Here’s the latest report on the Democratic National Convention from our guest blogger, TV writer-producer Daniel Palladino. For more Denver dispatches from Dan and Amy Sherman-Palladino, click here.
We had been issued Hall passes the first two days, granting us access to the levels above the floor where the delegates get to be, along with network news anchors and their hair people. Seats were first come, first served, and there were never enough. It was a mad dash for the best offerings, and if you’ve never seen a Democratic donor/trucking magnate and his exoskeletal trophy wife divebomb for juxtaposed arena seats, wincing with each bang of a shin against the metal cup holders, you haven’t lived.
Seat savers were in particular danger. We saw the tail end of some sort of angry disagreement between two guys sitting side by side. One suggested that they step outside to finish this (I kid you not) until both realized they would lose their seats if they did. So they remained seated, side by side, in stony silence.
Day 3, we were assigned a different pass – an “Arena” pass, with no Hall access – and were given the option of enjoying a suite. Now, in the normal everyday world, the word “suite” conjures images of luxury and privilege. But when the DNC tries to stuff 60-plus people in a suite that comfortably holds, oh, I’d say, 10, then I wouldn’t be surprised if John McCain’s Vietnamese captors referred to his accommodations as a “suite.”
It was the night of Joe Biden’s speech, and we did not want to missit. So we left, to watch the proceedings from our hotel room. On theway out, we were blocked by a massive phalanx of riot police, backs tothe arena, ready for trouble. Rage Against the Machine had justfinished a nearby show, and word had it that a number of the audiencewas “marching” to the Pepsi Center for reasons unclear.
Now, I dig Rage Against the Machine. No offense to the week’s othermusical artists – John Legend, James Taylor, the Doobie Brothers’Michael McDonald, Sheryl Crow – but if your music requires noalteration for playing in the background of elevators and grocerystores, then your music sucks. (Oops – I guess offense was intended.)
So as we walked the perimeter of the truncheon-wielding cops, Ihesitated. Already angered for being squeezed out of the convention, Iseriously considered joining my Raging brethern in their protest ofwhatever they were protesting, probably the corrupting influence ofmoney in politics and the oppression of the voiceless. Then Iconsidered my outfit: Armani jacket, Charvet shirt, dress shoes…. Iwas wearing my big boy clothes. I’d be tasered from one side andpummeled by beer bottles from the other. Targeting me would be the onlything the two factions would agree on. So I slinked off, skipping theprotest against myself.