings the House Down
Go to top of DFNM's main page to see our Zannel vids & photos.
Monday was full of logistical problems for us and many others. Cell phones stop working. Net connections turn to mud. Streets suddenly close and open. Traffic snarls erupt. Everything stops when small protests come through and sudden detours appear. People get lost and lost again, including us.
The security perimeter around the Pepsi Center is massive and is extended even farther when the major speeches of the day start happening. Cabs have to drop off fares many blocks away from the venue. The big limos and other expensive vehicles of the connected get right through, however. Door to door service. Must be nice.
Feel the power with the NM delegation on the Pepsi Center floor
The security check through the media gate was rapid, but the line leading up to it was very long and moved very slowly. Lots of familiar media faces everywhere, looking rather prissy and kept, the most infamous ones trailed by clumps of handlers and gofers. Big setups for media on the floor and all around the Pepsi Center.
Finally getting onto the floor of the Convention and seated with the New Mexico delegation seemed like a major achievement -- but it sure was wild, crazy, exhilarating, chaotic, moving, inspiring and worth all the hassles to be a part of the sign-waving, chanting, dancing, pumped up masses of Dems right there in the middle of the action, live. The energy skyrockets, calms to serious, pauses, skyrockets again.
I don't think I've ever been in a place with this many Dems and it feels really powerful. Like we can win. Like we're on the right track. Like we can turn the corner and move forward toward a progressive and humane future again. It's a contagious feeling and you can see it travel through the crowd at times, like a wave. Standing in that swirling mass of positivity can make you believe, again, that we really can change things, that's it's worth all the effort and grunt work over the past years, that the tide is turning at last. That we can win.
Greeting Ted Kennedy
The appearance and speech of Sen. Ted Kennedy was definitely the high point of the evening for me. The film vignette on his life, the sailing, the brothers, the VIGAH (!). He gave a powerful and defiant speech in the face of his battle with cancer. He looked good. He was clearly experiencing a rush from the crowd and the crowd was getting the same from him. Tears running down faces where you wouldn't expect to find them. He passed the torch to a new generation of Americans and pledged to be back in the Senate in January. I believe him.
Here comes Michelle
Michelle Obama's speech was very good too, but I've heard her give much more intense and compelling speeches on the primary trail. Now it's clear she's being scrubbed a bit for the masses, taking a gentler, more maternal tone that must seem less threatening to some than her more confrontational, feisty, independent natural persona.
You know how middle America can be -- or at least how the consultants perceive it to be. Gotta tippy toe around and make nice according to the strategists. I disagree. I think strong personalities like Michelle can win people over without having to turn the tone down, but in the risk-averse politics of today, we'll probably never get to see if I'm right.
I have much more to say but no time to say it. We have to head out and get our credentials for the day and get into the flow of things again. We're way behind posting photos and videos and stories, but it's time again to jump onto the moving train that is the Dem Convention 2008. Catch you later.