July 28, 2004
Democrats -- and not just those in the Illinois delegation - seem to be smitten with Barack Obama, judging from the response from the convention floor. The national attention to his campaign for Senate is a story that's still germinating, which means that the carte blanche that Obama is gets week will undoubtedly grow into a more balanced portrayal in time. For now, at least until the GOP names a candidate, here are your two blogosphere starting points: www.obamablog.com and www.obamatruthsquad.com. Get writing. I'll let you in on a little secret -- last night's prime time speeches were the first time this week that Sean and I visited the FleetCenter. That's because we've aimed our coverage at the Illinois delegation, and their activities on the DNC floor are generally limited to listening and cheering, and it's hard to write about listening and cheering for four days. Their real organization center is a couple of miles west at the Hilton Back Bay, where every morning they congregate for a dose of pep-rally style speeches and hear their agenda for the day. Yesterday they were also advised to consult a list of "talking points" left on the seats of the meeting room, just in case reporters want to interview them. If you detect a pattern among delegates' public reactions, it may be either a deeply-rooted psychic communion of political thought -- or the talking-points sheet. Security makes the perimeter of the FleetCenter resemble the outside of the Danville Correctional Center, if Danville contained a gigantic stadium and a train line running alongside. But Sean notes that the barricades, multilayer fencing and military presence don't seem like much of a change from his last convention four years ago in Philadelphia. And the wait to get in was quite manageable, though the inside of the stadium is cramped to the point where fire marshals are forcing reporters to stay of the floor without "rotating passes" -- you're only allowed on the flor for 30-45 minutes at a time. We're in our third of five days of intensive coverage -- two to go. We shall sleep someday!
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