Chicago – For those of you in Netrootsville, the Daily Kos is the mother of all national blogs. Hush, Hush was privileged to attend the second annual “Yearly Kos Convention” here at the Second City.*
This country girl mingled with the Netroots, attended seminars, yakked politics and soaked up the local color. Pretend for a moment that you are there….First of all, about the McCormick Place: it’s actually a city in itself with almost 5 million square feet of exhibit space. It seems 10 or 15 Denver Convention Centers could fit into the McCormick.
The Windy City* hasn’t figured out how to stop adding to the already biggest exhibition center in the world and residents in northwest Indiana or southern Wisconsin should watch out. Take the new West Hall – it’s longer than the tallest building in the world, the Sears Tower (which is also in Chicago.) No wonder it was possible to rent electric scooters at the front desk.
How can this city afford how to build such a monstrosity? With $15 hamburgers and $4.50 bottles of water at the McCormick. But don’t complain! The 400-pound Sandwich Gestapo at the main restaurant made the Seinfeld Soup Nazi look like Mary Poppins.
Hush, Hush chatted with the Democratic National Committee Convention folks. “Wouldn’t it been easier to have chosen McCormick as the site of the DNC Convention? In Denver, Democrats will be over-flowing out of the convention center into Aurora.”
“It was the small-town feel that we were after,” noted one DNC organizer.
There were about 14 seminars going on at the same time for 12 hours a day for three days straight. It made college seem easy, yet it was a perfect set up for someone with an adult attention deficit disorder.
Usually, the seminar you wanted to attend was two miles away from the one you just left. By Friday afternoon, one figured the seminar next door was looking pretty good.
“How Progressives Got Fox Dropped”
“Blog Foreign Policy and Networked Public Diplomacy”
“How Social networks and New Media Are Changing Politics”
“The Military and Progressives: Are They Really that Different?”
“Mobilizing for 2008 to Take Back the Supreme Court”
“Your Money or Your Life: Health Care in America”
The Bill O’Reilly crowd the YK participants were not.
Hush, Hush took in “Technology and Politics, the Next Generation.” Verbiage like “wizzywigs,” “widgets,” “digg” and “crowd sourcing” forced this Baby Boomer person to spend an hour deciphering all these terms with Jen, the Netroots wiz from Colorado’s ProgressNow.
DNC Chair and Blog Godfather Howard Dean kicked off a stream of politicians and dignitaries headlining the keynote speaker forum. Colorado’s 2nd congressional candidate Jared Polis strolled the halls and Sen. Mark Udall was also expected to drop in Saturday, but didn’t make it.
The bloggers represented probably have an audience in the hundreds of thousands combined. Now that’s no small chunk of change when it comes to possible donations or probable coverage of the candidate’s campaign.
It was a smart move on the part of the YK organizers, too. Where ever the candidates go, the Main Stream Media will follow (note photo.)
Talking to one of those Chicago TV MSM, the news caster had nothing but good to say about the rise of the bloggers media. “Keep doing what you’re doing,” she said. “I’m limited to a 90 second spot for news, but your coverage can be unlimited.”
If Hush, Hush had been a minor Republican candidate like John McCain or Ron Paul, anything short of murder would have gotten me there to at least have walked the halls.
*Chicago wasn’t necessarily nick-named the “Windy City” for its air flow, but for its citizens’ tendency to brag. The “Second City” is another nickname because Chicago was once second only to New York in size.