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DNC: Morning One
Sarah and I arrived safe and sound in Denver yesterday, hot on the heels of Senator Ron Wyden. We're now happily ensconced in our curtained cubicle in Media Pavilion 5, just outside the Pepsi Center, which we're sharing with Colorado Public Radio and San Francisco's KQED. The good news is that this pavilion is kept nice and cool in the impressive Denver heat. The bad news is that it's kept cool with the help of a few massive compressors, which I think you'll be hearing in the coming days...
Last night we spent some time with the Oregon, Washington, and Arizona delegations (that last one because the three states just happen to have been thrown together into the same hotel). Outgoing Rep. Darlene Hooley was there, along with Wyden and Secretary of State Bill Bradbury. So was Jefferson Smith, of The Bus Project. He asked us what we hoped to cover at what amounts to a week-long, pre-packaged coronation. We, being clever journalists, turned the question on him.
Smith's take is that the real action is going to happen outside the Convention Center (site of the daily caucus meetings) or the Pepsi Center (site of the nightly pep rallies). In line with the larger dreams of The Bus Project, Smith hopes that various grassroots organizers and fomenters will coalesce in cafes, in hotel elevators, and in the online 21st century replacements of smoky backrooms. Whether Obama wins or loses in November, he said -- and obviously he hopes Obama wins -- there's still a chance that the seeds of a broad, power to the people movement will be born in Denver. He was talking about a transformative change of whose hands are on the levers of power -- a change that could bear progressive fruit in something like 20 years -- and he gave it a 30 percent chance.
Grandiose talk over cold hor d'oeuvres.
On tap for today: a number of caucus meetings about the Dems' plans to capture rural, Western, and Latino votes.
And tonight: OSU men's basketball coach Craig Robinson will introduce his sister, Michelle Obama. There will be a short Ken Burns-produced tribute to Ted Kennedy. Plus, what might turn out to be most interesting: an RNC-sponsored Happy Hour for Hillary.