Atmosphere at the DNC '08
September 7 2008

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August 25, 2008 was finally here. I had been looking forward to this day ever since a member of Senator Obama’s campaign invited me to the convention and sent me a special pass. I have been writing articles for and a lot of people wrote to me with questions for Senator Obama. I forwarded these emails to the Obama campaign and ended up befriending a number of people there. Having followed Senator Obama closely for over a year now, it was a real thrill for me when I received a pass to the convention.
So I packed my bags and drove down from Des Moines to Denver two days before the convention. I didn’t want to take any chances, so I decided to get there early. Denver was packed. There was literally no hotel room in town. Restaurants were packed, streets were crowded and parking was impossible to find. I met up with some friends there, and we went to different bars on the night before the convention was to start. As expected, every conversation focused on the war, oil prices, immigration and other hot topics related to the elections. There was a strange sensation going around and the excitement was blatant.

The next afternoon, I took a specially chartered bus to the convention. There were a number of them all around the city. The bus was louder than any I had ever been on. People were shouting and clapping and were just happy about the prospect of seeing Barack Obama. There was talk about all the celebrities attending the event, all the performances and the speakers.

As we approached the stadium, the security cover became more obvious. There were cops everywhere. They were doing an expert job of crowd control as well as handling the insane traffic. Our bus stopped a fair distance from the entrance of the stadium. This was another security measure. When we got off the bus, we were instructed to take good care of our badges. Each badge had a bar code on it. We had to hang that around our neck and keep our ID’s handy.
As we approached the stadium, we passed hoards of volunteers passing out Obama-Biden signs and other banners to people. I picked up a two-sided banner. The first side said “Obama-Biden” and the other side said “Change we can believe in”. It was quite a thrill to be part of this experience.
The entrance of the stadium was bottlenecked. Since I had a special pass, I had to go through 3 security checks. Then, a group of people and myself were ushered into the special area, just left of the stage. These seats were separate from the regular seats. We are very close to the main podium and had special access to meet with the delegates and to go to certain parts of backstage. I have to say, the sense of importance given to us really made me feel good. We were right next to the VIP section. Apparently a number of celebrities were coming to the convention. Later on, we got to see Oprah Winfrey and Jessica Alba.

As more and more people got to their seats, the loud speakers came alive to the sounds of “Celebrate good times”. Suddenly, the stadium became a rock concert. People were clapping and dancing all around. Old and young, all were jumping about their seats. The atmosphere was electric.
At around 3:15, we were told that things would be starting. They were running slightly behind, but no one really noticed. Then, Howard Dean came out. The crowds, who were bursting with anticipation at this point roared alive. This was it; the convention was finally going to be called to order. Michelle Obama was slated to speak later on that night and we couldn’t wait. Soon, we would witness history and be part of it.

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