Today was our last major day of setup and the energy of the approaching convention was palpable. The Democratic National Convention Committee promised the people of Denver an opportunity to see the convention site. They had vowed to make this convention the most transparent, open and approachable convention ever. So they held an Open House today. This was the moment for the Big Reveal of the speaker’s platform and stage design to the public. So those pictures I took of construction and setup back on Monday are now fair game, as the secret is out. Thousands of people queued up outside the Pepsi Center to get a look at the bowl and to find out how national party conventions fit into the American political system.
We fulfilled the final technology setup obligations today. The last piece being securing positions on the central camera platform for our still photographers and fitting them with adequate network connectivity. In working on this element, I got the chance to sit in the middle of the bowl and take it all in. — Fortunately, some previous connectivity problems had required me to bring my backpack into the bowl to troubleshoot what was going on. Which meant I had my camera with me as well. So when we proved everything was working correctly, I was able to take out the camera and pretend to be a big time photojournalist.
And just to demonstrate how much I am not a big time photojournalist, I took a couple pictures of the camera rigs of real big time photojournalists while I eavesdropped on the conversations the real journalists were having amongst themselves– and with their editors– regarding platform position allocations, shooting strategies and editorial obligations.
Tonight is the primary security sweep through the entire convention area. Everyone was to be out of the site by 5:00 pm tonight so that security– Secret Service security, among others– could make their inspection. We should be allowed back into the site sometime tomorrow afternoon. The big convention news was the speculation surrounding Barack Obama‘s selection of his running mate. There were also a number of related stories regarding a variety of hoaxes involving the selection being perpetrated against both party supporters and the Washington press corp.
I have a couple minor points to finish up tomorrow afternoon. Our editorial staff is starting to trickle in. Paul West, the Washington bureau chief for the Baltimore Sun was the first to arrive in our workspace. I expect more people to arrive tomorrow and almost everyone to be here by Sunday. At that point we will shift into operational support for Sunday and Monday and I will get to see firsthand whether the time and effort I’ve put into this project will pay off.