July 28, 2004

Chain link fences and velvet ropes

The big thing I've learned on day 1 of the DNC is that political conventions, like politics, is all about access. As I talked about with Noah, we started out the evening as uncredentialed outcasts - stuck on the wrong side of the riot-proof fencing, deafened by over-amped protesters and under-muffled diesel generators.

By the end of the evening, we had traded up our color-coded badges several times and were able to peer down on the convention floor from a lofty skybox inside the Fleet Center.

It's like a baseball game where you try to sneak into better and better seats as the game goes on.

The whole process is a little strange because it relies on exploiting connections and a good deal of guile. (Neither of which are paradigms I'm particularly comfortable with).

But both led to us jumping a partition into an adjoining skybox which happened to contain Michael Moore. There was a weird celebrity awkwardness as folks were struggling with their digicams to snap souvenir photos.

But we ended up having a real conversation about blogs, Google and the terrible state of copyright. Michael Moore is a clueful dude. And hungry ... which I can appreciate.

The one completely genuine moment of the evening was Barack Obama's speech. The man gave me chills. In terms of what public service should mean, Obama nailed it when he said "If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent."

That the poverty of others can make all of our lives poorer goes right to heart of the problems government is meant to address.

(For what it's worth, the least genuine moment of the day was dancing to Come on Eileen at a convention after party. Apparently, I'm going to be awkwardly dancing to that song for the rest of my life.)


Steve said...

Word. Obama brought it. Rumor is that he made Jim Lehrer and David Brooks cry.

Morgan W. Brown said...

Great audioblog post of you reporting live at the time from outside the DNC Convention. It is even better with your text version follow-up post. Truly awesome! Thank you.

Will update my blog post about the audioblog post shortly to include a link to this post of yours as well as your own earlier audioblog post (whose audio was hard to hear as your voice or the volume on your end was too low; though I am at a site now where I can probably boost it enough to hear it) too.


goldman said...

I got teary myself ... but that's not much of a standard to go by. I also get weepy during the Battle for Helms Deep.

Matt said...

I saw the pbs broadcast, and lehrer, brooks, and mark shields all were effusive in their praise of obama. brooks compared obama to tiger woods. david brooks, total ass.

goldman said...

One of the many things I loved about the speech was how he took on the red state/blue state business. I even bought into the line "We worship an awesome God in the blue states" which is saying something considering the fact I don't.

Of course, Brooks has made a name in recent days by advancing the whole red/blue dichotomy.

Which doesn't serve anything.

That Brooks guy, man. He's trouble.