On Thursday, August 28th at 11:00 AM, I began to head through the many security checkpoints, picked up my credentials as a vendor, and began the walking path to Invesco as no one could park within miles of the site. As a vendor I wasn't able to bring a camera and I had to remain professional during my work, but I still had an amazing, first-hand account of this historical event. The following is what I saw, found, and heard...
Barack Obama didn't go on until 8:00 PM that evening, but I had a long day of preparation and attending to the VIP Suites at Invesco field. There are 131 private luxury suites, at Invesco that overlook the field and fill about 14-20 people. For this convention they were granted to big donors, party officials, and celebrities. The Denver Post stated that "corporations such as Xcel Energy and MolsonCoors, which have donated more than $1 million to the Denver committee hosting the convention," were granted access to the suites. I was a Suite Attendant, which meant I did everything and anything for the guests. Included in my wing of 17 suites was Senator Joe Biden's family, and Vermont Governor Howard Dean and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (whom I actually watched Obama's speech live with in their suite, ILOVERMONT!)
Celebrity sightings and chats included:
Black Eyed Peas
Actor Kal Penn ('Kumar' and in Van Wylder)
Mary J. Blige
Star Jones (The View)
Hillary and Bill Clinton
And my personal favorite, Oprah Winfrey!
As the time neared for Obama to speak, the crowd was hushed. They knew what was coming, and the mile-long lines, security, and hot sun didn't seem to matter anymore. Triumphantly, as he was introduced Obama strode out to the podium, facing the estimated 80,000 Invesco viewers, while an additional 38 million viewers tuned in. This Washington Post article noted, his speech was the most watched convention speech, ever. Live at Invesco, everyone was drawn to cries of happiness, as they chanted "Yes we can! Yes we can!" Watching from the suite above, my view was beautiful. Thousands of American flags were waving in the air, lights flashing, and goosebumps rose up my arms as a feeling of pride and hope washed over me.
Obama humbly accepted his nomination by stating: "To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin, and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation, with profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for presidency of the United States." And the crowd that outdid Kennedy's acceptance speech in 1960, in Los Angeles, went wild.
Obama said that "the greatest risk America could take," would be to continue the politics of the past eight years by voting Republican once more, an echo of former running mate, Hillary Clinton. He declared, “We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.”
I felt the real feeling of history, breathing before me, through Obama. He promised to "end US dependence on Middle East oil, focus on renewable energy, 'take out' Osama bin Laden, tax cuts for 95% of US families, world-class education for every child, and affordable health care for every Ameican." These promises were chilling, infused with idealism, pertinent details, and hope.
I feel blessed and lucky to have seen this live. Even after 12 hours of moving on my feet without food, I was running on pure adrenaline and the wave of power at Invesco, delivered through the American people and Barack Obama, himself.