Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Man Behind The Curtain

My brother said to me earlier "What is up with people on the floor getting told when to applaud and when to raise signs. That's fucked up. That's not democracy. This is just propaganda paid for by me!"

So I asked Sharon, our delegate correspondent, about it and got the full story. "We are told a lot," she said. "We are given signs and told exactly when to raise them and stand." In fact, last night, they were told that they may be asked to cheer LESS as John Edwards was speaking so that he would finish his speech in prime time, but because he finished 5 minutes early, they didn't have to. There was a mini rebellion among delegates, apparently, cheering when they weren't supposed to. So they got a little visit from a convention representative at breakfast this morning, thanking them for putting up with their direction and assuring them that it's all to the purpose of portraying a united party. And indeed, an alternate who had watched Monday and Tuesday told Sharon that indeed that is exactly the image that was projected on television. Most delegates, Sharon said, were OK with it and they appreciated the thanks.

She also spoke about the roll call vote last night. The states are supposed to vote in alphabetical order but the first state ceded to Massachusetts so Kerry's state could vote first and then to North Carolina so Edwards's state could vote second. That apparently always happens. As Sharon said, "it's only polite." But then, when it came time for Minnesota to vote, they ceded their vote to Ohio so their vote would put John Kerry over the top in votes needed to win him the nomination. Again, this didn't bother Sharon, if Minnesota was OK with it.

The point is that this is more stage produced than it appears. It's a television production. But considering the cost, if this were a series, I imagine it wouldn't get past the pilot.

Todd

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