Yesterday's DNC closer at Invesco Field went off with out a hitch and was, by all accounts, a stunning and formidably-organized piece of political stagecraft. But before the event could take place, 75,000 people had to get there — including thousands and thousands of journalists. The media was strongly encouraged to get there early, and when we arrived at the Pepsi Center grounds at around 1:30 yesterday, the lineup for the shuttles to Invesco were already stretched long with journalists patiently waiting to get on board. Recommendations varied, but basicalloy the press was advised to get there early — I heard "by 2" from someone, "by 4" from someone else. Traffic was supposedly a nightmare, blockades were set up, and lines were huge, with hours-long waits — if you wanted to go, your best and only bet, it seemed, was to get there early.
Or, you could do what Glynnis and I did: Work in the almost-deserted press tents for the afternoon; hang out at the Washington Post/Newsweek tent (where I did a spot on their web-tv show with Chris Cillizza and Michael Isikoff, thanks to the fabulous Tammy Haddad), and try and peer around the curtain into the meeting some people were having with Larry Summers and Austan Goolsbee (we debated busting in to cheerily request a group photo, but decided against it); head to the CNN Grill for a milkshake, fries and wifi to watch the pre-speech festivities, like Sheryl Crow and will.i.am and John Legend, and then heading over to Invesco on foot at a little after 6, well-fed, up to speed, and with the afternoon's pics and videos safely downloaded to clear the memory card Invesco-related fun. (This is a window into how bloggers think, people.)
Anyhow: I don't like to gloat but I'm going to. The walk was pleasant and sunny and worked off at least a quarter of one of the milkshakes we drank, and we encountered absolutely no lines or resistance on our way into Invesco, where we wandered around checking out the scene before heading up to the press box, following New York's John Heilmann into the elevator and trying to stay out of his way because he seemed pretty impatient as he slurped his bright-yellow drink. (Conventions are all about healthy living!) Upstairs we enjoyed the near-panoramic view of the stadium, outlets, clean bathrooms, and the first half of Obama's speech before heading down to the stands to breathe in the Invesco air, boisterous with waving flags and cheers and flashbulbs and giant jumbotrons and Obama-Biden t-shirts and change. Then Obama finished, and with a purposeful gait we beelined out of the stadium, far enough to turn and photograph the spectacular fireworks over Invesco afterward, before catching the first shuttle bus to downtown and returning home to upload, post and change for the Google/VF Party. Turns out we didn't have to rush, since everyone else took a while to get out. Oh well.
Anyway! Here's a video of our trek to Invesco under the highway overpass. We like to take the less-traveled path in our coverage here at ETP, and also, we prefer to do so well-fed.
p.s. Pics to come later — in the meantime, Danny Shea, Keli Goff, Jon Soltz and I are off to a Daily Show taping. Many uploads to come!