Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

September 3rd, 2008
Democratic National Convention Denver, Baby!

After four days of conventioning, I feel like I’ve been kicked in the ass by thirty-seven Democrat donkeys. Unable to eat solid foods and weighed down by flags, signs and ten thousand campaign buttons of varying cleverness (Ask Me How Many Houses I Own! Quesidellas for Obama. Obama Is My DJ), I believe more than ever that YES WE CAN!

Denver was a total mess of media, bloggers, progressives, protesters, politicians and pundits. Traffic was at a crawl and the few taxis an utter miracle to hail. Downtown’s one-way streets were a hopeless maze of VIP buses, mega law enforcement and total street shut-downs, making any movement other than walking impossible. And yet, we were all stoked to be there. And we all loved those free goodie bags!

I was a total Convention crasher, snapping up the scraps from way better people than myself. Because inevitably there were extra credentials, passes, tickets and Swag that didn’t get claimed. And I was woman enough to dumpster dive for it all.

Hell, I even landed on time during the national FAA system meltdown last week! AND I scored an extra bed in one of Denver’s coveted sold-out hotel rooms in the heart of downtown (Hello, Al Sharpton! Good morning, New Orleans mayor!). Oh, and the DNCC payed for it because my roomie, Mona Brooks, was African-American Chairwoman Leah Daughtry’s official photographer. Ridiculous!

(Too many acronyms for you? Don’t worry–I don’t know what half of them stand for. Probably D is for Democrat?)

Sure, call me a shameless scrapper, but because Bay Area insiders were in force in Denver, I got to see Hillary Clinton’s speech (AWESOME btw—girl, why couldn’t you have bent it like Beckham DURING your campaign?) on Tuesday LIVE at the Pepsi Center, on whose Club Level I saw Oprah’s Gayle, Anne Hathaway and even Michelle Obama. Check me out now!

Because beautiful Gwyneth, Hala and Gia have worked in politics and know absolutely everybody, which is how I got into the Pepsi Center in the first place. Funny story–I couldn’t find my peeps in the crush of people to pick up my pass, so Gwyneth left it for me at the mobile crepe truck next to the wacky pro-life pre-teen protesters. That’s how we roll! Bond James Bond!

And that’s why I caught Ashanti at the Cowboy Lounge (yeehaw!) for Lifetime’s everywomancounts party, and John Legend performing at DLC Chairman Harold A. Ford’s party at hot nightspot Beta with an outdoor patio to die for. I even crashed the California delegates gala at the Museum of Nature and Science!

Talk about rockin’ the vote at some super VIP parties–I should be ashamed of myself!

Sometimes I was actually productive and volunteered at the Google/ Daily Kos Big Tent, sponsored by my favorite progressive bloggers convention, Netroots Nation. My job was to entertain me some VIPs like lucky media maven Mary who got to escort Katie Couric around all day. I hope my Mary dumbed that shit down for the queen of dumb-downing! We use big words up in here, you talking head kindergarten teacher!

(Oops, there went my personal feelings. Sorry.) And Darryl Hannah was twice sighted. And the governor of Washington, Christine Gregoire. And a dude who was like head of the Sierra Club. We all kicked it in the green room or headed to The Huffington Post Oasis upstairs for free massages. I even saw Arianna wend her way. Seriously!

But memories of The Big Tent seemed like nirvana when faced with the behemoth of Invesco Field. Obama’s acceptance speech was a hot ticket what with Sheryl Crow and Stevie Wonder slated to play. Light years early, I followed my friends to the Light Rail. We waited thirty minutes for an every-ten-minutes train. It was 3 PM and Stevie wasn’t on till 6. No worries, right? WRONG. As the train pulled into the final station, we caught our first glimpse of the line.

Mile High Stadium sells out every football Sunday, so what was with the SIX MILE line?? Literally, we stood in the hot sun on some bizarre trail of tears for three hours trying to get inside, trudging across highway overpasses as the pavement seethed heat. And all the while protesters: End the Iraq war; Protect a woman’s right to choose! Well, DUH. We’re Democrats! Get your butts to St. Paul, freaks! Put down the megaphone and sell me some bottled water! I mean, come on people, know your audience!

Still, in my mind (such as it was on 5 hours of sleep in as many days) it was all worth it to unite with Conventioneers from all over the world (a Venezuelan masseuse in line for drinks behind me) under a sky studded with fireworks. With the Black Eyed Peas singing in the distance and a cool wind whipping off the mountains every night, we pooled our energy for change.

Even me, the Convention vulture.

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