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The Providence R.I. Journal reprints our photograph of Atrios. Hey, isn't that a copyright infringement? It's okay, we don't mind. At least they gave TL credit in the text, even if they mispelled Jeralyn.
Howard Dean is just finishing speaking. The music is playing. He's at the edge of the stage waving to delegates and shaking hands. He got a standing ovation. It was an eerie feeling watching him end his speech--we were wondering, was he thinking this crowd should be here for him instead of for John Kerry? We don't think so. Yesterday, we watched him up close at the blogger breakfast and listened carefully to what he said. He seemed a man at peace with what happened to his campaign.
What did you all think of his speech?
Jerry Springer just came down to Blogger Alley for a tour and to meet and greet us. He took pictures with lots of bloggers. He was very gracious. He told us all the political shows he has been on this week.
According to the Boston Globe, the protesters in the "free speech zone" include:
....white supremacists passed out anti-gay leaflets at the entrance of the zone, while on the other end, about 100 people rallied in support of Palestinians. Socialists trolled through the crowd hawking newspapers, while supporters of U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign handed out his schedule.
In a protest of the zone itself, several dozen demonstrators walked inside the area in black hoods, hands bound with cord. David Meieran, 42, of Pittsburgh, said they were drawing comparisons between government treatment of terrorism suspects and political protesters.
Sounds like street theater. We're waiting for the bus to leave to check it out for ourselves. Right now we're the only one on the bus and it leaves in ten minutes.
Update: We just got settled in at Bloggers' Alley. We're going to edit our protest photos and upload them.
It's Tuesday, Day 2, and we don't want to repeat ourselves. We're about to head down to Fleet Center to observe the protesters. We'll try to get some pictures. We also want to check out the press pavilion today.
We are planning on giving the "play by play" a rest today to focus on issues. We are interested in hearing our favorite Congresswoman, Diana DeGette, talk about stem cell research. Her office sent us an email that she'll be on at 2:45, but we think that's Denver time and for those in the east, that's 4:45.
We will also go down on the floor tonight. Like the rest of the media, we're allowed entry by trading in our press passes for up to an hour of floor time.
Logistics are difficult here, particularly with moving hotels every day and having to get to the Westin in Copley Square every morning to pick up our day's press pass. We're back in Cambridge now thanks to the great folks at Starwood Hotels who moved us in from the burbs. The buses have to take a lot of people and there's a lot of wait time involved, since everyone has to be searched getting on the bus and then again once we get to the Fleet Center.
We watched a repeat of the coverage on CNN last night from midnight until 3am. The view of the speakers and delegates and the clarity of sound is a lot better on tv than it is from inside the hall--but we don't think CNN captured the spirit and energy--we didn't feel like we were really there while watching it. The hotel didn't carry MSNBC or Fox News, so we couldn't compare the coverage. We have noticed the print media is very fast with the highlights--but they all seem to pick the same quotes to write about.
We're also trying to keep up with our fellow bloggers coverage. So much to do, so little time....We'll be back later.
If we needed only one reason to support John Kerry, this might be it. For the first time since 1992, the Democratic Party Platform will not contain an endorsement of the death penalty. John Nichols writes:
Simply put, on the question of execution, John Kerry is a very different Democrat from Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Clinton and Gore, while surely aware that capital punishment is an ineffective and racially and economically biased vehicle for fighting crime, were willing to embrace it as a political tool. Clinton even rushed back to Arkansas during the 1992 campaign to oversee the execution of a mentally retarded inmate. With Clinton and Gore steering the party's policies, Democratic platforms endorsed capital punishment. But Clinton and Gore are no longer at the helm. And as of tonight, the party will no longer be on record as supporting the death penalty. Asked about the removal of the pro-capital punishment language, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who chairs the committee that drafted the document, explained that "it's a reflection of John Kerry."
As we've reported several times, including here , John Kerry is opposed to the death penalty for all but foeign terrorists--and that exception arose after 9-11. Nichols expands on his position, writing:
Kerry opposes the execution of juveniles, supports greater access to DNA testing for death row inmates, and argues that studies "reveal serious questions, racial bias, and deep disparities in the way the death penalty is applied." Kerry was a co-sponsor of the National Death Penalty Moratorium Act of 2001 and of the National Death Penalty Moratorium Act of 2003. "I know something about killing," Kerry says, referring to his service in Vietnam as a swift boat commander. "I don't like killing. That's just a personal belief I have."
Kerry is a former prosecutor. We have friends that worked as assistants when he was the DA in Boston. Rikki Klieman, the great criminal defense attorney and NBC legal analyst for one. She raves about Kerry as a prosecutor. She writes about him in her book, Fairy Tales Can Come True.
John Kerry has said he could never be a defense attorney. His heart lies with the prosecution. We don't mind that at all since he was one of those rare prosecutors that cared about doing justice more than his office's win/loss record.
Clinton ends with, Send Me. The crowd chants and cheers in response.
The crowd is electrifed. We knew Bill Clinton would be worth the wait, and he is! We're trying to type but we keep jumping up off our stool to cheer and clap for him. What a giant. How we miss him as President. He was a true leader. Bush is so junior by comparison.
Update: The transcripts of tonight's speeches are up here.
Update: Clinton also just showed us he can pronounce "nuclear."
This crowd is on its feet again. Tax cuts and jobs seem to be what they really care about. We think Edwards will be a big help to Kerry on the jobs issue. Clinton just moved to more cops on the street and assault weapons. We part company with him here. We don't want more police -- and we support an individual's right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. Nonetheless, this crowd loves what he's saying. We're out of here as soon as Clinton is done speaking. We'll catch up with you later. This crowd is screaming now.
Ok, that's our chronicle for today. We hope we conveyed the feeling and energy and resolve to win these delegates have brought with them to Boston. As to what we think of what it all means, we'll be writing about that tomorrow.
No parties for us tonight, we're beat!
Here's Hillary! Everyone is on their feet waiting for her to come out. She is radiant. She is going to introduce the country's last great President (her words)--in anticipation of the country's next great democratic president.
Hillary has become a polished speaker. She modulates her voice perfectly. Her cadence is timed just right. She's come a long way.
She mentions stem cell research and the crowd goes wild. By the way, our own Congresswoman Diana DeGette will be addressing the convention tomorrow at 4:45 ET--be sure to watch. She's one of the country's finest congresspersons.
One thing we are noticing, as the evening goes on, there really isn't a feeling of ABB (anyone but Bush) here so much as there is genuine enthusiasm for John Kerry and John Edwards. There's a big difference, and it's one we think will matter in November. While those on the far left side of the party find Kerry acceptable and preferable to Bush, but far from ideal, it's clear to us that this crowd of delegates have become attached to John Kerry and are cheering for him not just as a replacement for Bush, but someone they want as their leader.
By the way, there's not an empty seat in the house now. We have no idea where these people all camne from but they are sitting and listening with rapt attention and clapping.
The crowd is alive again, cheering the Reverend David Alston. Can you feel it through the TV? He just mentioned John Kerry and the whole hall is on their feet cheering. This group is ready to win. They can taste it, trust us.
The audience was just told to take their seats. Restlessness is setting in. Bloggers are wrapping up their cords and laptops and heading out. Everyone is pretty beat. We're going to hang in here. We want to feel the energy and commitment to win in November that the crowd exudes when Hillary and Bill speak.
Someone's rehashing 9-11 again on the podium now. We can't hear many of the speaker's name. For some reason, the big screen monitors are projecting the city of Boston instead of the woman speaking.
Now a 9/11 widow is speaking. Can't we look ahead instead of back? Do they have anything new to say we haven't heard over and over? Yes, we've all grieved with them, but now it's time to look to the future with optimism.
We disagree that everything has changed. That's what Bush wants us to believe. Our children will have innocence again. What a negative speech this is.
Nine women just took the stage, one of them is Hillary. Looking great in a yellow pantsuit. They are the nine women in the U.S. Senate.
You probably saw more of them than we did. The big monitors aren't working thaqt well for us. They keep showing the convention sign instead of what's going on at the podium or in the hall. The wi-fi is getting iffy--kicking us and everyone around us off-line for minutes at a time. Hint to the Republicans: Get your bloggers ethernet cables so they don't have to rely on wi-fi.
What's with all this 70's soul music? One or two songs would have been enough. If we're moving into the new century, how about some current tunes to take us there? Do we sound like we're getting cranky? We are a bit. The speeches have just been okay. No shining moments yet--not even Al Gore. At least, not for us.
The crowd is now doing "the wave." Why, we have no idea. Guess someone special is about to come out. We just went from dimmed lights as if a star was on their way to brightness. Now some state delegation to our left is screaming "Kerry, Kerry, Kerry" and "Edwards, Edwards, Edwards."
Ok, DNCC, time to pick up the pace here.
Finally...some energy. The hall is erupting. The crowd is clapping and cheering. The first star of the evening. He begins....We'll update as he progesses.
Al says, "Take it from me, every vote counts!" The crowd, including us, go wild.
CNN is here. They are photographing David Sifry of Technorati--for an on air segment. They have asked us all to turn our screens toward them --the idea being to catch us all while we are in typing mode. We're happy to comply. While we're waiting, here's a picture of Atrios, whose real name is Duncan.
Copyright 2004, TalkLeft.com. All rights reserved.
Now we're on the second National Anthem of the evening. Robyn was great a few hours ago and this one is a soulful version. Everyone is standing, whoops, we better too!
Update: This post and the photo have been updated to include copyright information. And yes, Atrios gave us permission for us to post the photo and his real name before we did it.
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