INVESCO dispatches: The headliners are up

Al Gore gets a raucous reception from the 75,000 strong at INVESCO.

More on the flipside.


6:49 p.m.: Gore slams McCain on environment and green economy
Where the heck was this guy in 2000? … sigh …

Gore exhorts the need for solving the climate crisis. Hits the carbon-based industry for drilling the GOP for favors over the last 50 years.

Wendy Norris
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6:56 p.m.: Gore evokes the history of the moment
“Inconvenient truths must be acknowledged if we are to have wise governments”

Wendy Norris
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7:00 p.m.: Crowd chants “Yes, we can!”
Bit of a lull in the program. No music. Nobody on stage. The crowd takes control waving mini American flags and chanting the Obama campaign’s tag line.

Wendy Norris
——–

7:01 p.m.: Who’s minding the stage management?
After Gore’s speech, a hesitant and uncoordinated “wave” started in the stands. After a few fits and starts it got rolling again on all three levels. Have we finally achieved party unity?

David O. Williams
——–

7:05 p.m.: Oof, it’s cheesy music time
Michael McDonald (ex of the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan) is performing a white-guy blues-y version of “America the Beautiful.” Ick. Can we have U2 back, puh-leeze?

Wendy Norris
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7:12 p.m.: Striking a crabby personal note

Pssst. Between me and you. I’m more than a little annoyed with a large faction of non-bloggers who just entered the Big Tent that are chatting loudly and wandering around in front of the TV screens while we’re trying to liveblog the speakers. Beh. Hey, you kids! Get off my lawn!

Wendy Norris
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7:20 p.m.: Leadership matters
The stage is filled with lots o’ brass. Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration (Ret) speaks on behalf of retired generals who have endorsed Barack Obama. Gen. Wesley Clark, who was widely believed to be on the vice presidential list, was cut off from the campaign after remarking that getting shot down in plane didn’t make John McCain qualified to be president. Clark did not speak to the crowd.

Wendy Norris
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7:21 p.m.: “Why I support Barack Obama”
Gration remarks that he and the other officers are at INVESCO because leadership matters.

David O. Wiliams
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7:25 p.m.: Biden pays tribute to working people
Biden introduces eight average folk who will share their experience under the Bush Administration.

Wendy Norris
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7:37 p.m.: It’s SRO at INVESCO
CNN reports a crowd of 85,000-90,000 and says fire marshals are working to make sure everyone gets in. (The usual figure reported for Mile High’s capacity is 76,000.)

Ernest Luning
——–

7:39 p.m.: Kitchen table economics
Pamela Cash-Roper, a nurse and self-identified life-long Republican, shares her hard-luck story of health problems and medical bills that she can’t afford to pay.

“I can’t afford four more years.” She gets wild applause.

Wendy Norris
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7:42 p.m.: No Boss; just soundtrack
Despite rumors to the contrary that Bruce Springsteen would make a cameo appearance at INVESCO, the speakers are blaring “Born in the USA” instead.

But the crowd is eating up anyways.

Wendy Norris
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7:46 p.m.: Viral marketing is alive and well
Ray Rivera, Colorado Obama campaign director, announces that the crowd at INVESCO has exceeded 30,000 text messages to 62262 to get their friends and families on the campaign’s list.

Wendy Norris
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7:56 p.m.: It’s getting closer to the big moment
Illinois Sen. colleague Dick Durbin fires up the crowd by invoking Obama as both a modern-day Lincoln and everyman.

“He has the good sense that the future of our nation is in the hands of hard-working Americans …”

Wendy Norris
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8:02 p.m.: Obama’s life history
Documentary on growing up with a single mom and meeting Michelle. The Blogger Tent denizens are rapt.

Wendy Norris
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8:03 p.m.: Personal observation
As the child of a single mom, the video intro of Barack was very moving for me. The face of America no longer belongs to the nuclear family.

Erin Rosa
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8:05 p.m.: Lessons learned
Barack on American government in video intro: “Nobody else is going to fix it if you don’t.”

Erin Rosa
——-

8:10 p.m. Barack Obama enters the stage
Crowd goes wild.

Wendy Norris
——

8:14 p.m.: Obama accepts nomination
INVESCO crowd goes nuts. Bloggers whistle and cheer.

Obama makes gracious recognition of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and Bill Clinton’s speech last night as a “case for change as only he can make it.” Nods to Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden too.

Wendy Norris
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8:15 p.m.: Perfunctory acknowledgements
After thanking Howard Dean and Dick Durbin, who introduced him, Obama accepts the nomination. Then he singles out among the amazing slate of candidates who ran with him in the primaries, “especially the one who traveled the farthest – a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours — Hillary Rodham Clinton.” After acknowledging the support of Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden, he thanks “the love of my life, our next first lady, Michelle Obama,” and tells Michelle, Sasha and Malia he loves them so much.

Ernest Luning
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8:16 p.m.: Excerpts of Obama speech
Get ’em here.

Wendy Norris
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8:20 p.m.: Obama strikes out at Bush admin
“No” to a government that “sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.” Enough! This election is our chance to “keep the American promise alive.”

Erin Rosa
——–

8:22 p.m.: Now, he’s taking at a whack at McCain
Obama gives nod to McCain’s military service … BUT he’s NOT a maverick, because he supports George Bush 90 percent of the time. “I’m not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.”

Erin Rosa
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8:25 p.m.: “Ownership society” according to the GOP
You’re on your own. Pick yourself up by your own bootstraps, even if you don’t have boots.

Wendy Norris
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8:25 p.m.: Speaking to vets
I also come from a military family, I liked the specific shout out to them when Obama says they shouldn’t “shoulder their burden silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their first to fifth tour of duty … these are the Americans I know.” Yeah, me too. “It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care. It’s because he doesn’t get it.”

Erin Rosa
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8:28 p.m.: Progress = economic opportunity
I didn’t like his shout out to Bill Clinton about those new jobs he created in the 1990s (how many of those actually did pay the mortgage?)

Erin Rosa
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8:29 p.m.: Celebrities and A-listers

Obama makes a crack about McCain’s Paris Hilton-Britney Spears attack ad that he is a worldwide celebrity.

Wendy Norris
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8:30 p.m.: Bringing it back home
Obama and his single mom: “She poured everything she had into me.” It’s not the celebrity lifestyle.

Erin Rosa
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8:31 p.m.: We are family!
Obama: Wants sense of community, “I’m my brother’s keeper. I’m my sister’s keeper.”

Erin Rosa
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8:32 p.m.: It’s red meat time!
Obama pledges to improve jobs and cut taxes and to end Middle East oil dependence within 10 years. Now he’s slamming McCain’s record on voting against CAFE [automobile fuel-efficiency] standards. Drilling is a stop-gap measure not a long-term solution.

Wendy Norris
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8:34 p.m: D’oh! Don’t fall for it, man.

Falls head-long into the chasm of “clean coal.” Nooooooo.

Wendy Norris
———-

8:35 p.m.: Refunding renewables over fossil fuels
Obama :”$150 billion dollars to renewable energy,” if he gets elected as president. The budget document plan would come out in February, no?

Erin Rosa
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8:36 p.m.: Good government
“Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who’s willing to work.” Before launching into a list of proposals to keep the promise of America.

Ernest Luning
———-

8:37 p.m.: Equal rights
Rousing applause at INVESCO and Big Tent when pledging support for equal rights for girls and women.

Wendy Norris
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8:37 p.m.: Evoking JFK
Again going into the “not what your country can do for you thing:” “If you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you get a college education.”

Erin Rosa
——–

8:38 p.m.: Chris Dodd must be smiling somewhere
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) must be extended to paying leave days.

Erin Rosa
——–

8:41 p.m.: And somewhere Jesse Jackson is not smiling
“Fathers must take more responsibility to provide love and guidance to their children.” The government can’t do everything. It’s up to you.

Erin Rosa
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8:42 p.m.: Osama bin Who?
Capper for Obama national security run: “John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the gates of hell – but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.”

Ernest Luning
——–

8:43 p.m: Tough talk on national security
We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. Don’t tell me that Democrats are weak on defense. The Bush admin has squandered the legacy that American has built.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly.

Wendy Norris
——–

8:44 p.m.: Mentioned the A-word.
The war in Afghanistan. Yeah, he went there.

Erin Rosa
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8:46 p.m.: Taking the GOP on
Obama tackles Republican attacks on his patriotism head-on, by reviving a theme from his 2004 DNC keynote address: “The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a red America or a blue America –- they have served the United States of America. I’ve got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.”

Ernest Luning
——–

8:47 p.m.: More on patriotism
we must move past the idea that disagreements between others leads to questions of patriotism. “It’s not about red or blue America. It’s the United States of America.” Quintessential “U-S-A” chant starts.

Erin Rosa
——–

8:48 p.m.: Taking on social issues
“I got news for you John McCain. We all put our country first.” Youch! He’s feisty. It’s actually pretty refreshing considering that’s coming from a politician.

We may not agree on abortion, but certainly we can agree that we want to see less of them. He talks of “stale tactics” in Washington, making an election about small things, etc. … the organizer’s voice still remains.

Erin Rosa
——–

8:48 p.m.: DIY democracy
“It’s about you.” Obama demurs that this campaign is [about him, saying it is] about Americans craving change. “The change we need doesn’t come from Washington; it comes to Washington.”

Erin Rosa
——–

8:52 p.m.: The American dream
Military, wealth, cultures don’t make us rich. It’s the “American spirit,” the promise of opportunity. We cannot turn back. With children to educate … cities to rebuild … Farms to save…

Erin Rosa
——–

8:53 p.m.: Shout out to Langston Hughes
“Don’t succumb to fear and frustrations of dreams deferred.” The American people can’t live in fear. “We cannot turn back with so much work to be done.” Like the Hughes poem reference.

Erin Rosa
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8:55 p.m.: Yes, he knows what day it is
Finally, a reference to the anniversary: “And it is that promise that 45 years ago today brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a mall in Washington, before Lincoln’s Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.”

Ernest Luning
——–

8:56 p.m.: Standing ovation in the Big Tent; INVESCO goes nuts
Channeling minimalist blogger Atrios: Great speech.

Wendy Norris
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8:56 p.m.: It’s a wrap
Obama wraps his historic speech within minutes of 9:00 p.m. local, just as the 11 o’clock news is starting on the East Coast. For a 45-minute speech, that’s remarkable accuracy.

Ernest Luning
——–

8:56 p.m.: Voice of a young voter
I thought it would be a long long time before I would see something like this in my country, in my state and in my city. That something is a change to the rules of contemporary politics.

Erin Rosa

The Colorado Independent is well-represented at INVESCO Field. On the ground: Cara DeGette, Jason Kosena, J.C. O’Connell, Bob Spencer, Naomi Zeveloff and David O. Williams. At the Big Tent: Wendy Norris and Erin Rosa. Ernest Luning is blogging from an undisclosed location.

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Wendy Norris

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