August 25th, 2008
07:03 PM ET

The convention's first day feel

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/25/art.dnctolife.jpg caption="The Democratic National Convention comes to life on it's opening day in Denver, Co."]

Anderson Cooper

After two days of working in the relatively empty pepsi center, it's a bit of a shock to suddenly see the place swarming with people.
The lines thru security are long, but once you're inside the excitement is palpable, if a bit unfocused. It has something of the feeling of the first day of school, a lot of nervous energy and people unsure where they are supposed to be.

Right now I'm in a room off a back hallway, waiting to go on the air. I checked out our set a minute ago and James Carville was getting mobbed – people asking him for photographs. Donna Brazile walked by in a yellow vest. "You look like a traffic cop," I told her. "They just made me a floor whip, and sent me to give the florida delegation their seats." For anyone who followed the drama over seating michigan and florida delegates, the irony is obvious.

It's still unclear if Senator Kennedy will speak tonite, but he is certainly on the minds and in the hearts of many here. Michelle Obama is speaking of course and her words will be closely followed by friend and foe alike.

Conventions are scripted, rehearsed, and polished, but that does not mean they are unimportant. These may not be the conventions of old, where backroom deals and floor fights were common, but they do serve a purpose. Certainly for democrats, some of whom have yet to accept the primary results, and who are now facing a dead heat, this is a chance to demonstrate unity, introduce their candidate, and draw distinctions between themselves and the republicans. I've got to go to the platform now, the crowds are getting thicker, and the clock is ticking.

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Behind The Scenes • T1
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. anne,newfoundland,canada


    Welcome back,it's great to see you again!

    I was watching all the coverage,even though I am in Canada(there are rumors HERE of a possible election).
    Sort of from the "outside looking in"......

    Mr. Kennedy looks remarkably well,and you could tell there was not a dry eye in the building when he came out and spoke.

    Michelle Obama also gave a great speech.

    I WAS expecting more Bush bashing,but maybe that is saved for the REST of this week!!!

    Take care,Anderson.
    It sounds as if you are having a busy, hectic,yet exciting time in Denver.

    Please blog more often here,even after the conventions.

    August 26, 2008 at 7:15 am |
  2. Anika Eden Chant

    Anderson, I consider you one of the most premiere and cutting edge journalists in media. I like to listen to you. I trust you more than most. I missed you when you were away. You give us untainted facts.

    I don't know if you are hurt that Senator Clinton did not get the nod for the VP but she is always going to be instrumental in the Democratic Party. ALWAYS. She is a powerful force. Let's stick together.

    I plead with all Democrats (particularly Senator Clinton's soldiers who so respectfully, worked deeply in the trenches) let's not cut off our noses to spite our faces. Let's not inplode and have another 4 years like the last eight because we're acting like children. Let's pull together. Yes We Can.

    I can't wait to hear Senator Clinton. I am proud of her. She is a powerful woman with the experience of a legend. We will never see her the same. She's more than a Senator. She is a legend, a trailblazer, an humanitarian, a politician, a mover and a shaker. It's going to be an awesome follow up at the DNC.

    I agree that tonight is a monumental historic event as Senator Kennedy and Mrs. Obama brought the house together by the spirit of their belief in our future. Tonight every American should have felt they were a part of the American family. There was a sweet connection of each heart.

    All emotions were stroked by their moving speeches. The only color seen, was Red, White and Blue. It's a New America. A coat of many colors.

    God bless America.

    August 26, 2008 at 5:19 am |
  3. Renee', Miami, FL

    Dear Mr. Carville,

    As a registered democrat & faithful voter for the past 35 years, I am ashamed of your conduct & non-support of our party's nominee. Your commentary & conduct on the first night of our convention was appalling! You are acting like a 3 year old "sore loser". You had absolutely nothing positive to say about anything. The problem with this country lies within people like you. You are an attack dog. We are sick & tired of this type of mentality. Why don't you take a zanax & stay home! If we loose this election, it will be because of people like you.

    If Hillary plans to run for office in 8 years, many folks, like myself will remember & recall these times, your behavior, and the attitudes of others. In fact, I have recorded this & will bring it out as a reminder for all my family & friends to see. We won't vote for her. You have no idea that you are actually alienating the african-american community, and Hillary can't win without the black vote!

    Stop all the immature whining & get behind Barack Obama! Why don't you do us all a favor & put on a muzzle for the next 3-4 months. You are "supposed to be a democrat for god's sake." If your no longer a democrat, please let someone know, so the panel could be more balanced.

    R. Menzel

    August 26, 2008 at 4:09 am |
  4. Ron from Philly

    Wolf, Anderson and their crew did a poor job covering the first day of the Democratic Convention. If I wanted to see reporters bash Obama I would watch Fox News. If they would stop talking the ENTIRE night maybe we could have herd from more of the actual SPEAKERS on stage who were giving the crowd the "Red Meat" they were talking over. I hope his coverage gets better tommorow night.

    August 26, 2008 at 1:13 am |
  5. Jolene

    I also was surprised CNN chose not to cover Pelosi's speech tonight but even though it was a slow and a bit boring Day 1 start, by far, Caroline Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, and Michelle Obama's speeches were well worth waiting for.

    I suppose the start wasn't a total bore though, watching the crowd dancing and having fun was enjoyable. So Donna Brazile was caught dancing? I missed it. Are you next? Don't worry, I won't hold my breath.....

    Thanks for blogging today. I hope you consider doing it more this week.

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    August 26, 2008 at 12:15 am |
  6. Skye

    Great speeches tonight, Anderson – Kennedy and Michelle Obama were inspiring! Thanks for being our eyes and ears on the floor at the convention – wish we could all be there with you!

    August 25, 2008 at 11:50 pm |
  7. Barbara in Culver City, CA

    I was so disappointed in CNN's convention coverage tonight. I don't believe it is the job of the news media to criticize a convention. You are there to give facts, not opinions about how *you* think a convention should be organized. All the negativity on the part of Wolf, Anderson, and the analysts was really out of line. I found myself turning the channel to see what was really taking place there. What happened to the viewers not needing to be told how to think? CNN tonight was an embarrassment. Please improve your coverage during the remaining days.

    August 25, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  8. Keith

    All the negativity from James C. and David G. and Anderson!! Let the events unroll before you start telling the public how we should fee. The convention isn't being held for the benefit of 24 hour news junkies, talking heads with nothing better to do, or paid "political consultants". As it is, this is what is called PROCESS. It is just sad that the entire process of political conventions has come to be so prescriptive, bureaucratic and unspontaneous. I agree 100% with Terry from GA..

    August 25, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  9. EJ (USA)

    I have been watching CNN for years and I am completely and utterly disgusted and surprised at the way you and wolf have been acting tonight. You have been acting like little kids who don’t have any patience. This is the Democratic Convention and not the Wolf & Anderson convention.

    This is just hilarious.

    I think a Wolf and Anderson Convention wouldn't be such a bad idea. That would be fun too.

    August 25, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  10. Amy, Chicago

    Tommorrow – I'll be going for a run and walking my dogs –

    I have not been intrigued, in fact I have spent the entire night waiting for something that may make me think.

    CNN you've done a great job – I'll see you in a few days when things may get interesting.

    August 25, 2008 at 11:24 pm |
  11. Dana H. from Bay Area

    I got home about almost 1 and 1/2 hours ago and I'm listening to the pundits on cnn and I don't know if it's me or if it's the fact that I switched from npr radio in the car to cnn on tv, but cnn seem sooo negative compared to npr. Maybe they are expecting the ruthless politics of the past or maybe they are just bored. For the first time I have to say is David was extremely annoying me, and I actually like him. From my understanding they are suppose to be getting the people to know who Obama is... they can bash McCain later. They make it sounds like this is the only day this convention is going to go on.

    August 25, 2008 at 11:14 pm |
  12. Steele

    Tonights conventions was a " get a sense of who we are" kind of event. I dont know why these idiot reporters keep stressing the dems should of attacked mccain and the republicans. Its only the first night. Save that strategy for the second or last day of the convention. If you attack everyday of the convention it gets old and plays into the republican hands.

    August 25, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  13. Presley


    August 25, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
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