Monday morning breakfast in Denver

It wasn’t possible to live blog, take pictures, dash around to do interviews with delegates as they finished their breakfast and tape the speakers, so the live blogging was jettisoned this morning as I covered the morning meeting for the Iowa delegation at this Democratic National Convention.

The Iowa delegation’s hotel is in a prime spot of real estate in downtown Denver — along the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall and within walking distance of the Pepsi Center.  What it lacked was a big enough room for all the Iowa delegates and their guests to be seated in the same room, so the doors were flung open to the very small Cosmopolitan Room and tables were set up in the lobby outside.  A sound system was rigged up so the remarks of Brennan and others who addressed the delegates could be heard in both spaces.   

Scott Brennan, the Iowa Democratic Party’s chairmn, started things off with the Pledge, then he revealed that he is among the 37 Iowa delegates who are attending their first convention.  Brennan briefed the delegates on the convention schedule and the group applauded when Brennan mentioned former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach  — a "highly-respected Republican" according to Brennan — will be speaking this evening.  (Leach, a Republican, endorsed Obama in mid-August.)  Senator Tom Harkin told the delegates he would be on stage to introduce Leach. 

Brennan had all the delegates introduce themselves.  When it was Congressman Bruce Braley’s turn, Braley said: "I’m Bruce Braley from Waterloo,  I do advance work for Senator Harkin."  The other delegates laughed, and Brennan added:  "I do, too."

"Good morning, Iowa," Harkin began when he took the microphone, then Harkin immediately ribbed Brenanan. a former Harkin staff member who met his wife, Liz, in that office. "I thought something was going on and sure enough it was and they have two wonderful children," Harkin concluded, to applause from the crowd.

Haarkin said if Biden becomes vice president, Senator Dodd will probaby move over to chair the Judiciary Committee and then Harkin said he — Harkin – would be the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Labor, Education and Health Committee.

"Democratic conventions are not a cone of silence.  I expect you’re going to see a lot of fizz at the Pepsi Center," Harkin quipped, to laughter from the crowd.

Harkin told the crowd John McCain had "barely" graduated from high school and got into the military academy as a legacy student — McCain’s father and grandfather were academy grads.  "So you could say that John McCain got where he is because of good family connections.  Now, does that remind you of anyone else?" Harkin asked, alluding to President George W. Bush.  Harkin then said more about McCain.  I’ll write a story soon and link to it here to get all the quotes correct.

Harkin sponsored breakfast for the Iowa delegates this morning and he brought in Amy Klobuchar (pronounced KLOH-buh-char, according to Harkin’s introduction).  She is a U.S. Senator from Minnesota who, like Harkin, has Slovenian ancestors. 

Klobuchar promised not to tell any Iowa joikes as long as the Iowans didn’t tell any Minnesota jokes.  She told a story about Harkin trying to buy a Slovenian delicacy pronounced puh-TEET-suh for all his US Senate colleagues.  I did a google search and believe the name of the pastry is potica..

"I have no better dream than to become the senior senator from Minnesota," Klobuchar said of Al Franken’s race for Minnesota’s other US Senate seat.

Klobuchar took a shot at McCain, using McCain’s "how many houses do you own" gaffe as the base:  "People who live in seven houses shouldn’t be throwning stones," Kobuchar said of McCain’s campaign ads that’re critical of Obama.

She concluded with a reference to the TVLand channel on cable to warn about what it will be like it McCain wins in November.  "It’s going to be like Gilligan’s Island for four more years," she said, "and we’ll never get off the island."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.