Denver left-overs

As I await my afternoon flight, I am set up at the Denver International Airport, concourse B. The table holding my laptop is very close to the Wolfgang Puck restaurant, but even closed to the Four Seasons Fine Jewelry and Gifts. 

I made my way here in a blue conversion van with 10 passengers and a driver.  When the last passenger joined our "Super Shuttle" to the airport, she revealed to the other passengers she was headed home to possibly evacuate.  She lives on the Gulf Coast.  When the gentleman sitting next to her expressed his sympathies, she allowed as how people on the Gulf Coast should always be ready to move.  I believe, based on the rest of their conversation which I sort of overheard, she was a delegate from Texas.

The gentleman sitting beside me in the rear of the van was clutching an American flag I suspect he waved last night when Obama spoke here in Denver.  The convention experience must have depleted his resources, however, as he slept on and off through the 45 minute trip from downtown Denver to DIA.

As I walked down a hallway at the Courtyard Marriott on the 16th Street Ped Mall this morning, a blue verticle sign with white letters "I-O-W-A" was leaning against a wall, abandoned or perhaps slipped near the door of a delegate who was still slumbering and would awaken to see the gift from another Iowa Democrat.

Todd Dorman of The Cedar Rapids Gazette and I took a stroll down the street, encountering a vendor selling Barack Obama action figures.  On the back is a cartoon styling of Obama with his right arm raised, hand pointing — an action pose, to be sure.  There were shot glasses and all sorts of knicknacks, including an "Obama Mama" t-shirt. 

As we strolled down Pearl Street, we passed comic Mo Rocca (of The Tonight Show), videographer and sound tech.  Rocca was asked a person at one of the Pearl Street businesses whether they were already feeling a little let down at 11:20 a.m. Friday morning since there were no crowds teeming through the area as there had been when the convention was on.  We did not stay to hear the answer.  Perhaps we’ll see it tonight on, well, The Tonight Show.

My email inbox has just received another statement from Governor Chet Culver, this one about John McCain’s choice in running mate:Governor Culver to be available to the media upon his return to Iowa at 4pm today

DES MOINES — Today, Governor Chet Culver issued the following statement regarding Sen. John McCain’s choice of Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate.

In addition, Governor Culver will be available to the media this afternoon at the Des Moines Airport when he returns to Des Moines, currently estimated to be at 4pm.


"The differences between Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin couldn’t be more stark. Gov. Palin’s 18 months in office pale in comparison to Sen. Biden’s years of service to our country. While Gov. Palin has zero experience in world affairs, Sen. Biden chairs the foreign relations committee.  While Gov. Palin supports big oil, Joe Biden shares Barack Obama’s dreams of energy independence.  And while Sarah Palin opposes a woman’s right to make her own health care choices, Joe Biden has a long history of supporting womens rights.  It is clear that Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be the best people to lead our nation forward."

This statement perhaps rushed out in response, if you will, to this earlier dispatch from the Obama campaign’s Iowa office at 11:07 a.m. this morning.

TODAY: Governor Vilsack to Hold Press Conference to Discuss Senator McCain’s Vice Presidential Pick

Des Moines, Iowa – Today, at 3:00 PM CDT, Governor Tom Vilsack will hold a press conference in Des Moines to discuss Senator John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential nominee.  The details of the press conference are:

3:00 PM CDT
Governor Vilsack to hold a press conference to discuss Senator McCain’s Vice Presidential pick
State Capitol – West Steps
Des Moines, Iowa

Senator Chuck Grassley’s thoughts on Palin were released via email at 11:30 a.m. (not a tweet, however):

Senator Grassley had the following comment after John McCain’s selecation of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

"Here’s a candidate who doesn’t just talk change, she is change.  Gov. Palin has a remarkable record of accomplishment in her personal life as well as public life.  She’s stood for principle over party and has record-breaking support in her state for it.  She’s demonstrated strength of character when faced with adversity.  It’s the kind of situation where the more you learn, the more you like and respect her."

Two guys sitting at a table next to me here in the office, er, airport are having a discussion about McCain/Palin ’08.  I cannot type what they just said, it’s that profane.  Let’s just say it wasn’t flattering toward McCain regarding his age in comparison to Palin’s.  The guys, by the way, appear to be in their 20s.

Now, back to some of the left-overs from Denver.  Frank Chiodo, an aide to Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro, took time off this week to be a convention "whip" which means he helped manage the look of the floor, placing people, signs, etc. at the direction of the Obama campaign among other things.  He joked that he really needed to go back to work to get some rest.

If you were watching TV on Hillary night, there was an Iowa delegate who often made the screen.  She was dressed in pink and wearing a pink hat with a white button which read:  "Hot Women for Hillary."  At one point — as recounted by a woman sitting next to her — the woman sitting next to the Woman in Pink was holding a sign in front of her face.

"Hold your sign up so we can get on TV," the Woman in Pink advised her seat mate.

"I’m kind of tired of having my picture on TV," the woman beside the Woman in Pink said.

"Well, I’m not.  Hold up your sign," the woman in Pink advised.  The sign went up, the lenses refocused and all was well in Iowa delegate land.

Delegate Angel Gonzalez, a native of Puerto Rico who lives in Iowa City, was explaining to me his route to Denver, including the speecfh he made at the second congressional district convention to advance as a delegate to the national convention:  "I told them to send a little salsa from the prairie to Denver."

There are other left-overs which I shall perhaps add later, when my brain sifts through and puts them in a position for downloading to the blog.  Until then, it’s time to pack up the laptop and head to the gate for my flight back to Des Moines.  From the Des Moines International Airport I shall make my way home, do laundry, get up Saturday and mow the lawn and then drive up to Minnesota for the Republican National Convention.

Below is a picture of me at work in Denver, mulling a drink of American versus an edit, it appears.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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