Feiler Faster

Feiler Faster

Feiler Faster in Denver — Day 2

My brother’s latest blog. He’s the official photographer of the Georgia Delegation.

* * *

Considering I described myself yesterday as a pop culture moron, the funniest response I’ve gotten so far was, “Who’s Angela Bassett?”
In the wake of opening night there’s been a lot of play about Carville and company complaining about lack of “red meat”. I’ve been clear that I believe that’s indeed been missing in past conventions and that clear messages for Obama and against McCain are one of the things I’m most looking for this time ’round, but I actually feel that Monday night was played well. Very little is known of Michelle Obama by the average voter, frankly both the decideds and the undecideds. I think it was important to introduce her to the country and to begin the process of helping a lot of folks get comfortable with her as prospective First Lady. That was their primary mission last night, and I think her performance was stellar. Besides that, casting the prospective First Lady as attack-dog-in-chief would be pretty dumb all by itself!
If you look closely at the Convention floor, you’ll see some things that illuminate the battle to come. First of all, the delegations are seated on both the floor of the hall and in the first level of seats coming up toward the skybox level. A “Floor” credential is required to get into these areas. Above the skybox level, the next layers are reserved for “Special Guests”, “Honored Guests” and “(Lowly) Guests” with “Hall” credentials. Look at which states are on the physical floor of the hall. Up front you have Illinois and Delaware for obvious reasons as well as Colorado which is there primarily as host. Then you have Virginia, Michigan, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania. If you want to know which states are considered the core swing states this election season, just look. And by the way, New York is on the floor too, a clear sign of the quest for unity and a nod to HRC.
Another thing to look at… this campaign is astoundingly disciplined when it comes to its graphics. From the outset, they picked colors (white and navy), fonts (sorry, geeky enough to notice but not to be able to name them), and a logo (one I’ve always thought was well done) and they’ve relentlessly stuck to these. Everything in the hall is within this graphic spec. The pole signs for the states, the names behind the podium identifying the speaker, the signs handed out to shake and stir at key moments in each speech. It’s a detail, but still this level of discipline is impressive. And to add a point of exclamation on this… the anti-McCain and pro-Hillary signs on the floor tonight… not in the Obama fonts or colors!
In the hours before primetime each night, one of the main shows is the side show: funny hats, clever buttons, creative signs. Among the signs seen today… “Trust Teachers Not Test Scores”, “Iraqi Americans for Obama”, and “Another Bi-racial, Asian American, Bisexual, Jewish, Buddhist, Feminist for Obama”! Along with these there is an astounding array of hand written signs all using the Obama “O” logo in the appropriate places in “Ohio”, “Colorado”, “Aloha”. See commentary above!
With all of this going on, the ultimate expression of Dem-mania is the clever, creative and over-the-top headwear and the ultimate expression of flashy fashion is Georgia’s own Maxine Goldstein from Milledgeville. This is Maxine’s eleventh convention and each year she builds a masterpiece of intricate design, rich humor and pointed politics. One of her creative wonders is in the Smithsonian and renowned photographer Eddie Adams once took her portrait for a documentary he shot one year at the conventions of both parties. This year Maxine has created quite a stir… she’s been interviewed by every roving journalist in the hall including live on CNN. Her creation this year is topped with a complete bathroom scene created out of paper and doll furniture and its front piece cries out, “Don’t let America’s economy go down the drain!”
Many of you have told me that you’re forwarding these posts around. I’ve attached here, and will do so going forward, the posts from prior days for anyone coming late to the string. Some of the best responses I’ve gotten are from folks who have said how much their mothers are enjoying all of this! The movement is indeed broader than those who text message. As for my own mother, she pointed out that there were a lot of typos. Of course she’s right (she is, after all, my mother), but it is well after midnight out here!

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