Convention Notebook Day 1

It's ready or not for the Democrats as the big show opens tonight here in downtown Denver. And that is the question: Is everything and is everybody ready? Is Denver ready to handle the event? Are diehard Hillary Clinton supporters ready to throw in behind Obama? And is Obama ready to move this campaign forward?

Denver. Even though the governor and the mayor insist the city is all set, touring the city and talking to non-political locals leaves the question open. Even before the delegates and the 15 thousand media members arrived, traffic jams were building. The residents fret about three hour tie-ups and there's a distinct lack of signage downtown telling them where to go.

The Clinton supporters. Some are still hanging on. In fact, the most strident met for a pre-convention party just last night to cheer the cause on.

And is Obama ready? Even Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, in a conversation on Morning Edition today, acknowledges Obama need to use his speech later this week to reintroduce himself to voters, voters who've grown more skeptical about the Obama candidacy in recent weeks.

Just a couple of more observations. Like it or not, Democrats, former Governor Mitt Romney is a presence here. Michigan is a key state in this election and the Michigan delegates we've met, almost to a person, have said, if John McCain picks Romney as his running mate, Michigan, another of Romney's home states, where his father is a well-remembered and beloved governor, Michigan will be tough for Obama to win.

And finally, as we've been talking about this morning, tonight's convention tribute to Senator Edward Kennedy and his unexpected appearance. It'll be huge for the Kennedy clan and especially for the senator himself who leaves his sickbed to come before this convention. The announcement itself that the senator is coming, makes this a memorable event, even before it officially opens.

It's already been a major event for Caroline Kennedy, who's been running the show for the family in the senators absence, that according to a Massachusetts political insider.

It's a role that's led to the never-ending Kennedy family speculation that this, the most private of Kennedys, Caroline, is prepping for a more public role. After all, she's already played a major role in the vice presidential selection process for Obama.

So thanks to Senator Kennedy and Caroline, for one more night at least and maybe longer, it's back to the future for those who continue to long for Camelot. In Denver, this is Bob Oakes.

This program aired on August 25, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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