NPR logo Mikki O and Madcap Conventioneering

From Farai

Mikki O and Madcap Conventioneering

DNC Photos
Nicole Beemsterboer, NPR

So: I'm definitely HERE. That is: I am witnessing the convention fever that hit the entire city of Denver (and certainly, with the millions of dollars in hotels etc., enriching Denver's coffers).

We (meaning me and producer Roy Hurst) are working for News & Notes; plus I am helping to chit-chat on NPR's nightly convention specials. (They air from 8-11PM EASTERN, live, every night of the Democratic and Republican conventions. Adjust the clock for your appropriate time zone.)

It's fantastic to get to work for both News & Notes and NPR national. I'll repeat the honors tonight, Wednesday, and Thursday.

So: on today's show, we talked to bloggers about Michelle Obama's speech (avec kid cameo). If you didn't see the Michelle speech, you can see it on... wait for it ... the Obama site!

After the convention night broadcast, I linked with some other journalist friends who were heading to something called the "Party with a Purpose," which highlighted Katrina awareness on this third anniversary of the disaster.

Of course, I didn't get there early enough to hear any speeches about Katrina, but they had food, open bar, and a bunch of black folks. One black Denverite said to me, "I wish it was like this EVERY week." She also happens to be a Denverite who podcasts our show every day.

Anyway, Biz Markie DJ'd and Wyclef Jean did a special live performance in a room that could only hold about a quarter of the people who came to the larger party. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., who gave another lauded speech last night, helped the non-celebrity Chideya posse get right up in the action.

So, me and my friends/colleagues were right by the stage as Wyclef took over. Clef did this amazing remix/remake of Wu Tang's "C.R.E.A.M." (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) as a rock song. I cannot even explain how he did it, but it took me a while to recognize the hip hop epic. He also did Bob Marley ("Exodus"; "Redemption Song"), Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" (including playing the guitar with his teeth), plus African high-life and soca. By the end of the night, the whole crowd was busting moves on the stage and on the floor, and Wyclef was climbing up the speakers to preach from the heights, then he bodysurfed. Then it ended. Some people went to other parties. I went to bed.

Entertainment reporters come just to cover the party scene... and some conventioneers come just to party. That's a point that Charles Robinson of Charles Black Politics Blog made on today's roundtable. He wrote a post called Denver Is Chocolate City that gives you a pretty good picture of what things are like.

I also got lost in the Pepsi Center and stumbled across a celebrity/VIP entrance. It was a steady stream of actors from Giancarlo Esposito to Hugh Jackman. (Jackman is teeny! Pocket sized! Not quite Tom Cruise's extra teeny but ... teeny.)

I'm hitting a couple of parties not just because they're fun, but because part of my job is to give you some behind-the-scenes flavor of what these conventions are. That said, this Sister needs sleep and so tonight and tomorrow night I will be drinking hot milk ... or decaf tea ... and snuggling quite quickly into bed.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

I am skipping most of the Convention coverage. I just don't see the point in watching. It is the same infomercial format that we saw in the last 2 Conventions.

Regarding Michelle Obama... I don't think America will have a problem with the idea of a Black first lady... The bigger question is can Barack Obama close the deal? He has yet to win over independent voters convincingly. I have been watching Obama closely for two years, catching all of his major speeches, yet I don't feel as though I know who this man really is or what he stands for. In what direction does his moral compass point? What are his core beliefs? What is his ideology & political orientation...and what is his vision for the Country? What specific plans does he have for the Country in terms of domestic and foreign policy? What are his core principles? What will he stand up for? These are gaping holes for Barack Obama.

His foreign policy (or lack of foreign policy vision) is particularly bothersome for me. His waffling over the last several months regarding the gutting of FISA, his support for several Bush Administration (and traditional U.S.) foreign policy positions, particularly with AIPAC, Israel and Georgia (among others), and then his choice of the ultimate establishment Democrat Joe Biden as his VP - which contradicts his entire Change message - has caused me to question everything that I thought I knew about Barack Obama. I can't seem to find a moral, ideological, or political center for him because he has waffled so much and has given conflicting signals about how he will lead. He has not taken a principled stand (and held his ground) on any of the major issues... at least not the most controversial ones.

Read more at link below about Obama's lack of core principles... and his tendancy to waffle on issues to fit the moment.

I will be listening Thursday to see if he will answer any of those questions or if he will give another feel good speech full of grand themes and little substance.

I don't expect Obama to answer any of these questions... but i'll be listening anyway.

Sent by The Angry Independent | 3:11 AM | 8-27-2008

Her speach is all very pretty. But do we need a president who constantly look over his shoulder and ask his wife for advice about the decision he is going to make regarding our nation? Running a nation is not same as running a household. I do not think a power wife influrential presidency is what I am looking for. Also I am wondering what Michelle Obama really think about the church and she and Barack Obama had been with for over 20 some years. Did they just discover that it is a raciest church or they were a part of it until it would be benefitial for them to quit it for the obvious political reason? It is amazing how people could be ok with raciest education for over 20 years and suddenly it is all bad because he is running for president! It is not like that Barack Obama and Michelle Obama were children who did not know better. They received the best education that America can offer with American people's money.

Sent by Truth | 9:07 AM | 8-27-2008

Huh. Since Hugh Jackman is in Sydney, how did you see him in Denver?

Sent by Barb | 11:56 AM | 8-27-2008

You could not possibly have seen Hugh Jackman. He is currently in Australia. And since he is not an American citizen, and cannot vote, why would he be there? Oh, one more thing; Hugh is 6'2". I would hardly call that teeny.

Sent by Critique | 3:13 AM | 9-6-2008