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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dance of the Diesels in Denver

Sun Special Correspondent
Getting in and out of the Pepsi Center might well be called the dance of the diesels as hundreds of buses come and go, letting delegates and other participants off in the afternoon, then picking them up after the festivities.


The Al Jazeera cable-satellite news channel, displaying a bright, colorful sign and an Arab point-of-view, has a prime location between CSPAN and ABC News at the convention. This is interesting because few cable and satellite systems carry its telecasts in the United States for fear of being accused of being unpatriotic.
My press "Hall pass" gets me in the nosebleed section at the Pepsi Center so that I can see the side and back of speakers' heads from afar.
But I can see the teleprompter that the speakers read off of. It includes a reverse time clock that blinks red if they exceed their allotted time.
The tip-off that Sen. Ted Kennedy was in the house Monday came from running into several Kennedy relatives in the press hallway. Spotted were Joseph Kennedy III, William Kennedy Smith and Maria Shriver, among others.
While Kennedy's courageous speech while under cancer treatment is to be admired and his efforts to unify the convention around Barack Obama appreciated by Democratic partisans, one cannot forget that in 1980 he ran unsuccessfully for the nomination against incumbent President Jimmy Carter and offered only an "arm's length" embrace of Carter, who subsequently lost, not unlike the shyness that former President Bill Clinton continues to exhibit regarding Obama, who appears to have defeated Hillary Clinton for the nomination.
The warning clock was turned off when Kennedy spoke.
At Tuesday morning's breakfast of the Michigan delegates, Gov. Jennifer Granholm referred to GOP standard-bearer John McCain as the "outsorcerer," a play on words to suggest McCain is too cozy with firms that send U.S. jobs overseas.

Granholm referred to the "5 W's" that will help lead Michigan's economic comeback: "Wind, Water, Workforce, Wood and Waste (converging the latter to energy)."


Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer got the delegates really fired up with his folk hero approach, colorful language and Western attire of blue blazer, blue jeans and bolo tie.


I got to ask another of my journalism students' questions at the press briefing after the delegates' breakfast. A student from Rochester wanted to know how Democrats were going to get Obama and the Clintons to bury the hatchet.
State Sen. Gilda Jacobs of Huntington Woods said that a unity meeting had been held Monday between the competing factions that went well.
"Women will progress only under Obama," she added.
"Don't believe the hype,” added Edna Bell, a delegate from Detroit. “Women not just in the United States but around she world need Obama."
Nan Welke, a delegate from Westland, said, "Women cannot afford more years of Bush and McCain."
(John K. Hartman is a Central Michigan University journalism professor, offering his take on the Democratic National Convention in Denver.)


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