Live from DNC: 'Ask Charlie Anything'
There are certainly some people at the convention who are still firmly supporting Hillary and hoping something will happen to bring her the nomination. But I haven't seen any actual altercations; even the "Recreate '68" "riot" was pretty tame. (You've seen Zombie's pictures; I've got to say, the only thing I saw that was particularly interesting was a number of pretty young women in summery cotton dresses with bandannas over their faces. The "tens of thousands" of demonstrators turned out to be a thousand who were quickly cowed by Denver police on horseback.)
My feeling of the mood is more or less like Taylor Marsh's, if not quite so definite: what I'm hearing is that at least some of Hillary's delegates have resigned themselves to Obama and will vote for him in the first ballot. If I'm right, then the first vote will go a lot more Obama's way than the current numbers suggest.
What you should watch for is if Hillary or one of her strong supporters stands up during the vote and moves Obama be nominated by acclimation. If I had to bet, I'd bet against it, and I wouldn't want to bet a lot against a floor fight. So far, though, they're being civil about it.
Missy asks: "Here's my goofball question of the day. To the casual eye, what's the ratio of Obamawear to Clintonwear? Any other candidates represented in a "so's you can notice" kind of way? What's the ratio of people wearing some kind of candidate-wear to people wearing regular street clothes? Is there a single conventiongoer without some kind of flair - even if it's just a badge or a hat?"
I'd say it's about even. There is a big bunch of Ralph Nader supporters trying to get attention down across the street from the State Capitol; I'll see if we can't get some pictures of them later. They're not getting close to the Convention, though.
That doesn't mean there's no goofy dress, though. Vests, buttons, funny hats, and so on are all over. (It actually looks a lot more like a science fiction convention that you'd think. More ties, but not many of them.) We'll try to get some "local color" pictures of those too.
Okay, got to run.
07:10 am PST
Following up on my interview with Silver, below, there are a couple of interesting McCain ads out today. The first ad (YouTube link) "Passed Over" ends up with "The truth hurts, and Obama didn't like it." The second one (more YouTube), "Debra", ends up with "A lot of Democrats are going to vote for McCain. It's okay. Really."
I do think we're seeing the arrival of a theme. McCain's campaign is going all out for the Hilary voters. Along with that, there's the second theme of repeating all the bad things said about Obama by his opponents in the primaries.
I claim to be a futurist, so here's a prediction: if Obama loses this election, the 20212 campaign will start on November 5, but the primary season will start much later than it did this year, and there won't be any weekly debates.
06:47 am PST -- Meeting a McCain Democrat
I got a note from the Republican Online Media director, Liz Mair, mentioning a Democrat from Pueblo Colorado, Silverio "Silver" Salazar. Silver struck me as an interesting guy. He's from an old Democrat family from the San Luis Valley --- from Manassa, home of Jack Dempsey. In fact, Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) and his brother Congressman John Salazar (D-CO 3) are Silver's cousins. Silver came to Pueblo out of the military, and was very active in the county Democratic party, ending up as a precinct chairman for 20 years.
Now, I'm from an old Republican family from the San Luis Valley. In fact Ken, John, Silver and I were all born in the same hospital in Alamosa. Then my folks moved to Pueblo, where I was first politically active.
This might all seem just too too coincidental, but there are only about 10,000 people total in the San Luis Valley; if you're from there, your family is certain to know their family.
What it also meant was that I was instantly intrigued --- I hadn't met Silver, but I know of his family and I know what the Democratic machine in Pueblo was like when I last lived there; I was curious, frankly, if anyone had offered to break his legs yet. So I was very interested to chat with him. Arrangements were made, then fell through; I ended up talking with him while Stephen Green and I were circling a block in downtown Denver looking for a place to park.
(Yeah, I know, so what? I want to mention this, though, because as it turned out I wasn't in any position to take notes. Accordingly, I want you all to know that what I'm writing as coming from Silver is my best attempt at quoting him; if I misstate something, Silver, it's my fault and I'll be happy to revise and extend.)
The real question, of course, is why he would come out now as a McCain supporter?
He was pretty direct about it.
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