I had the good fortune to head the Democratic National Convention last week. I tend to be a bit more conservative in my political perspective, but I could not pass up the opportunity to attend. I was there on Thursday when Kerry made his speech.
The level of excitement and enthusiasm at the DNC was quite impressive. As one of my friends there mentioned, “These are the true believers.” You could not find more rabid Kerry fans anywhere. The oddity is that throughout the early evening, random politicians spoke. I did not recognize most of them, but did see General Wesley Clark and a couple of senior Democrats from Congress. General Clark was interesting and the rest were somewhat boring.
In general, people seemed to ignore most of the speeches. The PA system was very quiet and everyone had there own side conversations going and so it was hard to hear the speeaches over the general background noise.
It was more interesting when Kerry spoke. Prior to his arrival, his supporters handed out a ton of Kerry signs and vertical Kerry banners. (You know the ones everyone had in the news.) I always wondered how everyone got signs and now I know. We didn’t start with them, but the Dems ensured that everyone had them.
Kerry’s speech was particularly interesting because the crowd was electrified. They were extremely enthusiastic and cheered exhuberantly whenever he said anything of interest. Of course given the crowd’s excitement, I am sure that they would have cheered even if he said something completely stupid and irrelevant. As it stood, he a number of newsworthy comments that were designed to get time on the news and to encourage the crowd to errupt. Interestingly, there were no “cheer now,” lights, but there really was no need for that kind of gadgetry.