10:03 p.m. EST -- RADIO SILENCE
I've blogged steadily since February, 2007, writing, emailing, and knocking on doors to spread Barack Obama's message. I'm going to give it a rest for the remainder of the evening to soak in the magnitude of this historic moment, and enjoy what will prove to be the speech of a lifetime.
I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has ever read this blog, and my gratitude to my fellow Obama supporters who have all worked tirelessly to make this night possible.
"We are the change we've been waiting for." --Barack Obama
9: 44 p.m. EST -- BARNEY, BARNEY, BARNEY!
While CNN and MSNBC were too busy having their pundits have their ten thousandth arguments of this convention, PBS and CSPAN were actually broadcasting the convention, including a fantastic speech by Barney Smith of Marion, Indiana. In a plea on behalf of the heartland, Barney delivered this gem: "We need a president who puts Barney Smith ahead of Smith Barney!"
The crowd immediately chanted his name--a former factory worker became the hero of this convention, in my humble, honest opinion.
9:33 p.m. EST -- WHY CABLE NEWS IS SHAMELESS
Joe Biden introduced a series of everyday Americans who are going to take the stage to describe their experiences. These are people that Barack Obama has met as he campaigned across the country. Joe Biden told the audience that he wants America to hear these voices and that when he and Barack are in the Oval Office, "they will always be heard."
But are these "everyday voices" important enough for the cable networks? Apparently not. Meanwhile, here's Wolf and Anderson!
9:30 p.m. EST -- ECHOES, ECHOES, ECHOES
Here's a general criticism of the logistics of this venue. The speakers--Biden and Gore included--need to slow down their delivery.
In such an enormous, outdoor venue, the sound takes a while to travel to the crowd, and so the applause and audience reaction is a bit delayed. Meanwhile, at home, the TV audience hears audio from the sound board--by the time the audience reacts to one remark, the speaker is already halfway through his or her next statement.
9:22 p.m. EST -- MORE JOE BIDEN
Joe Biden just took the stage in an unscheduled appearance. He's basically restating excerpts from last night's rhetoric, but this is a very smart move nonetheless. This large crowd has been standing all day--with thousands more still lined up outside--and it's important to put someone up on the stage to rile up the crowd a bit in anticipation of Obama's big speech.
9:22 p.m. EST -- SPOILER ALERT
The Obama campaign recently released excerpts from tonight's speech, "The American Promise." Here are some highlights.
Excerpts of the Remarks of Senator Barack Obama, “The American Promise," Democratic National Convention, August 28, 2008, Denver, Colorado (As prepared for delivery)“Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can’t afford to drive, credit card bills you can’t afford to pay and tuition that is beyond your reach
“These challenges are not all of government’s making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed presidency of George W. Bush.
“America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.”
“This moment – this election – is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: “Eight is enough.”
“Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we’ll also hear about those occasions when he’s broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.
“But the record’s clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush was right more than ninety percent of the time? I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.”
“You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.
“We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put away a little extra money at the end of each month so that you can someday watch your child receive her diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President – when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.
“We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job – an economy that honors the dignity of work.
“The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great – a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.”
“That’s the promise we need to keep. That’s the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.
“Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.
“Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship our jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.
“I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.
“I will cut taxes – cut taxes – for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.
“And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.
“Washington has been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he’s said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.
“Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.
“As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I’ll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I’ll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I’ll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy – wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be outsourced.”
“I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing so that America is once more the last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.”9:08 p.m. EST -- GORE'S INCONVENIENT TRUTHS
Al Gore just delivered a rousing speech skewering what he described as "Bush-Cheney-McCain" politics, continuing to link John McCain ever more closely with the present administration.
It's almost painful to consider where this country would be if this man would have been elected in 2000.
The crowd at Mile High is phenomenal--I can't imagine what the atmosphere is like in the stadium. I tried to call a friend of mine in attendance, but it's no use--
Safe to say, though, that the atmosphere is probably electric.