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.