Note to file for the next National Convention: When the floor proceedings start at 3:00 PM and the day’s program includes somebody like Hillary Clinton, don’t expect to show up at the gate at 6:30 PM and waltz right in. Our delayed arrival was due to John the Videographer. He works for Newsweek Online, and they decided to do a “Day in the Life of a Delegate” piece on our colleague, Jennifer McClellan of Richmond. So we spent some time in the afternoon video-ing Jennifer at various locations across Denver. By the time we finished taping, navigated Denver’s traffic, and arrived at the Pepsi Center, the line to go through security stretched for over a block. (I was tagging along because John the Videographer didn’t have floor credentials — so I volunteered to tape Jennifer there.)
The evening’s proceedings, including Mark Warner’s keynote address and Hillary Clinton’s long-awaited floor speech, made the wait worthwhile. During those speeches and the others you see on TV, part of the convention stagecraft is for the delegates to hoist prepared signs bearing slogans or participants’ names. The signs are distributed with specific timing instructions like “Wave ‘Renewing America’s Promise’ at the end of Governor Schweitzer’s speech.” I guess it looks good as background on TV, but by the end of the evening we have several forests’ worth of signs at our feet. (The long vertical signs — “Michelle,” “Hillary” and “Unity” so far — are especially treacherous: they’re mounted on 5-foot long cardboard poles that could put an eye out.)
Tuesday’s endless Security Line; MSNBC commentator David Gregory chats up Bill Richardson, with Congressman Charlie Rangel on deck; Delegate Shannon Valentine does some retail politicking with Lynchburg native John the Videographer; a snip of Mark Warner’s keynote address; and a little bit of Senator Clinton’s speech.