Welcome to Denver: Cheers, Jeers and Hillary Rodham Clinton
Welcome to Denver, where political rumors travel faster than car and foot traffic because of the mega-police presence and ubiquitous orange traffic cone, and where on Joe Biden's first day in the vice-presidential sunshine rabid right-wingers and recalcitrant Hillary Clinton supporters snipped at the edges of the unfolding great Obama fest.
First, the reaction to Biden. Most delegates and party people heading to a Saturday evening reception for the media said they were were pleased. Not euphoric. Not cloud nine. Not thinking Biden would be a silver bullet into the dark heart of John McCain's I'm-the-toughest campaign. Most were not aware of Biden's support for going into Iraq, or when asked about that, said, 'Well that was then ...'
As one woman who was selling hand-painted wooden campaign buttons at the entrance to the media reception -- at an amusement park -- said, "People back home (Pennsylvania) are excited for Biden because he has a lot of experience in foreign affairs. He is a no-nonsense, sincere, intelligent, go-get-em senators. It's a great addition to the ticket."
The only grumbles among this very loyal Democratic crowd -- who all had credentials to get into official events, which is not the case for most progressives -- came from Hillary supporters. One fellow, from Colorado, said, "She was the most popular choice among delegates polled -- I'm not impressed." But he didn't give his name; citing party loyalty.
Perhaps more disturbing, another early Obama supporter and delegate said she had been approached by two Georgia delegates who were upset by a simmering but mysterious vote-Hillary ploy. They said the women in their delegation had been receiving e-mails urging them to vote for Hillary on the first ballot, when the convention formally selects the presidential nominee. Whether this is part of a bigger HRC plan or a last-ditch effort by supporters of a vanquished candidate, remains to be seen.