7:41 – Delegation whip Ruben Gallego just proposed to his girlfriend Kate Widland. Cameras are snapping.
7:37 – “Hope still lives, and dreams never die.” Those were also the words to Kennedy’s speech at the 1980 convention. Eckerstrom had them memorized; he thinks it was the ’80 speech was the best he’d heard before Obama came along. Kennedy leaves stage to “Still the One.” Oddly, the guy that wrote that song is now a congressman from New York and is probably here.
7:34 – Stroke or no…this guy has still got it.
7:32 – Kennedy – “Nothing is going to keep me away from this gathering tonight.”
7:31 – Two minute ovation for Ted Kennedy.
7:29 – Word on this supposed “disunity:” Mention of Barack Obama’s name leads entire delegation, without exception, to a standing O.
7:22 – Appearance of the three Kennedy brothers in taped piece prompts applause.
7:20 – I’m sitting next to Paul Eckerstrom, who worked on Kennedy’s presidential campaign. I expect that he will be particularly touched by Kennedy’s appearance.
7:19 – Caroline Kennedy – “Teddy is your senator too.”
7:17 – When I was young, I used to refer to the adoration of the Kennedys by Democratic activists as “Political Necrophilia.” I was young and stupid about it. As I grow older, I understand it.
]7:15 – Caroline Kennedy…crowd goes nuts because we know what’s next.
7:11 – Balanoff – “Barack Obama believes that if you work in America, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty.”
7:09 – Illinois SEIU leader Tom Balanoff is speaking. I can’t find Phoenix AFSCME stalwart Roman Ulman to see his reaction.
7:07 – Richard Schiff of West Wing was sitting with our delegation for reasons I can’t fathom.
7:05 – The signs, by the way, are delivered the delegation whip in large plastic garbage bags. I don’t know if this is for convienience or so that they are not seen.
7:03 – They are handing out Kennedy signs…I wonder who is next?
7:01 – “Whipping” seems to be working, not a single Hillary Clinton sign to be seen.
6:59 – Other news today: Hillary Clinton is expected to release her delegates on Wednesday. The fun part here is that the AP had this this morning, but many of the Clinton delegates I spoke with today had no idea.
6:58 – The filler music is actually live. Cool.
6:56 – Sitting next to Rep. Dave Schapira. The man hasn’t sat down since he realized Biden is sitting behind us. He just keeps staring.
6:55 – Camera on Biden again. Give this man his rest!
6:52 – Another shot of Biden. Crowd goes nuts. I saw a barbecue cart that he was ordering at get mobbed by 300 people today. As much respect as these guys have and have had for the man, I can’t imagine more than six or seven people trying to get at him if this was 2004.
6:50 – Break in the action, camera panning hall. It’s like those “ultimate fan” contests in breaks in basketball games. Camera picks up Biden’s bald head, crowd goes nuts.
6:49 – The hall has filled up.
6:43 Joe Biden is near our delegation! Heck, right behind us. The Massachusetts delegates in front of us are going nuts.
6:42 – Jesse Jackson Jr.: Martin Luther King Jr. would enjoy this convention because its the first to take place within sight of a mountaintop.
6:39 – A word here about “whips.” Each delegation has a “whip” appointed by the DNC, whose job it is to make sure that signs are raised and the rights signs are raised. Yeah, you thought that was all spontaneous. Our whip is Ruben Gallego. Gallego is a marine who served in Anbar province, so he’s up for the job.
6:37 – Comments from Maya Soetoro-Ng, Barack Obama’s half sister. Expect many bits from members of the Obama clan tonight. I’m glad that they are featuring one of Obama’s “ethnic” relatives instead of sticking to the “He’s Kansan” thing of late.
6:35 – Taped “resume” is being shown. During such moments, half the delegates are either milling or pointing, with the other half weakly clapping. Don’t know how that comes out on TV.
6:34 – Carter ain’t talking. Go figure.
6:33 – Carter is here live. Standing O. “Georgia on My Mind” is playing. Not the version by Republican Ray Charles.
6:30 – News of the afternoon: Senator Kennedy is in town. Many delegates wondered if he would come in person or do a remote. We are expecting no dry eyes for his speech later.
6:29 – Taped message from former President Jimmy Carter gets applause from the half filled hall.
6:27 – Got into the hall. The wireless set up I have works! Thank God. A woman who survived Hurricaine Katrina is saying “Don’t let John McCain drown us.”