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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day Musings From Denver

David Paulson

Today, some of us got a first look at the Pepsi Center. Security was very tight. Everyone coming in had to be screened by the Secret Service, then go through a couple more check points. It was in the morning so the opening session would not kick off for several more hours, but DNC staff was busy making sure that everything would be ready. In addition, numerous media outlets were up and running from the their convention outposts. Upon entering the complex, we ran into Ann Lewis coming out of "Talk Radio Row". She was wearing a touching button honoring Stephanie Tubb Jones, who recently died from a ruptured brain aneurysm.

We checked out the area where the Maryland delegation will be sitting. It's Section 116, in front of the Fox News convention booth. I'm hoping our delegation can add some interesting background for their newscasts! As we were sitting checking in the seats, Michelle Obama appeared on the podium to practice her speech. Then a couple of delegates from Iowa walked by searching for the Iowa delegation space. They told us that the Iowa delegation had been moved from their original first-rate floor space to make room for Delaware. Apparently, when you're the home state of the future Vice President, your stock for floor location in the convention hall goes way up.

Walking the perimeter outside the arena, we next ran into Biff Henderson from "Late Night with David Letterman." Celebrity sightings continued. At the Marriott Renaissance, so far we've seen Spike Lee, Caroline Kennedy, Peter Fonda, and Tim Daly (the actor, not the Franchot operative). We had a discussion among staff about who knows Daly from "Wings" and who knows him from "Private Practice." I, of course, am a much bigger fan of his sister, Tyne -- although I never remember whether she was Cagney or Lacey. My favorite stalker moment was seeing Anne Hathaway, who graciously posed for a photo with me.

Besides the buzz from seeing celebrities, however, everyone is fully in awe of the sense of history that is about to occur when Barack Obama formally becomes our nominee on Thursday. I am sure the excitement will grow each day. We all know that we will be talking about this moment in time for the rest of our lives. Historic indeed.

David Paulson is Communication Director, Maryland Democratic Party and will be sending posts from the Democratic Convention as he finds the time to do so.

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