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Hot Flashes From The Campaign Trail: Convention Preparations

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We drove to Denver yesterday to nose around and check out the convention arrangements. The good news is that the construction at the Pepsi Center appears to be ahead of schedule, so we'll look competent and professional when the television cameras roll. Remember a sports team was using it until just a little while ago. The stage, lighting, sound, flooring, seating, network accommodations, etc., all had to be changed. The networks are unquestionably still irritated at the change of venue for Thursday night. It will cost them a lot, but if they have to spend some small percentage of the profit they got this year from political advertising to actually cover a political event, I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

Parking will be a nightmare. No surprise there, it always is. But security will be much increased from previous conventions, so the problem is greater. It will be equivalent to elevated airport security. The perimeter will encompass the parking lot; so essentially, there will be no parking available. The Colorado Host committee decided yesterday to put in more park and ride buses throughout the city and suburbs. This is a killer financially for the committee, which needs to raise another $7.5 million in the next few days.

Actually the parking is already a problem, at least for me. On returning to our car, I was confronted by a cop giving me a parking ticket. While writing out the ticket, he told me he thinks the police have massively underestimated the number of protesters coming to town. I think he is wrong. It doesn't feel like protest is in the air. Sadly, there is not much evidence of the Obama campaign in street signs. I hope that will change by next week.

The security at Invesco on Thursday will begin operating at 1:00 p.m.. No water or food can be brought into the stadium, but all the vendors inside will be open and I'm sure many entrepreneurs will be selling water to those waiting in line. Once you're in, the wait will be formidable. The networks' coverage will be from 6-9 p.m.. RMT, with Obama speaking at 8 p.m. so his speech is in prime time across the country. The cable networks will begin before 6 p.m. and, of course, will be covering everything all the time so if anything interesting develops, they can break in with the news. Getting 78,000 people through the magnetometers and into the stadium is going to make Kennedy and O'Hare look like, well, a lesser nightmare. (Those 78,000 tickets are so in demand that they're being hocked on e-bay already even though no one actually has them yet.) The entertainment for the trapped interior crowds begins at least by 4 p.m. and probably before. However there are rumors of using the event as an organizing opportunity to get the people there fully engaged in the ground campaign. Sound like fun? Actually, to me it does, but I'm sure most of you will be happy to be watching it on TV.

Oh! Someone told me there's a rumor that all the local escort agencies are staffing up and expecting a spike in demand.