MILE HIGH: Live And Direct From Denver


BY NICK POWELL CONVENTION CORRESPONDENT Yesterday was a good day. Inspired speeches, iconic moments, and wacky delegates make for quite an interesting first day at the Democratic Convention. Most of it was spent running various errands for reporters in my section, but I found time to do a little reporting of my own along the way. I was sent to a cocktail party for the Pennsylvania Delegation in downtown Denver, a spot called Osteria Panini. Unfortunately, I encountered the same problem I did with getting into the Pepsi Center. The hostess of the party informed me that there was no press allowed inside the party, no exceptions. However, after laying on the charm to the hosts, I was able to sit outside the restaurant and wait for delegates to come out so I could ask them a couple of questions, and as it turns out, I got more than I bargained for. Governor Ed Rendell, the big man on campus for Pennsylvania politics, made a surprise appearance, and when I asked him for a quick interview, he put his arm around me and was as candid as could be, saying “Would I rather beDemocratDonkey_right.gif voting in Senator Clinton on the floor? Sure. But I think Barack Obama is smart, has the courage, and is a visionary leader.” The Govna also predicted that by choosing Pennsylvania native son, Senator Joseph Biden as his running mate, Obama put himself in position to take Pennsylvania, “by 2 or 3 points.”

I encountered a couple of characters, one John Burkett, 68 of York, PA was originally elected as a Clinton delegate, but made the smooth transition to an Obamian, once Senator Clinton released her delegates. He described his workplace as a “cesspool of Republicans”, and went on to laud Senator Obama for his message of change. Another delegate, Clifford Levine, 53, a Philadelphia-based lawyer, gave me some great quotes in between many sips of his mojito and his mingling with the other delegates outside the restaurant. It was clear that Mr. Levine was the life of the party, but he also turned out to be prophetic in his remarks about Ted Kennedy, saying “Ted Kennedy is the lion of the party, when he speaks, he roars. I can think of no better way to begin a convention.” And sure enough, when Ted Kennedy took to the podium tonight, even the reporters crowding around the television in the media pavilion became misty-eyed. It was a true milestone in this election, one where the lion stood strong amongst the rest of the pack…DEVELOPING…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Astute readers will remember the precocious yeoman-like political coverage provided by intern-to-the-stars Nick Powell. The New York Times did and they asked him to go to Denver with his dad, who covers the presidential campaign for the Grey Lady. Basically they said, ‘How’d you like to go to Denver with your pop, work for us as a news assistant and during your down time you can post to your cute little blog thingee?’ And so he shall. All next week, Nick will be providing Phawker readers with Live & Direct dispatches from the Democratic National Convention. You lucky ducks!

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