Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Obama at Invesco Field; Clinton Somewhere Else

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/8/08

Senator Barack Obama will accept the Democratic nomination in Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, where the Denver Broncos play football, instead of the Pepsi Center, site of the party’s national convention.

“On Thursday, August 28th, he’s scheduled to formally accept the Democratic nomination in a speech at the convention hall in front of assembled delegates,” David Plouffe, Campaign Manager for Obama, has written to supporters. “Instead, Barack will leave the convention hall and join more than 75,000 people for a huge, free, open-air event where he will deliver his acceptance speech to the American people.”

Another reason to move the speech is the need to upstage Senator Clinton, who is sure to use the convention as the setting for extended Clinton Theater, where she is certain to present herself as “co-winner” of the Democratic primary. Her husband, the Democrats own Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love, is also likely to use the convention floor as a platform for an extended swansong.

This would be Elvis in Winter; an embarrassment in the god suit live on stage in Las Vegas. The first need for Obama and the ascending Democrats is to get past the Clintons. If Elvis won’t leave the building, Obama will move it to another building. And what better way to “upstage” the Clintons than for Obama to bring his act to Mile High.

Associated Press notes that Obama will emulate John F. Kennedy, the last candidate in either party to deliver an acceptance speech in a large outdoor stadium before a crowd of tens of thousands. Kennedy spoke at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1960.

Worth noting that Kennedy’s historic acceptance speech, written by Ted Sorensen, was the origin point of a new political age.

We stand on the frontier at a turning point in history, Kennedy said, with people who are not blinded by the old fears and hates and rivalries; but young people who can cast off the old slogans and delusions and suspicions.

“The American people expect more from us than cries of indignation and attack . . . For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do,” Kennedy told a crowd of 80,000.

Words that resonated in a generation as an anthem in Bob Dylan’s The Times They are a-Changin’ written shortly before Kennedy’s death.