I was in the big white tent for a couple hours Monday morning at 15th and Wynkoop, just across from the imposing Union Station center. Progressive young bloggers and an assortment of new media types are gathering there to hang out before the big show begins tonight, maybe knock out a blog before lunch. Everyone wants to look busy and cool and serious, but mostly what's going on is networking. I say hello to a delegate from Vermont. She is about to do a You Tube thing. All smiles. And, yes, she wants Don't Ask, Don't Tell repealed.
Inside the white tent Google will get you online, give you a colorful organic smoothie, recharge your phone and your computer, and throw in a ten-minute massage. I was hoping to spend a few hours working there with my colleagues from Blue State Digital. I don't know what I was thinking of. It's crowded. Very crowded. I'd settle for a massage, if I could find one, but instead Lauren Miller, a senior strategist at Blue State, and I agree to meet later at a quieter site where maybe we can get some work done. Blue State Digital works on the Obama website where they've clearly done a fantastic job on Obama's messaging and fundraising. I've been thinking for some time that Blue State Digital could surely do the same for SLDN and the men and women we serve. Like Senator Obama, SLDN has a terrific message and a good story. We just need to get it out to a lot more people.
Senator Obama has that challenge too, but He Can Do It. That's the mantra in all the crowded lobbies and bars of all the downtown hotels: He Can Do It. At the Hyatt Grand where Speaker Pelosi is surrounded by members of the House, the optimism is guarded but the smiles are big. They tell each other, He Can Do It. And at the downtown 16th Street Mall, the midday crowd on Lawrence Street gets an unexpected treat. Out of nowhere comes a smiling Joe Biden. A huge smile. The senator looks especially fit and tanned. He stops in front of the cameras with his small entourage, talks briefly with applauding passersby, and he waves to folks applauding across the street and from the balconies and windows. Smiles everywhere. They're contagious. Biden moves on. The streets are crowded but everyone is cheerful.
Well, almost everyone. Not a lot of cheer from those carrying the JESUS SAVES signs. And no cheer at all from the long bus driving around plastered with graphic photos of bloody aborted fetuses. The Christian singing ladies are out on the street, too. They look like middle-aged Sunday school teachers, and they are slightly off key. You suspect their repertoire is limited.
I cross the street and meet Jeff Connaughton for lunch. A Washington lawyer, Jeff was part of the Biden Campaign Committee and has worked in various capacities for Joe Biden for twenty years. Finally their ship has come in. Jeff reminds me that Biden voted against DADT in '93. I toast Biden and then I toast my friend Jeff. It's his birthday. Lunch is brief. A call from the Biden camp and Jeff is off. I tell him I'll see him in eight years. He likes that and gives me a big thumbs up.
I'm late for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's reception. I used to be a member of the DSCC, but that was back in my corporate America days. Tonight I'm coming as the poor cousin - but poor cousin or not, I'm there, though not for long. I'm off to the Tom Daschle reception. There's a lot of buzz around Daschle because the smart money is betting the former Senate Majority will be named President Obama's chief of staff. I believe I said the other day, when I was writing about Obama's choices for vice president, that the smart money was sometimes wrong. Well, in that case the smart money wasn't. We'll see how it does this time.
And now it's off to the Pepsi Center to hear Ted Kennedy and Michele Obama and more of that mantra: He can do it! Yes he can!