Missed the convention so far? Want to know what all the fuss is about? Truthfully it's a series of mediocre-to-decent speeches and then hours and hours and HOURS of utter bullshit. The speeches are too long anyway, so our video department cut the whole thing down to 90 seconds. You got your Michelle Obama, your Ted Kennedy, your Clintons, and, of course, the next President of the United States, Dennis Kucinich. Enjoy!
Bill Clinton got rave reviews for his speech last night. Five-minute standing ovation! He looked so fucking thrilled to be there. Chuck Todd and Keith Olbermann loved it! If you listen to the pundits, Bill basically rehabilitated his entire miserable public image in one nice speech. Here's avowed Clinton-hater Andrew Sullivan:
Hah. He's 40 (40-year-old blogger! sad!), 5'11", and "went to one of those selective East Coast schools." Always important when looking for anonymous tail in a strange town! Guesses? We honestly don't even want to hazard one. (If Doree's list is representative, Craigslist Denver seems to be crawling with dudes looking to "pleasure" those hot lady Obama voters.) [Craigslist via NYO]
There's no news in Denver. At least, no news that couldn't be reported by watching it on C-Span from the comfort of home. So what to do? Report on what all your fellow journalists are doing! So far, the single greatest example of this is HuffPo's constant reportage from their own "HuffPost Oasis" in Denver. At left, an unretouched screengrab from their front page today. The Oasis is remarkably popular with journalists, considering that we have no idea what goes on there but we don't think it involves free booze. Wait, maybe we do know what's going on there! "'I feel relaxed!' said a particularly refreshed Eric Alterman as he stepped away from a complimentary facial for a minute. 'I'll tell you this—everyone should add facials to their lives.'" Oh, wow. That quote is from John Koblin's piece in today's Observer. It's got more gems: Adam Nagourney couldn't find a seat at his own paper's workspace, then bitched about having to cover the convention with so many other, lesser reporters. Fox's Greta Van Susteren, though, was more than happy to be there.
Did you watch Hillary Clinton's speech last night? She went on late, and long, but we watched. It was pretty good! She is much better at giving speeches than she used to be. We are depressed that no one does big angry barnstorming Jesse Jackson speeches anymore except the tiny white tomte from Cleveland but whatever. Her speech was good on its own merits. A well-delivered and pleasantly inoffensive series of uplifting syllables. The second it ended liberal favorite Keith Olbermann was all "she hit it out of the park, masterful, blah blah" and his MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews made even less sense, but they were quite tired from being on TV, outside, in the rain, for 72 hours straight or so. What did the well-rested print pundits say? Everyone wants to marry that speech.
How many times now has the New York Times columnist come away from a post-primary Democratic event having apparently only talked to the one insane Nobama PUMA lady in attendance? First there was, of course, the ear plug lady, who managed to get the attention of every journalist at the campaign rally. But one imagines the incomparable Dowd had to search a bit to find this nut in Denver, where the attendees are a little more carefully screened:
You stuck in New York doing, like, real work while your colleagues party it up in Denver? You jealous? Well honestly, man up. Because you can just keep on partying like usual while they are all stuck going to lame sponsored bullshit parties in Denver. Our man in Denver reports that the Planned Parenthood party was massively overbooked, the GQ/Maker's Mark party was unexciting, and apparently the party featuring Bill Maher was lame. Yes, but what about the awesome schwag, you're probably not saying! According to Wonkette, it's dismal. Something called "Joint Juice" seems to be the highlight. But there's also hand sanitizer and a free ringtone card! Seriously, why do people go to this? Are journalists so bored and nerdy that the prospect of a hotel party in Denver excites them? It is like the School Band Trip of the National Press Corps, isn't it? We got a better schwag bag at some weird Time Out party we went to this month. It had condoms and Stuff White People Like. We have no use for either of those things but it's still better than Post-It notes!
We were told Ted Kennedy, who's battling advanced brain cancer, had mere weeks to live. We were told there'd be a macabre video salute to the man in lieu of an actual appearance in Denver. So when he actually showed up on stage at the DNC to deliver a genuinely rousing speech, well, it was an emotional moment. So emotional that the major tabloids of both New York and Boston could not come up with original headlines. The Post raves!
The convention just started!!! Howard Dean screamed (with his eyes, anyway) and now a lady is praying! Then the announcer lady from the Oscars introduced some Navajo Indians who are presenting the colors. The colors of the USA, the country that tried to kill them all. Then a lady said the pledge of allegiance and a chorus of children sang the national anthem and killed all Navajo dudes' cattle. Oh, Wolf just explained that those guys were the Navajo code-talkers from WWII. They are heroes and patriots! Jack Cafferty is babbling about how he is stealing things from Wolf's office as Wolf flies from Denver to Saint Paul in his tiny flying machine. Barack Obama is not even there yet! Someone here will tell you about Michelle Obama's speech, later tonight, probably. Now you are informed.
Dave Matthews, Kanye West, and Sheryl Crow are all performing like monkeys for VIPs in Denver this week. Also expected to be skulking around Denver this week are Ben Affleck, Josh Brolin, Annette Bening, Spike Lee, Anne Hathaway, Susan Sarandon and Charlize Theron, according to AFP. Oh, and Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi are performing before and after Obama's acceptance speech, at that stadium! Soooo many celebrities! Because America loves its celebrities, except that it also despises and resents them. You know how most of America's problems are caused not by the disastrous failure of government over the last like 30 years but by, uh, Tim Robbins? Yes, of course you do! So do Republicans, who learned long ago that the only thing America loved more than obsessively consuming pop culture object is loudly decrying the creators of those objects as unAmerican queers. The fact that Hollyweird (along with the music and television weird-ustries) caters directly and scientifically to every desire of every American demographic does not mean that anyone actually likes famous people, because, obviously, they are misanthropic wealthy blinkered assholes whose lives bear no resemblance to the lives of their audiences. Which is true! They are! Just like politicians and their constituencies! Except no one knows who their Representative is, and everyone knows who Ben Affleck is. He is the Vince Vaughan who isn't funny! And then it gets really odd, because even someone like Bruce Springsteen-who is unreservedly beloved by basically all white people older than 30-suddenly becomes a loathed example of garish flashy wealth when he sings a song for a Democrat. But, you may say, if you actually like Bruce Springsteen it is patently obvious that he has always sang bleeding heart songs about losers betrayed by their countries! But he also sings about cars which cause the Global Warming, which is a myth except when liberal celebrities have big houses, and then it is real. So. Now Obama has to "stay away" from these famous people, except for the ones singing to him on TV, and also George Clooney has issued a press release announcing that he's never texted Barack Obama. George Clooney, in case you are unfamiliar with him, is basically the single most well-liked man in America, which is why his support for Barack Obama is the kiss of death. Of course, if you are a Republican, you get to have the support of shitty country acts who are massively, hugely, insanely popular across the entire country except in the places where journalists live, so they don't count as "celebrities." Get it? Photoshop: Steve Dressler
Update: MSNBC does have its very own terrible stupid sportsbar to broadcast from Denver in. Though we're not sure if they tricked it out like CNN and Fox did theirs. "Morning Joe" was live today from a place called "Sam's No. 3 Grill and Bar." It is a "USA Mexi Grill and Bar" that serves "comfort food with an attitude." UGGGHH. We put a stupid video of this after the jump because why not. It takes place at a strip club so click!! [Observer]
It's time for the Democratic National Convention in lovely, boring Denver! Are you psyched? Journalists are! Because they're going to be drunk for a week, thousands of miles from home! Just two of the many venues in which hardworking journalists will be getting their drink on the over the next few days are the bars taken over by the cable news networks. Fox's hip FOX Experience and the down-home CNN Grill. Which one looks more like the worst possible place you could ever get drunk? Let's see!
Attached to this post, the party calender for the forthcoming Democratic and Republican national conventions in Denver and St. Paul. As everyone has acknowledged, there is no news at these conventions, at all. They are just excuses for partying. So this, really, is all your average conventioneer journalist needs to know. We'll tell you which ones to attend and which to skip in favor of unorganized drinking, below. Click to view Attend, in Denver: Any and all "VIP" or "Cocktail Receptions." At night: Creative Coalition, GLBT Unity Dance, Distilled Spirits "Spirits of Denver" Party (alt: Maker's Mark party), Kanye. Attend, St. Paul: Distilled Spirits, the Maker's Mark thing. Honestly, unless an hour or two of shitty cocktails at an open bar means that much to you you are then advised to go drink with the locals. Skip: Everything else.
The Real Estate Observer notes that the Democratic National Committee has chosen Denver as host city for its 2008 National Convention, bypassing the other major candidate: our fair city. The move makes sense on a couple of levels, especially politically: For the Democrats to regain the White House, they'll have to solidify the recent gains they've made in the West while shedding their image as the party of latte-sipping, brie-eating, fetus-killing tax-and-spenders (even though, you know, that's what they are). We can only imagine how well the image of a woman and a black guy coming to the podium to accept their nominations for the presidency and vice-presidency would play in the flyover states if it were coming from a city whose recent contributions to the culture include gay muppets, Shortbus, and the continuing inexplicable ability of Mario Cantone to get work. In any event, we want to look at the positive aspects of this decision, i.e., there won't be eight million protesting jackasses crowding midtown with their foul hippie odors and "Bush=Hitler" signs. Congratulations, Denver! Say hi to the jackasses from Critical Mass for us!