Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Democratic National Convention Day Four: Was It Good For You?

Greetings Americans! Obama! Obama! Obama! Woooooo! Can you tell I liked the speech? That was awesome. This has really been an amazing convention. Usually when I look forward to something of this nature I always end up getting disappointed. Not this time. The Democrats brought it and they brought it good. I'm guessing there are a lot of Republicans going to bed nervous tonight. As for the coverage, today was one for the history books and Eliza was not gonna play around--I just went ahead and started out at C-SPAN. To their credit, it seems that CNN aired the majority of the festivities and I of course made my way to The Best Political Team on Television (TBPTOT) after the convention was over. Right now though, it's time for those unpredictable bullet points. Will they be serious? Will they be fun? You just don't know!
    • On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I have a dream" speech. Exactly 45 years later a major political party in the U.S. just nominated an African American to be president. Tonight transcended politics. Those watching just witnessed something historic.
    • The crowd at Invesco Field was simply amazing. The last I heard reported, they were trying to get upwards of 90,000 people inside. Awe-inspiring.
    • Bill Richardson did a pretty good job slamming McCain, but he didn't wow me. Of course, after Obama's speech, you almost have to feel sorry for the warmer-uppers--they're all but forgotten now.
    • Stevie Wonder! Did Wolf Blitzer rock out? You know he wanted to.
    • The man who used to be the next president of the United States is always a welcome face these days. After Republicans ridiculously tried to compare Bush to great leaders, I was glad to see Al Gore stealing Lincoln for Obama. And he got in some jabs too: "John McCain ... is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue the same policies over again? Hey, I believe in recycling but that's ridiculous." Should we call that a green zing?
    • Did you catch Wolf Blitzer forgetting Amy Holmes' name? Who does he think he is, Larry King? I guess one of his circuits shorted. Good thing he had Anderson Cooper for the assist.
    • Too bad we couldn't have Ray Charles doing "America the Beautiful" instead of Michael McDonald. I used to have my alarm set on a radio station that played that like clockwork and I woke up to it every morning. It's a good song to get you going. (Er, uh, yeah, I just remembered Ray Charles is dead. That really would have been an appearance!)
    • Okay, TBPTOT. It is really uncool to commentate on the Democrat's military cred, yet not air the Generals' tribute.
    • Jeffrey Toobin redeemed himself to me tonight when he pointed out that Obama didn't have enough room for all his supporters, while McCain was having trouble even getting 10,000 people. Perhaps I will not have to make him cry sad, sad tears after all.
    • More Joe Biden?! Yay, surprise!
    • Call me cynical, but I say the McCain VP dance was all just a BS ploy. Oh, he's decided not to leak because it's Obama's night. Riight. I'm sure this was in no way completely orchestrated to make him look like a good guy.
    • CNN totally missed the boat by not airing the speeches of the regular-Joe Republicans. My favorite was Barney Smith: "We need a president who puts Barney Smith before Smith Barney." Golden.
    • How cool was it that there were people watching the convention in Times Square? CNN really had all of their bases covered. Well, except the whole not airing half of the speeches thing.
    • Oh, Dick Durbin. I am sorry to report I remember nothing of your speech. Hey, at least you didn't have to follow Obama.
    • Our next president gave one of the best speeches I've ever heard a politician make. The entire thing is quoteable. "John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even go to the cave where he lives." Oh, snap! I believe the question as to his ability to fight has just been answered.
    • Obama on McCain's very similar voting record to Bush: "I don't know about you, but I'm not about to take a 10% chance on change."
    • "What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you." And that folks, pretty much sums it up. Regular readers of this blog know that I was torn between Obama and Clinton right up until Super Tuesday. I didn't vote for Obama because I think he will save us. He won't. I'm not naive. He is not my friend; he's a politician. There will be disappointments in the future. But he won my support because this isn't about him anymore. This is bigger than one man. Tonight's stadium full of people is a testament to that.
    • I'm not sure what TBPTOT did as soon as Obama's speech ended because I stayed with C-SPAN for a few minutes to take in the moment. The fireworks. The streamers. The screaming crowd on its feet. History before our eyes.
    • Even C-SPAN has bloopers: A few of the streamers landed directly on one of their cameras. Now that's a party!
    • Anderson Cooper again had some fun teasing Blitzer about his band days, suggesting that the gawkers hanging around their set-up were just waiting for him to go to town on the keyboard. But, oh! Apparently the Wolfbot got a little sass programmed into him because he shot back that it was more likely they were waiting to get their picture taken with Anderson, which quieted him down good. Hm, I think our silver surfer has been one-upped. Aw, Anderson is so embarrassed of his sought-afterness.
    • Whoa! Gratuitous pimping alert! Don't ever say Blitzer's not a company man. He used the last minutes of their coverage to sing CNN"s praises like nobody's business.
You know what time it is, don't you? That's right, here come the weird and wacky behind-the-convention-scenes tidbits that Eliza found on the Internets. Let us begin with a little reporter rundown. There are 15,000 journalists in Denver, and according to Fishbowl New York, 1,026 of them are drunk. They're just blowing off steam, people. Because as it turns out, reporting is, like, hard. Just ask ABC News producer Asa Eslocker. He just wanted to take some pictures of Democratic power players and instead got his cute self (just saying) man-handled across the street, culminating in an arrest (be sure to watch the linked video). Can we say over-reaction? Bail has been posted. With the company credit card, thank you very much.

What do condoms, biking, and yoga have to do with the Democratic National Convention? Brand spanking new CNNer Dana Milbank explains in this video. And he wears pig ears and a snout while racing to glove up a banana. Didn't see that line coming, did ya? As to Mr. Milbank's recent employment switch, whoa Nelly, it's looking like he jumped off the MSNBC train just in time. I noted the other day that Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews seemed raring to kill each other, but since that time the crazy has spread to other MSNBCers! Jon Stewart brings us the meltdown, throwing in a dash of literary flavor. Because that's how he rolls.

Remember how after the first day of the convention I deemed the Huffington Post Oasis as the best answer to the question, "where the party at?" I think I might need to reassess. Because all evidence points to the CNN Grill being the hottest spot at the DNC. No really, this article even says so in their lede. (Also noted, is Anderson Cooper pondering temporary kleptomania.) Producer Kay Jones again showers us with some Grill behind-the-scenes info, noting that Roland Martin and Donna Brazile totally got their dance on. Does she have video of this? No, she doesn't. No camera. What the hell, CNN? Lucky for her, the two pundits are apparently quite fond of busting a move and she had some previous video to post. Now, those that don't know what they're missing might be satisfied with that video, but though CNN did not have a camera in the Grill, someone did (way to get scooped in your own party spot, CNN), and if you think you were amused before, you ain't seen nothing yet. Check out that hip action! Did my drunk pundit wish just come true?

Our Anderson Cooper was also video-ed in the CNN Grill, but sadly, there was no dancing involved (I'm pretty sure hell would have to freeze over first, people). Instead, he sat down with Campus Voices to talk about the youngins and how they fit into this whole democracy thing. From a media perspective, he loves the kids because they help them tell the story. (Also? Demo ratings, baby! Just saying.) And according to this non CNN Grill video, Anderson can't walk more than a few steps without being accosted. The DNC loves him so.

That about does it for me. Whew! What a week. It was actually a lot of fun. A big shout out to all those bloggers and journalists who made me feel like I was there. And I didn't even have to go through massive security! Anderson will be coming at us live from New Orleans Friday and I'll be blogging. As for next week, I'll probably be a masochist and at least attempt to stomach some of the RNC. But if Gustav gets bad my focus will change whether the coverage does or not. In any regards, according to this, Anderson will not be going to St. Paul.

Goodbye, Denver! And congrats on being a part of history.


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