Thursday, August 28, 2008

Will Invesco work?

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The NY Times takes a look:

When Senator Barack Obama announced in early July that he would give his nomination address in an outdoor stadium in front of 75,000 people, he wowed members of both parties who saw it as an inspired stroke of campaign image making.

But as he landed here on Wednesday and prepared to become the first presidential candidate in nearly 50 years to accept his party’s nomination on such a big stage, the plan seemed as much risky as bold.

With daunting challenges of logistics, style and substance, the plan was hatched before the Republicans began a concerted drive to paint Mr. Obama as a media sensation lacking the résumé to be president. Now Obama aides are feeling all the more pressure to bring a lofty candidacy to ground level, showing that Mr. Obama grasps the concerns of everyday Americans.

On Wednesday, workers were still making changes to Invesco Field, home to the Denver Broncos, so it would feel more intimate, less like the boisterous rallies that served Mr. Obama so well early in the primaries, but also created the celebrity image that dogs him.

They were still testing camera angles, so Mr. Obama would appear among the giant crowd, not above it. They took steps to reduce the echo effect, familiar to football fans, of speaking in such a cavernous space. Planners scrapped their idea to turn the audience of 75,000 into a giant phone bank, in response to fears that the cellphone system would crash (people will instead be asked to text-message friends and neighbors to support the campaign, program aides said would be effective nonetheless.)

And workers put the finishing touches on the backdrop: faux columns intended to suggest a federal building in Washington and create an air of stateliness. (The McCain campaign named it the Temple of Obama, a label repeated by some commentators.)

Mr. Obama shared his rationale for the move when he took the stage at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night. “We’re going to be moving to Mile High Stadium tomorrow, and I want to let you know why,” he said. “We want to open up this convention to make sure that everybody that wants to come can join in the party and join in the effort to take America back.”
Mr. Obama’s aides had hoped to upend the traditional convention style. But the prolonged primary fight with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton left the convention in the hands of the party’s career planners. Their flashy stage design, which has been likened to an arcade, had none of the look or feel of the more spare style of the Obama brand.

When a close circle of his top advisers presented Mr. Obama with $6 million plans to move his acceptance speech to the football stadium in early July, the candidate asked one question, said Anita Dunn, a senior strategist: “Will it rain?” The campaign produced a raft of meteorological data showing it had rained on Aug. 28 only once in 20 years.
Well it looks like the weather will cooperate. I think it will be an amazing night.