Celebrity Watch

After 4 p.m. Mountain time, the hallways at Denver’s Pepsi Center become like tropical ocean reefs, with a million vibrant fish swimming in every direction — and some really big fish paddling through...

A representative “catch” in one hallway, first concourse level, 4:10 p.m., Tuesday: Gov. Bill Richardson, NBA great Charles Barkley (shown here), Congressman Dennis Kucinich; and dozens of delegates wearing all forms of colorful clothing, hats, and shirts.

I was just swimming off the set with Matt Bai from The New York Times Magazine, one of the panelists on our show last night, and he started talking about the Denver convention versus others he’s covered.

“I can’t believe how many images I’ve seen of Obama,” he said, noting all of the t-shirts, buttons, wall posters, and t.v. screens. “You know what Denver reminds me of? A developing country with a strongman dictator. Obama’s everywhere.” We laughed as hundreds of delegates, covered in Obama images, streamed into the Center.

Matt said that the Los Angeles and Boston conventions in ’00 and ’04 featured relatively little in the way of images of Al Gore or John Kerry. Of course, the alleged “celebrity cult” of Obama — which has been turned against him in attack ads — remains a genuine dilemma for the campaign. But as MSNBC reports, it’s unclear which candidate is more hung up on celebrity.

By the way, on a tangential note, Matt’s provocative recent piece for the NYT Magazine on racial politics and the election is worth a read.

This program aired on August 27, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.


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