Monday, July 7, 2008

America's Convention: DNCC Press Call

I just hung up the phone from the press call regarding the decision to move the 4th day of the DNCC to INVESCO to allow more than 75,000 people to participate. DNC chairman, Gov. Howard Dean said, "Obama does not view this as his convention; it's America's convention." Dean said that opening up the last day of the convention to as many people as possible was consistent with the message and vision of the Obama campaign and with Dean's own philosophy. Dean stressed that this is an historic event, something that has never been done before, and in keeping with the historic nature of this convention.

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius also joined the call and stressed that nothing better symbolizes the new face of the Democratic Party than hosting this convention in the Mountain West-a place that was once a Republican stronghold that is now becoming more Democratic. Gov. Sebelius also pointed out that people are enthusiastic about the convention and about Obama's nomination. For example, instead of the 10,000 volunteers the committee sought to recruit, more than 22,000 people have responded to the call for volunteers.

If you read the NYT article today, then you know that there are concern about paying for this change. Because of the long primary season, fundraising for the convention has been a bit late getting started. Gov. Dean and the Obama campaign representative, Anita Dunn brushed aside those concerns, saying that the DNCC is within budget and that the Obama campaign will assist the committee with raising the needed funds for the convention.

In a moment of levity, a reporter asked Gov. Dean whether Republicans and Independent voters would be included in the 75K ticketed guests who would witness Obama's acceptance speech. Dean quipped that there would be "good videos" and then stammered through a response about priority being given to people, especially those in western states, who have worked long and hard for Obama. Gov. Sebelius cut in (thankfully) and said that many Republicans and Independent voters are now Democrats as a result of this historic primary, and that they would certainly be among those witnessing Obama accepting the nomination.

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