MILE HIGH: Live And Direct From Denver

[Photos by LenEdgerly & DemConvention]

Our DNC correspondent Nick Powell has managed to elbow out a space at the table in the press room. He will be sending us reports from on the ground — God and WiFi willing. Also, our analysts Amy Z. Quinn and Jonathan Valania will be parsing Obama’s speech.


9:55 PM AZQ: gotta go get the kid in pjs back in a sec

9:56 PJV: Oh great, I’ll tell Obama

  I am SURE he can stall for five minutes

  just start this John Lennon record over

  sure nobody will notice

9:58 PM Durbin. This guy’s name is TWO letters away from turban and nobody asks HIM if he’s a muslim

10:02 PM video is on,

10:04 PM mom is purty

10:06 PM this is great

10:07 PM AZQ: woah, David Strathairn doing the voiceover

 JV: good night and good luck, John McCain

JV: who is that?

  oh, his mom

10:09 PM she is so pretty

  I am like welling up watching this

  do NOT tell anyone

 AZQ: i’m telling everybody

10:10 PM JV: I’m cutting ONIONS dammit!

 AZQ: keep choppin


10:11 PM this  video alone could win the election for him

  AZQ: I really wish my son would watch this with me

10:12 PM JV: some day

 AZQ: It is a lovely picture with the set behind him

 JV: I bet his bump goes up four more points over night

10:13 PM AZQ: let’s see what the speech says first

  I still don’t love the set. Megachurch

 JV: I bet Cindy McCain is back on drugs

 if she is watching

  wish I was

 AZQ: Oooh Michelle looks gawgous


10:14 PM JV: yeah, she does look radiant

 JV: he looks good

  looks presidential

  that profile, head held high

 AZQ: NICe looking right at the camera when he accepted

 JV: one of his best weapons

10:15 PM OMG

  he said YES

  I was so scared

  I didn’t know

 AZQ: I hope the ring fits

 JV: it was crapshoot even to ask

 AZQ: Ooh, big ups to HRC right off the bat!

 AZQ: “A prince who sits on its hands while a major american city drowns before our euys”

  oh YES he did

 JV: sits on his hands!

10:21 PM ouch


 JV: take that Nero

 AZQ: gorgeous

10:22 PM JV: wow that was FIERCE

  eight is enough

  love that show

  still wanna do ALL those girls

 AZQ: the one sister was hot

 JV: and slap Nicholas

10:23 PM 


 AZQ: Obama is landing some serious jabs

 JV: on fire

10:24 PM sharp tie


 AZQ: Nation of whiners

10:25 PM Oh man here comes the ultra-rich thing

 JV: thank god Guam is there


  hate when they get left out

  and I am here

  something wrong with that

10:26 PM AZQ: oh man this “you’re on your own” line is good

  it’s time for them to own their failure!

  oh HELL YES!

10:27 PM JV: KaPOW


10:28 PM AZQ: this is a good speech but I’m starting to want to hear some more things about what he’s going to do and not more about what Bush hasn’t done

  good pacing

 JV: shuddup

  shuddup shuddin up

 AZQ: excuse me, i’m not allowe dto critique?

  this isn’t gonna be any fun if you keep french kissing him while he’s trying to give his speech

10:29 PM JV: My name is Jonathan Valania, and I approve those neo-classical columns

10:30 PM JV: woah, turning the celebrity line back around on him

 AZQ: The set looks a bit like a Restoration Hardware catalog


10:32 PM AZQ: “Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us.

 JV: Ooh, he’s gonna spell it out!

  Bring it!


10:33 PM 

 AZQ: cut taxes for 95 percent of working families

  that’s a bold statement

10:34 PM JV: ya

  my man is bold

  strong like bull

  10 years and we’re off foreign oil?


  this is good

 AZQ: OMG he’s smacking McCain on the back of his head

 JV: stakes is high

 AZQ: like the little old man in Benny Hill

JV: and he is cleaning up

10:35 PMwow, he can make even red meat sound like poetry

10:36 PM once in a lifetime candidate

  for reals

  I am falling in love with Obama all over again

  I have a feeling I am not alone

 AZQ: baby baby fallin’ in love, i’m falling in love again

 JV: which is a good thing

 AZQ: take it easy over there, Dr. Hook

 JV: love is all you need

10:37 PM that and money

 AZQ: a nice pair of pumps

 JV: this is big picture stuff

 AZQ: matching handbag

 JV: Kennedyesque

  big promises

  the Dems have not shown this kind of ambition

10:38 PM since, like for my whole life

 AZQ: No, Bill Clinton made huge program promises early on

  remember, health care?

 JV: not like this

  vague and always triangulating

 AZQ: yes, like this

 JV: no

  this VERY specific

  gauntlet down shit

 AZQ: no, not vague, he propposed Americorps in detail

 JV: Clinton never had that big of balls


  small potatoes

 AZQ: ooh wait he’s preaching pay equity!

10:39 PM even I am swooning a little bit

 JV: I want MY daughters to have the exact same opportunities as YOUR sons


10:40 PM AZQ: I really like the way Michelle’s dress plays off his tie

  Will make a nice picure

10:41 PM picture

  OH MAN he just called McCain out!

 JV: man, it’s kinda weird seeing the old white guy and the blonde on the sidelines

  while the black guy has everyone’s attention

 AZQ: and it’s not even a Jay-Z concert!

 JV: ha

 AZQ: God bless America!

  No, I”m serious

10:42 PM JV: I hear ya

 AZQ: Uh oh, he just pledged to kill Osama Bin Laden

 JV: ha

  “John McCain won’t follow him to the cave that he lives in”

  Obama and Biden  should go to that cave on their bus  tour tomorrow, first Ohio, then the Waziristan

10:43 PM If he kills Osama

  he almost definitely wins the election

  that is a no-brainer

 AZQ: make Tshirts

 JV: first candidate to kill Osama wins

  what a great idea for a reality show or an election

 AZQ: Dude he is calling McCain out like old man’s the neighborhood bitch

10:44 PM squandered the legacy

 JV: by this point John McCain is must be in a fetal position

  bleeding rectally

10:45 PM AZQ: take it easy, Louima

 JV: I have not seen him this intense since he won Iowa

  he is lit from within

 AZQ: stigmata, I hear

  No, he’s doing great

  It does seem like he’s been saving a lot of this stuff up for weeks

  A lot of the attacks he never responded to directly he’s tearing into right now

  Wise move

10:46 PM this way each can be sliced up and put on YouTube for easy viewing

 JV: answered every one

 AZQ: that’s what I mean

  so you put them up in chunks.

 JV: the celeb thing they are gonna have scrape off the sidewalk

 AZQ: oh, he’s too inexperienced, here’s the clip on that

  celebrity? her’es the clip on that

 JV: cuz Obama killed it dead

10:47 PM AZQ: Ooh, i just got chills for the first time with the talk of the veterans


10:48 PM those are the fireworks going off in my heart

  ooh, the profile

  with one hand, he quiets the masses


 AZQ: “So I’ve got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

 JV: cue Good, Bad and ugly

 AZQ: bitchslapping the GOP convention before it even starts

 JV:they should just cancel the RNC

  why bother?

10:49 PM he is winning a lotta Republicans tonight

10:50 PM AZQ: “make a big election about small things”


  better than the “politics of personal destruction”

10:51 PM “this election has never been about me”


 JV: I am just frozen caveman lawyer

10:52 PM AZQ: not sure I believe that seeing how some of the Obama fanatics act, but whatevs

 JV: no, that is true

  he’s just the Messiah, get over it already

 AZQ: blasphemer!

 JV: get over it

  Obama fanatics?



 AZQ: no, not at all

10:53 PM JV: a new politics for a new time

 AZQ: but do NOT pretend there is not a personality cult in there


 JV: dude is moving mountains and parting the read sea, that has to mean something

 AZQ: i think the movement is GREAT and I get the spirit and all but it IS a lot about him

  he’s speial


 JV: the Romans said that about Jesus as i recall

 AZQ: don’t make me say “magic negro”

 JV: just did

  he is magic

10:54 PM I keep TELLING you

  Hillary is a tough cookie

  but he is magic

 AZQ: uh oh, here comes I Have A Dream

  is he gonna seize it?

 JV: the dream comes true

 AZQ: look at the white guys in the audience crying

 JV: the dream is standing here talking to America

10:56 PM on the pulpit now

  dont say Godamn America, OBama!



  that was close

10:57 PM AZQ: Nice finish

 JV: he almost said LET US PRAY

 AZQ: A bit abrupt

  WTF is this music?

  I want Bruce!

 JV: good grief

10:58 PM this song makes me wanna buy a pick-up truck

  and run over the guy who sings it

 AZQ: Awwww, the whole family’s coordinated

  They look great

11:01 PM JV: anyway, home fucking run


 AZQ: Yes, a very solid speech

  Very tough

11:04 PM JV: good night and good luck, John McCain

UPDATE: The Obama campaign has just released a partial transcript of Senator Obama’s speech, check it out after the jump…

“Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story – of the brief
union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who
weren’t well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America,
their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

“It is that promise that has always set this country apart – that
through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual
dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that
the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

“It is why I stand here tonight.  Because for two hundred and thirty two
years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men
and women – students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and
janitors — found the courage to keep it alive.

“We meet at one of those defining moments – a moment when our nation is
at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been
threatened once more.

“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

“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


“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

“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.”


“We are the party of Roosevelt.  We are the party of Kennedy.  So don’t
tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country.  Don’t tell me that
Democrats won’t keep us safe.  The Bush-McCain foreign policy has
squandered the legacy that generations of Americans  — Democrats and
Republicans – have built, and we are to restore that legacy.

“As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but
I will only send our troops into harm’s way with a clear mission and a
sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the
care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

“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.”

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