Saturday, August 30, 2008

From Denver to St. Paul

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

A look back, and a look forward.

First, from Denver:

In the beginning, they didn't even know whether they could land the Democratic National Convention. And toward the end, they didn't know whether they'd be able to raise all the money, or keep traffic moving, or maintain the peace among swarms of protesters promising to make their voices heard.

So Friday morning, in the glow of a convention gone mostly right, the men and women who brought it to Denver and worked to make it happen wore self-satisfied grins on faces that, just days before, had been etched with stress.
They could laugh about it Friday morning, gathered in Denver's performing arts center to assess the convention the morning after it ended with Barack Obama's historic acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High.

But pulling it off was a long, difficult job that began 21/2 years ago when Elbra Wedgeworth, a member of the Denver City Council, began asking why the DNC couldn't be brought to her hometown.
Friday, it was all giddiness. The streets had been reopened. The weather had been perfect the night before. Downtown had seen an energy not common in these parts.

"Words really can't express how I feel right now," Wedgeworth said.
We wrote many posts on labor issues, protests, and money. The labor issues vanished, the protests were relatively minor, and while money was a big concern, it was all eventually raised.

St. Paul, weather permitting, has a tough act to follow:
In politics, there is a truism that you should be careful who and what you follow on stage, a maxim that is about to land on the Twin Cites with significant force in the wake of the much ballyhooed Democratic convention in Denver.
The Democratic convention in Denver was a bit of a head turner for even seasoned observers. There was a steady buildup all week to the huge gathering at Invesco Field, and then an explosion of rhetoric, fireworks and galas after Mr. Obama’s speech on Thursday night. The scale of the convention, along with the thin air, left more than a few gasping for air.

The politically interested will now switch from one city to another — two really, since both Minneapolis and St. Paul will play a role — trading Democrats for Republicans, mountains for lakes, and cow town pride for Minnesota Nice.