Decisioneering 2008: Our Intrepid Reporter at the DNC

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kate_bylineHello Stevesword,  Kate Hawthorne here, offering my reflections on the DNC.  I hit the RNC too, but thanks to some beloved politicos, that's been covered, leaving me the chance to give you a more personal take on the DNC.  Because sometimes to really believe something, you have to see it for yourself.

My experience at the DNC consisted of one continuous 29 hour period, and what an inspiring 29 hours it was.  It began onboard the WW Stage Lines bus,  chartered out of my wildly conservative hometown, Grand Junction, CO .  An amazing local business, WW Stage Lines and their 89 year old driver, really went beyond.  Carrying 51 enthusiastic Obama supporters- and managing to piss each one off in a different way- this old fella, who I'll call "Republican Joe"-redefined service.  For more information on this bus company check out their website.  You can tell just by looking at this website what service means to them.  After some quick Stevesword t-shirt and totebag flogging on one of our 3 local TV stations (3!) I was on the road to history.grand junction

 

The road to Denver was smooth until RJ ditched us at the Blackhawk Casino turnoff. We pulled over abruptly and out of nowhere his equally elderly "son" boarded the bus and took the wheel so RJ could jump into a waiting Buick and get his gamble on.  This is where the bus trip really went to shit.  After a slow, winding and totally unnecessary detour through Clear Creek Canyon, we finally rolled into...suburban Arvada...where we waited for our bus's credentials to arrive.  In hindsight it does seem amazing that even our bus, a non-living thing from Bumblefuck CO, had to be checked out more thoroughly than Sarah Palin.  I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone that buses don't ruin carefully crafted political events, people do, but...you know, whatever.  To be fair, many of us were actually, legitimately excited to see Barack Obama speak.  Not to mention seeing Stevie Wonder, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix from the dead and a whole list of other rumors. We were probably not the most patient bus full of oppressed people. RJ's son was getting more and more uneasy, as if he was actually doing something illegal or immoral-like, say, hauling a bus full of convicts to a ritualistic crime spree.  Eventually we got cleared and made our way down Federal Blvd, past lowrider rim shops, fruteria y carnicerias, taco trucks and... gigantic pictures of abortions. Thanks for completely ruining restaurant and vendor business for blocks, anti-abortionists! Just thanks!  

 pope_grope

The atmosphere at Invesco was electric and this crowd was the picture of diversity.  It's probably because I've been living in the middle of this (see attached photo) but every type of American seemed to be represented here.  Young, old, rich, poor, cowboys, indians, all races, colors and creeds including Cyclists for Jesus who darted around in the crowd like mosquitoes. Even a fellow named Pope Grope (pictured) an Anti-Catholic protester had managed to clear time in his schedule to attend.

 

 

After three trips through security, I met up with my writing partner and fellow keen political observer, Carmen kate_invescoDusek.  The flood of people pouring into the stadium had intensified.  Colfax Avenue was one solid stream of people marching towards the enormous ant hill of Invesco Field.  A river of people determined to watch Barack do what he does best: "Barack & Awe" us all.  Beers in hand we found our seats.  We were able to move around the stadium and everyone had that overly friendly smugness that people have when they know they're "where it's at."  Sheryl Crow predictably sang "A Change is Gonna Do You Good," and Stevie Wonder sang "Signed Sealed Delivered."  After a day without food and a couple of beers, Al Gore started sounding like Axel Rose.  The stadium was a group of people from all 50 States united in a common goal...trying to spot Oprah and Gayle.  At one point, Carmen could have sworn she saw Oprah with "a couple of Gayles"...well, well, well.

obama_speechWe listened to average Americans (whatever those are) talk about their reasons for wanting a better government. Then, the lights went dim and...Senator Obama took the stage.  Barack Obama is truly a force of nature when he speaks, and though listening closely, I couldn't take my eyes off of the crowd.  After all my Obama hype, my political pins and buttons, my sloganeering, I wound up being absolutely fascinated by the looks on people's faces.  You know you're in the presence of greatness when just watching people watch him is a terrific show. Obviously, I am an Obama-lama-ding-dong and, you know what?  I don't care.  It's a badge of courage out here in Redneck (and every other body part) Land.  I didn't know they made presidential candidates like this.

So what now?  The Bibles have banged shut in St Paul, crying babies have been wrapped up in gunny sacks and taken home in the backs of pick-up trucks, Ron Paul has redeployed his Army, and a few hundred thousand shotguns have been cocked, fired and reloaded so that 50 days of slanderous political ads and non-story media frenzies can begin.  And what did I learn from my visits to the conventions?  How do I feel about it all now?  Might be until November that I really know.

2 Comments

  • 1

    Well done, Kate! The evocative imagery of good ol' Federal Blvd really makes me want a taco and/or a hot, tricked out lowrider.

    "Obama lama ding dong." I'm gonna use that one.

  • 2

    Thank you Avery dear!

    Did you ever read this in Kindergarten? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikki_Tikki_Tembo

    I'm working on a Barack Obama version as we speak.

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