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29 July 2004

Film and the waiting

We’ve just finished the campaign film, although it seems like there’s a
second one on.  It seems like we might be a bit ahead of the
schedule for the night, and we have these odd, unscripted moments where
we wait expectantly.  The crowd goes a bit wild, and starts to

All the bloggers seem to be trying to do continuous coverage right now,
and I imagine that will settle down as the speeches start.  We’ve
got The Speech already, but I haven’t read it yet.  Reading along
with it during the delivery makes it pretty intelligible up here.

Everyone just gave Kerry’s crewmates the standing ovation, and there’s
a palpable feeling of respect in the whole hall for these men.

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 10:50 pm by Nate

Media-savvy bloggers

Alan over at command-post, whom I’ve been standing next to tonight, notes how we’ve gotten really used to the media attention around the bloggers.

Alan’s coverage does yeoman’s work, and I recommend the site to you fully.  I’m hoping to become a contributor soon.

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 10:39 pm by Nate

Unity on floor

There are a few moments when everyone gets together, and the various
background chatter that’s an everpresent part of the convention settles
down..  Edwards’ line: “Hope is on the way.”  The Sept. 11
silence.  The silence for the soldiers.  And now as Carole
King sings, “You’ve Got a Friend.”

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 10:10 pm by Nate

Wes Clark speech

This is the first speech that I have heard that I have wanted to post.

He really got the hall going like it hasn’t so far tonight.

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 9:14 pm by Nate

Dunkin’ Donuts

The people up here in Blogger Balcony who are next to me and from out of state (Burnt Orange, Oxblog, Power of Many)
don’t get the New England Dunkin’ Donuts culture.  I’ve told them
that they don’t have to get it, but don’t question it at peril of your

But I have learned that Massachusetts has 10 times more donut shops per capita than anywhere else.

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 7:58 pm by Nate

Back from the floor

Just returned from the floor of the convention hall here.  Sheer
madness, just above the level of slightly organized chaos.  (As
“press,” bloggers can check out floor passes for an hour.  There’s
this whole hierarchy of pass colors.)

I wandered around the California and Massachusetts delegations (my home
and my current residence states) for a while, during Calif. Sen.
Barbara Boxer’s speech to the convention.  Just so they get some
name credit (I’ll write more about our conversations later), I talked
with Lisa Mead (the mayor of Newburport, Mass.), Michael Lysobey,
Davids Bliss, and Emily Weinstein of California. 

All of the Californians are fairly new not only to California politics,
but to being part of political or civic associations in general. 
They all said that they had grown concerned with the shape of foreign
policy under the Bush administration, and, to a lesser extent, various
domestic issues (stem cells, economic policy, and governmental
secrecy).  So, from being fairly uninvolved a year ago, they
decided to do something.  And now they are delegates.

Mead’s a bit different.  This is her third DNC, and she used to be
field director for John Kerry, so she’s personally acquainted with the
candidate, describing him as “strong, big-hearted, and smart.” 
Most impressive for her about the convention was last night’s parade of
retired generals who support Kerry because of the direction military
policy has taken under the Bush administration.  In reference to
former JCS Chair John Shalikashvili’s speech last night and the retired
top generals who supported Kerry on stage: “Here we have a general
who’s been Chair of the Joint Chiefs, fought in wars, and served
several presidents, and he’s supporting Kerry.  And to have these
eight or nine generals support Kerry, you just don’t see that very
often with retired generals.  That speaks volumes about the
current administration.”

All that aside, the floor gives off an incredible vibe.  People
are packed in chock-a-block (even when it looks empty on TV or from up
here in the balcony, it’s still extremely busy), with reporters, TV
infotainer journalists, delegates, national politicians, poster brigade
members and security all moving seemingly randomly.

The “bowl” is the center of the beehive.

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 7:52 pm by Nate

Living in Convention world

I was remarking to Becky G, of American Street
last night (she’s a delegate), that we’re living in this strange
parallel universe of Convention Land.  I live here in Boston, so I
wander in and out of it every day.  I wake up, read a little news
(a very little),
drink some
coffee, and blog.  Then I go to Copley to get the day’s media
credential, hang out with the Librarian, and make my way to the Fleet.
Inside, there’s bad food*, no real windows, lots of noise, speeches,
lots of Democrats talking about the party’s chances, and difficulty
actually thinking to be able to write a coherent post.

Then I go home at night, blog a bit more, and go to bed.  BF is
already asleep, and he gets up early to go to his summer work.  So
even though we live in the same house, we haven’t seen each other in
three days. 

My house, in fact, has become a staging area for coming and going.

But I know so little of what’s going on outside the bubble of the
convention.  Literally, when I am talking with people now, it’s
all about the convention, because when I’m not there, I’m either alone
or asleep.  Even when I talk to BF or friend Matt on the phone,
it’s about how the latest speech played on the TV, as opposed to in

* I want to note that the bad food is at different prices, if you’re
willing to walk downstairs to North Station, which is under the Fleet
and part of its complex.  An iced Dunkin Donuts coffee is about
$4.50 upstairs, but $2.35 at the bottom.  Same with other similar
food products.  Is it any wonder that it’s always crazy down there?

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 3:53 pm by Nate

Ben Affleck on gay marriage

“I have enough trouble figuring out how to get married that I don’t need the federal or state government telling me what to do.”
— Actor Ben Affleck, discussing gay marriage at Wednesday’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus meeting.

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 3:48 pm by Nate

More on yesterday’s People of Faith lunch

One of Democratic bigwigs who was at the lunch yesterday, but did not
speak or have a high-profile role, was Mike McCurry, the former Clinton
press secretary.  McCurry’s a United Methodist, a Sunday School
Superintendent in his church, and was a delegate to this year’s UM
General Conference, which is the denomination’s national

He was one of the most high profile people at the caucus lunch (along,
perhaps, with Jean Carnahan, former senator from Missouri), and so I
spoke with him for about 15 minutes.  Here’s something of a
transcription of the interview, with my comments to follow.

Like many of the speakers, McCurry echoed a dismay that the Democratic
party has not embraced the religious communities of America. 
Partly, he says, this is because there is something of a discomfort
among the party’s secularists, and this discomfort arises for a number
of reasons.  For many of the party secular activists, it’s because
of the way that the religious right has co-opted the part that religion
can play in the civic life of our country.  For others, it’s
because they have an experience of life in the American religious
right, and they have been burned or hurt pretty hard.

McCurry noted that when he was in the White House, he and George
Stephanopoulos were not really “out” (my term, not his) to each other
about their faith and the role it played in their public life. 
(Stephanopoulos, while a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, studied theology,
and his father is a Greek Orthodox priest.)  McCurry said that he
spoke about that faith with Stephanopoulos after his book came out, and
they found that they had had some of the same struggles living out
their faith life as public servants.

McCurry noted that part of this occurs because the intersection of
religion and politics in America has become fairly nasty in recent
times.  “There are unfortunately some place in the [Democratic]
party where religion equals red state equals Republican.”

McCurry thinks that religions can offer a powerful force to help our
civic life. “Our institutions of the political system are badly
broken.  But the Church [and by this he seems to mean the
‘universal’ church of all Christians and all religious believers, in
some way. -Ed.] is the place of sanctuary, where we can acknowledge our
differences but also acknowledge our common belief in God.”

“If you want to solve conflicts, the Church has a great historical legacy of bringing people together.”

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 3:37 pm by Nate

Adam’s adorable

An informal poll of those of us up here in Blogger Central (a couple of the gay guys and the librarian) have decided that Adam, “the tech guy”, is “adorable” (as Librarian put it). See for yourself.

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 3:29 pm by Nate