09/27/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Getting Ready to Govern

What is making this week so intense that I literally didn't have time to post yesterday is not the formal work of the Convention -- there's not much suspense, and the real work is being done by the delegates and the campaign staff.  But what is happening around this Convention -- to a degree unique in my experience -- is that the Democrats are getting ready to govern next January.  The array of policy workshops, debates, and forums is staggering. In Boston four years ago there were three environmental events during the entire Convention ; in Denver, there are six or seven a day.  The Denver Post ran a blog about this phenomenon, contrasting the made-for-television spectacle that is the formal sessions with this intense policy prep work going on:

"In sharp contrast, the afternoon roundtables and work sessions that aren't aired on television have probed serious issues ranging from the changing demographics and politics of The West, which The Post covered in an editorial Tuesday, to a lively and thoughtful 'Rocky Mountain Roundtable on Energy and Climate Change' that ran more than two hours Tuesday."

The most important speech at the Energy and Climate Change Roundtable was given by Lord Nicholas Stern, who told an audience that included Democratic Governors, Senators, Congressmen and Mayors that mounting scientific evidence available to the British government makes it clear that time for action is even shorter than the IPCC has projected, and that action has to be clearer and stronger.

Then there was the fascinating process of watching  T. Boone Pickens begin enlisting the heads of America's major labor unions to support his campaign to slash our dependence on foreign oil by fast-tracking wind and solar power and a national grid, and then using the natural gas freed up by these changes as CNG in motor vehicles.  There are obvious incongruities in this process -- Pickens is, after all, a conservative Republican -- but there were also some very powerful synchronous currents -- and Boone was once a union member, when he worked for the Union Pacific Railraod.

Later today I'll be appearing with Boone and John Podesta of the Center for American Progress, and more important, the likely head of Obama's Transition Team if Obama wins in November.  But this is already a Convention like no other -- getting ready to govern while dealing with the sober reality that this is shaping up as a brutally tight Presidential election.

For more Huffington Post coverage of the Democratic National Convention, visit our Politics @ the DNC page, our Democratic Convention Big News Page, and our HuffPost bloggers' Twitter feed, live from Denver.