Dem convention: McCain congratulates Obama

On the same night Barack Obama will deliver his acceptance speech in Denver, presumed Republican nominee John McCain released a new ad:

All week, Democrats have openly expressed appreciation for McCain’s service to the U.S. as a Marine who spent 5 1/2 years in a Vietnamese prison camp and decades in the Senate while decrying his politics.

Now, McCain is returning the favor.

The television ad is called “Convention Night.” It features McCain offering his congratulations to Obama, the first African-American to be nominated for president by a major political party.

Per the McCain campaign, view the ad here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4KIvRTg6KQ

Or, here is the script:

JOHN MCCAIN: Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America.

Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, congratulations.

How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow, we’ll be back at it. But tonight Senator, job well done.

I’m John McCain and I approved this message.



Dem convention: Wolf and Donna, dancin’ fools

CNN Wolf Blitzer and political commentator, author and super-delegate  Donna Brazile are dancing on the CNN portable studio in front of us as Stevie Wonder belted out, “Signed, sealed and delivered.”

Brazile was Al Gore’s campaign manager and he is walking on the stage right now.

He’s got rhythm. Stevie would be proud.

A young woman next to me says, “You won’t see that at the Republican convention, that’s for sure.”

UPDATE: An East Bay delegate, courtesy of the Blackberry, says she saw Michael and Kitty Dukakis and Charlie Gibson rocking out to Sheryl Crow.


Dem convention: Crowe and Richardson take the stage

Recording artist Sheryl Crowe rocked out Invesco stadium in Denver with “Change will do you good,” a close proximity of Barack Obama’s campaign theme.

I posted a short video below of my view of Crowe from the press stand. I could only see her on the big screen, but she sounded great.

At this moment, former presidential candidate New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. The crowd loves Richardson; he earned the first round of foot-stomping in the stadium.


Dem convention: The ‘Super Bowl’ of politics

It feels like a football game and rock concert mashed together only without the beer.

I’m sitting in Mile High stadium in Denver, home of the Denver Broncos, and Jennifer Hudson just sang the national anthem and fireworks just exploded. (At 4:15 in the afternoon? It was just a puff of smoke.)

The place is only about three-quarters full as people with brains opted to wait until the sun droipped a little lower in the horizon before they brave the traffic, long lines and plastic stadium seats.

Security is incredibly tight. Guards checked our press badges at least five times and I had to dump out my water lest it contain some unwelcome substance.

It’s hard to describe the sheer scale of this scene.

This stadium holds 75,000 people and that may not include the thousands of delegates on the field. I count six television platforms, including CNN. I can see Wolf Blitzer on-air right in front of me.

I’m learning what “laptop” really means, too.  This is by far the most challenging blogging conditions I have ever worked in. It’s unbearably loud. It’s 90 degrees and I’m in the sun. I can’t hear anything on the phone; thank goodness for texting on my new Blackberry.

There’s been a lot of talk about the stage. I can’t see it terribly well from here but it does have a certain temple quality to it with its Greek-style columns. I suspect the party planners wanted to evoke a sense of the birth of democracy allthough the Republicans put out a pretty funny email detailing recommended toga styles for conventioneers.

Some critics say this large stadium was a mistake for Obama, that it is too big and too grand for an America in a near recession. Some of the Californians expressed concern about the delegates’ ability to withstand so many hours sitting in folding chairs on a football field in the sun. This event started at 3:15 and won’t finish until 9.

Was it really necessary to have a six-hour floor session? There had been 90 speeches after three days. By the fouth day, what more could be said?

But tonight is what these delegates have been waiting for and given the heavy demand for tickets, this promises to be quite an interesting evening … if we don’t all melt first.


Dem convention: Green and fat?

This may be a green convention but there was nothing green on the Pepsi Center menu … unless you count the pricey, $3.25 bottled water.

Corn dogs. Bratwurst. Popcorn. Pizza. Kettle corn. My gate was right next to the Dippin Dots booth.

I have no idea what the culinary offerings will be tonight in Mile High Stadium, except I do know there’s no beer.

One of my super-secret sources says convention planners initially pushed the idea of a healthy food  convention complete with salad bars and carrot smoothies. But they were widely mocked as nannies and party poopers so they threw open the gates to sugar, fat and cholesterol galore.

“I think they went a little overboard,” said my super-secret source.

Here’s a little video tour of the food offerings in the convention hall:


Stockton’s Republican mayor endorses McNerney

Stockton Mayor Ed Chavez, a Republican, has endorsed Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, for re-election over GOP challenger and Stockton resident Dean Andal.

The mayor of the 11th Congressional District‘s largest city — also a 30-year Stockton Police veteran, including 10 years as chief — has been “impressed with what Congressman McNerney has done in his short tenure in office,” he said in McNerney’s news release.

“He’s back in California every weekend — in fact, it’s nearly impossible to spend a Saturday in Stockton without running into him,” Chavez said. “He’s committed to serving his constituents well by helping create family-wage jobs in renewable energy, bringing home federal funds for important infrastructure projects in our region, working to make sure veterans have access to services they’ve earned, and being open, available and accessible to members of our community. He puts the needs of his constituents first; that’s why he earns my endorsement.”

It’s the second hometown snub this week for Andal, a former Assemblyman and Board of Equalization member; McNerney was endorsed Tuesday by Dr. Everett Low of Stockton, who serves beside Andal on the board of the Lincoln Unified School District.