Denver, Colorado is under siege from the Democratic circus as for the next four days the city hosts the the 45th Democratic Convention.
A budget of some 60 million US dollars, 50,000 participants, including 15,000 journalists, indicates this is politics on a grand scale.
The 2008 convention is different from any other in US history because, for the first time, a major political party will put a black candidate up to fight for the office of President of the United States.
That man is Barack Obama. He has already been involved in a Titanic struggle to get to where he is. His victory, against the odds, to beat favourite Hillary Clinton to the presidential nomination, ran and ran but Obama proved he is a man for the long haul.
Political analyst Allan Lichtman says of the convention:
“It is a milestone in all of American history. The nomination of an African American is an enormous breakthrough. I think there will be attention on this speech perhaps comparable to John F.Kennedy’s
1960 speech when he represented the arrival of the new generation or Franklin Roosevelt’s 1932 speech.”
It is a Democrat dream that they have a candidate who stands for what they believe is credible change, one that can be mentioned in the same breath as JFK and one they hope will inspire voters.
In American politics the candidate’s partner, in this case Michelle Obama, his wife, will play a crucial role in getting her husband the keys to the White House. She will speak at the convention and her performance will be closely watched by the Democrats and Republicans, but for different reasons.
Hillary Clinton and her many supporters will be there and the two camps know that they must be seen to have smoothed the differences that reared up during a protracted nomination campaign. Any cracks will be ruthlessley exploited by the Republicans, who are old hands at playing political hardball.