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.
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.
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 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.