Monday, July 7, 2008
Obama's acceptance speech to move outdoors
Well this is a little different. Barack Obama will make his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention in Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High (no, that's not a convoluted name at all.) While the rest of the convention will take place in the Pepsi Center (capacity of about 20,000,) Invesco can hold an estimated 75,000 for Obama's speech.
While Obama isn't the first to do something like this (JFK made his acceptance speech at the LA Memorial Coliseum in 1960,) it is unusual. Most national conventions are closed off to everyone except delegates, volunteers, invited guests and credentialed media. This not only opens part, even if it is a very small part, of the nominating process to the public. It has the added bonus of giving the Obama campaign a great TV moment of their candidate making an important speech to a packed stadium of supporters with sun shining and blue skies and birds chirping and whatnot. Of course, they're absolutely screwed if it rains, but that's neither here nor there.
If the Republicans want to answer, they can always hold their own version in the Twin Cities. Why, there's TCF Bank Stadium, right by the Minneapolis-St. Paul border. It's open air and can hold 40,000. If you can get past the whole "it's presently a large construction site" thing, it's perfect. There's The Metrodome, but putting 60,000 people inside on a beautiful afternoon actually has the opposite effect of the whole sun shining birds chirping thing. And it's named after a Democrat. Final suggestion: Midway Stadium. It's open, an intimate setting (and McCain seems to like those anyway,) in St. Paul, and has a reputation for being more fun than a lot of big-time places. Wait, nevermind, they named their 2008 pig after Obama (don't ask.)