Friday, August 29, 2008

The Convention, pt. 4 (Invesco)

I was informed quite early this morning that my press credentials would not suffice to get me into Invesco Field for the big speech. I was sad, yes, but I went downtown anyway. I stopped in at the Tattered Cover for some mate, an Economist, a danish, and a book of Sudoku, my guilty pleasure.

Took the Light Rail to Invesco and simply walked in. I held out my creds as I would have at the Pepsi Center, and I tried to carry myself as someone who belonged there. It worked. I ended up in the bleachers watching sound checks for (WIllisms issmsm.s.semam.s..s..eiwiwle.) and Stevie Wonder, which was a real treat. It was seriously THE Stevie Wonder, and I saw him. And Michael McDonald, and Al Gore, and a whole slew of other cool and interesting people.

I finished the entire Economist while we waited, stuck underneath a speaker stand on the field. I also did a handful of Sudoku puzzles, of which I was very proud. Sometime in the afternoon, I'm not sure when, the meeting actually started. Lots of people spoke. Bill Richardson said a bunch of funny stuff, there was music, I watched the field fill with tens of thousands of people. Dick Durbin (Illinois reppin!) introduced a video about the Nominee. There were baby pictures, MIchelle stories, and some highlights. I was walking around the field during all of this, watching the crowd. They were quiet - very quiet. Just watching and waiting.It was eerie and wonderful.Then Senator Obama took the podium. The crowd exploded. As I rewatch the footage, I realize that he said "Thank you" for just under three minutes. Then he accepted the nomination. The crowd exploded again.

Again, as I rewatch this I can't help but realize that there were substantial things that I missed, like the Thank You Party in the beginning, a few of the things he said, and the way he ended the speech. I was wandering around, taking it all in; I was still listening, but it was hypnotic. The guy can talk. When he spoke of the military, the crowd chanted USA USA USA, which would normally have concerned me, but this loud patriotism felt strangely comforting. And then he said THANK YOU again and the fireworks went off and the crowd blew up and there were streamers and confetti and Obama's and Joe Biden's family came out on stage and everyone cheered and cheered.

Whatever happens in November, this was truly a night to remember. 82000-odd people at Invesco, and another 38 million watching at home. I am terribly lucky to have been so close, down on the field with the media, watching history. Hopefully November will keep with the theme. I got to bed late and tired.

Some little explosions and streamers and confetti:

And more: