DENVER – It’s 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Day two of the Democratic Convention. I awoke with my head in a heavy, scotch-ridden fog that I had received late last evening. Carlos and I had taken to the streets until 3 a.m. looking for some perspective on convention and Obamamania.
Did we get anything good, anything interesting, I asked myself as I scurried over to the bookstore for coffee and web access. With vague memories of the conversations we had last night, I will have to refer to the video Carlos had taken, which will hopefully be posted anytime soon here on this blog. Our late-night experience was definitely a good way to wrap up our day-one madness.
It had been a day of build up. Speeches, upon speeches – some that were really moving and some that were, well, just OK. What Americans don’t get through their TV sets across the country is the feeling, the feeling that something positive and new is in the air. For Carlos and I, that feeling, however you describe it, reached its pinnacle when the ailing Senator Ted Kennedy took the podium. Despite fighting a brain tumor, Kennedy’s speech last night showed us all that he has not lost a political beat. Leading up to his surprise visit, a dramatic and emotional dedication video showed Teddy speaking at podium from what it looked like to me in the early 80s. Fist pounding, strong words and climaxing oratory, the Teddy of the past could certainly fire up a political crowd. What we found out 10 minutes later when he took the stage is that he still holds the power. He is still a Kennedy and still a Democrat.
“Nothing…Nothing is going to keep me away from this gathering tonight,” he said to the wave of cheering blue in front of him. It was the loudest the arena had been all day and all night. “I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor at the United States Senate.” He looked and sounded as remarkable as he had ever been.
Carlos and I agreed after we left the Pepsi Center for the night that Michelle Obama’s speech was really good in a down-to-earth way but last night’s show as all Teddy. Camelot is back for the Democrats, in fact, it never really left.
Still reeling from the overwhelming and very emotional speech by we made it back to the Sugar Cube Building for refreshments and time to clear our heads before we made our next move.
After friendly conversation with our neighbor and a menacing bomb threat, the three of us headed on over to the Wazee Supper Club for a pizza. We were seated next to three Fox News reporters from Arizona who had a rough day.
“We have to walk with all this equipment way too far to get into the convention,” the stressed reporter said, “The setup is terrible. There should be a system to let our truck in and drop off our equipment.” I asked the men, after their tensions cooled (we were all treated to an “Obamanator” beer, which is brewed locally at the Wynkoop Brewery) if Obama has a chance at winning in McCain’s state of Arizona.
“People there want a change there too,” the cameraman said. “Like Colorado, it is a purple state. Arizona could become blue.”
“I bet McCain wins Arizona in November but the margin of his win won’t be over two or three percentage points,” the other man said. What I really wanted to ask them all was their definition of their employer’s slogan “Fair and Balanced” really is? With the advice of Anne, I tabled the question for a later date.
As I reflect on our first day experience here at the DNC, I think we were witness to what everybody loves about politics and that is the oratory festival that is the convention. We certainly saw it in Kennedy’s surprise visit. Michelle Obama’s “Tide of Hope” speech was in every way better than anything that has or will come out of Cindy McCain’s mouth. Carlos made an excellent point and had a great idea as we left the arena that evening that a first lady debate should also be held. I’m not sure Cindy would show up. Monday’s spectacle was just the beginning. Tonight, Hillary is to speak and heal those who gave her everything they had in her campaign. She has quite the task ahead of them.
And then, later in the week President Bill Clinton will take the podium where it is rumored that he will unleash the dogs and really get after McCain. I can’t wait.