Sunday, September 07, 2008

“Scoring the Party Conventions”

Lisa Vorderbruegen, the political reporter for the Contra Costa Times, has a humor piece in the paper today on "Scoring the party conventions."

She says the Dems had the most mind-numbing speeches. One person counted 103 speeches all together. My prize for the most boring, most obvious teleprompter-reading, monotone speech goes to John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO. His five minutes proved that he wasn’t even trying to search for the lost art of public speaking. And, you know, if you ask a Democrat to say a few brief words, you can forget about brief because you get far more than just a few words.

Lisa points out that the Dem convention had the most junk food on the Pepsi Center menu. I agree. There were almost zero healthy items on the concession stand menus there. However, they did have a veggie wrap at one of the stands, so that’s what I got. Of course I wasn’t allowed to take it back to my seat (unlike some party bigwigs with popcorn and a hot dog).

I can’t comment on the Denver restaurants, because I subsisted on the complimentary delegate breakfasts, Pepsi Center "food" for lunch, and the food at parties for dinner in the evenings. The only restaurant that I went to was Leely’s 24-Hour European Diner at 1:30 am Friday morning to get some "dinner" after Invesco Field.

Lisa gives Republicans the advantage in "tasteless jokes in the earshot of press." For example,

If Biden tries any of that bully stuff with Sarah Palin, he will remind women of their ex-husbands.
This was spoken to the GOP delegates by California Republican chairman Ron Nehring. I just would not have guessed.

I agree with Lisa on the obnoxious behavior by Gloria Allred, as I discussed in yesterday’s post. However, I was sitting in the ballroom at breakfast when this incident occurred, and I don’t remember Dem leaders cranking up the hotel ballroom stereo. As far as "issuing stern orders for everyone (in Allred’s group) to leave," if it’s stern for Art Torres to say it’s a joy to see our associate Gloria Allred and that he’d appreciate them taking their meeting out to the hallway, then I guess so.

Swag: I guess the goodie bags for the press did not have all the goodies that the delegates’ bags had. (See that link for a photo of the delegates' goodies.) For example, the delegates had goodie bags from the both the DNC and California Democratic party. The California bag was a canvas bag with a zippered closure, so I used that bag all week to carry stuff with me. We got mini-binoculars and two pedometers. My favorite chuckle-worthy item was our Antonio Villaraigosa bobble-head doll. My eight-year-old loves it!

I agree with Lisa about this memorable line by Ted Kennedy:
And I pledge to you, I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor of the United States Senate when we begin the great test.
That brought a roar from the crowd and was a spine-tingling moment.

Lisa mentions the bicycle cabs going up and down the 16th Street Mall. They sure were doing a booming business. I’m not surprised they made so much money.

Lisa also mentions Donna Brazile. My favorite Donna Brazile moment was at the Pepsi Center (the CNN stage was right in front of the California delegation). When the nomination of Barack Obama was done by acclamation and the music began, there was Donna Brazile at the edge of the CNN platform, out of camera range, wearing an Obama t-shirt, bouncing along with the music and the crowd, leading the section off to my right in cheers of "O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma."

My only regret was that I did not get to meet Lisa at the convention, even after filling out an extensive questionnaire that she had sent to me beforehand. However, I do think our paths will cross at some point. Right, Lisa?

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