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The longest-continuous paid-political advertisement began today in Denver. Next week, the Republicans will try to break the record set this week by the Democrats. It's a made-for-TV event. Once the gavel drops on the day's proceedings, there's no dead time allowed, not in TV-land. And TV-land in this case mostly means MSNBC, which means that very few Americans are watching, or listening. Only the keynote speakers will be covered during the prime-time coverage. To keep up the spirits of the convention-goers who aren't out shopping or who aren't being feted at one of several hundred parties put on by corporate sponsors the Dems trot out a bunch of politicos to throw in a few glowing words about Barack. No more than 5 minutes for any given speaker.

After listening to these plaudits, I realize that some really great qualifications for being President (or any elected official) would be: 1) Parents and/or grandparents must have been dirt poor; 2) youngest of 12-14 children; 3) as a child, although a gifted student, was taken from the class during harvest season to pick cotton. Instead of finding this experience embittering, it was one of life's great lessons; and 4) despite these modest upbringings, went on the graduate from Harvard/Yale/Oxford all-the-while retaining a folksy sense of humor.

Sandwiched between the brief, yet inspiring, speakers are a series of entertainers who play re-creations of classic funk oldies from the sixties and seventies to the convention goers, most of whom are old enough to have lived through them. Yeah! Re-create 68, right there on stage. It's part church social, part reunion, part country-club mixer. Everyone seems a little too amped given it's the first day of the convention. We'll see how they hold up as the night goes on and through the week.

Now they've set 4 policy wonks, some from the former Clinton Administration on stage, and they are responding to video questions shown on the big screen. The questions are those "middle-Americans want answered."

Yes, Americans want to know the answers to questions about the high cost of education, how to fix the flagging economy, universal health care, and ending the war on Iraq (a video problem cut short the last question so we are left to wonder if that was it). But "America's town Hall" as this brief event is called, just comes across as hooky. I'm only a little surprised the MC wasn't wearing a cowboy hat, but again, we've got 2 more nights of this, if he's get loopy enough during the after-party, he may let it all hang-out before the week's out.

Now Nancy Peloski is speaking. She has slighty more chrisma than Joe Lieberman. Like most Americans are probably feeling at this moment, it's all I can do to keep from checking the baseball scores. Now she's quoting America the Beautiful, which was penned by a Coloradian or someone who went to the mountaintop.

OK, so I didn't check the baseball scores afterall. Well I did, except the BoSox, the Yankees, and the Cardinals all have the night off and the Cubs apparently never lose anymore so it didn't take long. So we went in search of a really good re-mix of America the Beautiful. Guess what? There isn't one. No ones done it better than Ray Charles and the only video of Ray we could find was a Boston Pops performance. He toned it down a bit. So we went for the next best thing. Elvis, the America trilogy. 1973. He used this to close down his Vegas shows.

That nostaglic trip was the perfect introduction to Sen. Edward Kennedy, who looks and sounds remarkedly well. After a moving tribute by Ken Burns, he hobbles on-stage and calls the crowd to a better country and world. It takes his entire family to get him off stage as the crowd cheers endlessly and he obviously loves ever minute of it.

Oh look! There's Joe Biden and his family grooving to Kool and the Gang. Come on! Celebrate Good Times. Come on!