On the Sunday before Labor Day uptown
Meanwhile, invaders from across the border in
The sand foundation was a metaphor for the president’s policies, not to mention that it was created at a place called the Epicentre.
At times it was a tough week for
The DNC was to be a force for change, and it was; changing traffic patterns, changing agendas, changing platforms and changing venues.
Actually there were two platform changes. The first was a controversy about adding “God” and “Jerusalem” back to the original version where they were either eliminated or omitted, depending upon your point of view. Though the voice vote was clearly against the change, the change was made anyway because it was impossible to change the teleprompter at the last minute.
The other platform change was physical. The big finale was supposed take place in Bank of America Stadium but fear of rain sent the convention racing back to Time Warner Cable Arena. So the platform inside the stadium was taken down, while the platform in the arena was readjusted for a third night.
Perhaps unnoticed in all of this was that the very event where the president was scheduled to appear was a sports venue.
Originally, it was planned to use Charlotte Motor Speedway, home of the longest stock car race in the world for a major event. Financial problems, and perhaps logistical factors, forced the convention back to the inner city for all three days.
Shepherd Smith of FOX News Channel noted that the first two days of the convention were “being held in a gym.” Given Barack Obama’s love of basketball, Time Warner Cable Arena did seem appropriate.
Had the threat of rain not resulted in a return to the Charlotte Bobcats home court, the final night would have moved from the NBA to the NFL at Bank of America Stadium.
There were other rumors, unfounded, of course, that considerations were being made to hold the final event at a golf course where the president would have had acces to a quick game.
Inside the arena, concession prices were at an all time high. A regular sized soft drink could be had for $4.50, or a large Bobcats cup for $6.00. A “jumbo” hot dog was also $6.00. Inflated prices during arena and stadium events are typical throughout the country, but posted prices are generally rounded off for convenience and speed.
Not so with the DNC where a $4.50 drink became some oddball number like $4.86 or $4.92 as the result of the taxes that were added to the price. So much for tax breaks for the middle class, but yes, there was change.
Out on the streets the best show of the convention took place at the intersection of Fifth and Tryon Streets where the “dancing” police of Clayton County (GA), led by Sheriff Captain Samuel Smith, frequently had delegates and passersby stopping for pictures en route to the arena.
The staccato sounds of their police whistles could be heard several blocks before arrival and the performances by team Clayton County were classic.
In one instance Sheriff Smith stopped a tour bus and challenged the driver to a drag race through the intersection. Then bending down into a three-point set position, Smith took off the moment the light changed, easily beating the bus to the other side of the road.
An interesting moment on night two came when it was time to take the group photo of the convention. Delegates on the floor were asked to rise and stand perfectly still for a minute or more so the time-lapse panoramic camera could capture the entire delegation.
It was the quietest, calmest moment of the entire three-day convention, although the photographer had to chastise a few violators for indiscreet movement.
Wednesday night was Bill Clinton’s night. The former president took the stage before a rousing audience, and he did not disappoint.
Following the RNC convention in
Can we find some irony in that?
On a personal note, there was one major regret. When I got the assignment to cover the DNC, my goal was to personally meet Megyn Kelly. It never materialized. It is likely the closest I will ever come. Another dream shattered, but life goes on and reality continues.
For now, the parties are over for four more years. Life returns to normal except in places where the four candidates make their pleas to the American people. It’s serious business, but now and then, there will still plenty of room for a chuckle or two.
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in
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