Reaction to the First Days of DNC 2008

After just a day of coverage at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, I still can’t believe the atmosphere here in Denver. Walking around downtown, I saw a great amount of excitement for the event – every interest group you can imagine passing out leaflets (the DNC makes you very good at saying a firm “no thanks” when offered literature), mobile headquarters for all kinds of media and, oh, the Obama merchandizing. Obama bumper stickers, Obama buttons, Obama hats, Obama water bottles, a thousand kinds of Obama t-shirts (only some of which are licensed), even less-than-supportive Obama flip flops. We’ve also seen celebrities galore: everyone from former Nightline anchor Brian Williams, to Dr. Cornell West, to Wu-Tang Clan’s the Rza.

But by far, the best experience I’ve had hasn’t been a handshake with a famous person, it was walking out onto the convention floor. I must have looked like an 8-year-old as I walked onto the blue carpet of the Pepsi Center: my eyes wide open, jaw instantly dropped, only able to mumble one word: wow. Everyone’s seen the Pepsi Center on TV by now, its massive televisions reaching from floor to cieling, delegate sections filled to the brim by party supporters in funny hats. But even with a few scattered journalists and tech people setting up, it was simply breathtaking – without a doubt, walking onto the convention floor for the first time is something I’ll never forget.

My Monday at the Pepsi Center was spent following and profiling an 18-year-old Arkansas delegate, Taylor Riddle, one of the youngest delegates at the Convention. Riddle has already dedicated himself to politics, serving as a page in the House of Representatives and starting both the Democratic and Republican clubs at his high school. He wouldn’t get into specifics about what he wants to do eventually, but since he’s a politically savvy, fiscally moderate, Christian Democrat from a Southern state, we’ll be seeing more of Taylor Riddle in the future.

I’ll spend tonight watching speeches from a house in Denver, while we work to produce the Riddle story for National Public Radio. The Caroline Kennedy video tribute to Senator Ted Kennedy should be amazing, and could provide one of the more inspirational moments of the convention. I’m not sure what Tuesday holds, but it should be amazing. Stay with youthradioflows.wordpress.com and yrplog.wordpress.com for coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

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One Response

  1. Nico, we couldn’t be more proud of your being there, bringing the news of the day to the masses. You give us HOPE!

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