I'm winding up my week at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. I'm exhausted but SO glad to have been here. You really get the sense of what it's like being part of history. I wasn't alive when Kennedy or MLK were shot, and don't remember when man went to the moon. So I've never been able to answer those "where were you" questions about some of the most important events of our time. But when my kids ask me: "Mommy, where were you when the first African-American was nominated for president?" I can say: "I was RIGHT THERE!"
I didn't get to Invesco field because of my work schedule. The overnight reporter recaps for morning and midday news shows what happened the night before. So unless you stay up 24/7 for a week, we miss the evening events. I watched them on TV, like you, from my hotel.
That scene at Invesco was beyond words. It WAS like a concert, except that you knew people were there for more than just fun. They were looking for inspiration. Some of them found it in Obama.
The lines to get into the stadium were incredible. I was headed OUT of the area six hours before Obama was to speak and saw lines several blocks long, two and three deep, waiting for shuttle buses to take them over. It was HOT! It amazed me the sacrifices people were making to see him in action.
If you've never seen what the "media village" looks like at one of these large events... well... it's incredible. Tents, equipment, satellite trucks, platforms 2 and 3 stories high, miles and miles of cable, people everywhere, food (we're trapped for days - they have to feed us!) - a real controlled chaos.
Our media tent is in the parking lot of the Pepsi center. We call it our "workspace." It's 6,000 square feet, carpeted with astroturf and tables, phones, computers and editing equipment everywhere for us and our affiliates. You can't go anywhere without a credential, and if you don't have the right TYPE of credential, you may get stopped.
The catering tent is next door. We get four meals a day. The theory is that people are working such odd schedules, they offer meals at times so everyone can get at least one or two. The food's been great.
Now that it's over, security's pretty much gone - but there's a MASSIVE cleanup job here. My division alone filled a 58-foot trailer with equipment. Black cases are everywhere, packed and stacked on flats to head to St. Paul for hte RNC next week.
If I had to miss the first week of school, this was worth it.