August 28th, 2008
05:13 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Obama's Night

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/08/28/obama.thursday/art.obama.invesco.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Barack Obama takes a walkthrough of Invesco Field at Mile High on Wednesday night."]Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, Barack Obama will become the first African-American to accept a major party's nomination for President of the United States. His speech comes on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.  And, it will take place in front of 75,000 people at Denver's Invesco Field (home to the NFL's Denver Broncos), with  millions more watching at home during the final night of the Democratic National Convention.

"Senator Obama's speech tonight will be as he himself has characterized it, more workmanlike, a very direct conversation with the American people about the choice we face in this election. About the risk of staying on the same path we're on, the risk of just more of the same versus the change we need," Obama spokeswoman Anita Dunn said in a conference call with reporters.

What do you want to hear tonight from Senator Obama?

Keep in mind, it's not just the words from Obama that will get noticed.  There's a lot of buzz  over the backdrop (AKA: the stagecrafting) chosen for tonight's speech.  Obama will be speaking in front of faux-marble neo-classical columns. The McCain camp is dubbing it the "Temple of Obama" or "Barackopolis." It's also offering some fashion "advice". "The toga may have gone out of style centuries ago, but after Obama's temple speech . . . they're sure to be flying off the racks," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said.

What do you think of  Obama's backdrop? 

We'd love to hear from you. And, keep it locked on CNN for our special coverage of this historic night. Here's the lineup of tonight's speakers:

Live Performances (before gavel)
Yonder Mountain String Band Performance
Jeff Austin, Adam Aijala, Ben Kaufmann, Dave Johnston

Voter Registration Presentation

The Honorable Luis Gutierrez
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois

David Plouffe
Obama Campaign Manager

Ray Rivera
Obama State Director, Colorado

Call to Order
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Permanent Chair, Democratic National Convention
Member and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, California

Rabbi David Saperstein
Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism – Washington, D.C.

Presentation of Colors
Disabled American Veterans

Pledge of Allegiance
Shawn Johnson
U.S. Olympic Gymnast

National Anthem
Jennifer Hudson
Academy award-winning singer and Broadway performer

Elbra Wedgeworth
President/Chair, Denver Host Committee

Presentation of Resolutions
Democratic National Committee Vice-Chairs
Mark Brewer
The Honorable Linda Chavez-Thompson
The Honorable Mike Honda
The Honorable Lottie Shackelford
Susan Turnbull

The Honorable Bill Ritter, Jr.
Governor of Colorado

The Honorable Ed Perlmutter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Colorado

The Honorable John Salazar
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Colorado

The Honorable Diana DeGette
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Colorado

Video & Remarks
The Honorable Howard Dean
Former Governor of Vermont
Chair of the Democratic Party

Video & Remarks: Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King
The Honorable John Lewis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Georgia
Rev. Bernice King
Daughter of the late Dr. King
Martin Luther King III
Oldest son of the late Dr. King

The Honorable Bill Richardson
Governor, New Mexico

Live Performances
Accompanied by John Legend (piano), Agape Choir, and band

Sheryl Crow

Ray Rivera
Obama State Director, Colorado

The Honorable Jan Schakowsky
Member of the US House of Representatives, Illinois

The Honorable Mark Udall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Colorado

The Honorable Tim Kaine
Governor of Virginia

Live Performance
Stevie Wonder

The Honorable Al Gore
Former Vice President of the United States

John Kuniholm
Wounded Iraq veteran

Live Performance
Michael McDonald

Susan Eisenhower
Granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Retired Generals Tribute
Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration (Ret)
Accompanied by additional generals

American Voices Program
Roy Gross
Monica Early
Wes Moore
Janet Lynn Monacco
Nate Fick
Teresa Asenap
Pamela Cash-Roper
Barney Smith

The Honorable Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator, Illinois


Pastor Joel Hunter
Senior Pastor of Northland in Central Florida

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Permanent Chair, Democratic National Convention

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Les915

    McCain can't even make the right pick for VP,how can we trust him to make the right chioces for the United States,and by the way, are saying is change,can't they get their own saying. McCain please make up your own slogans,keep it real Mr. McCain.

    August 29, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  2. Sarita, AL & CA

    Can someone explain the backdrop? I thought it was supposed to be a mock White House, then was told it was "Barakapolis"? If so, that guy has an ego the size of an elephant!

    August 29, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  3. Ken Willson

    I am a Canadian and I have found your presidential race very interesting. The convention was worth watching (not boring like Canadian Party Conventions) and I was very impressed with most of the speeches. Seeing the videos dealing with the background of Obama and his running mate was extremely enlightening. If this convention doesn't sway the American People to vote for Obama this fall for President then we are all in a lot of trouble – both Americans and Canadians.
    Thanks to CNN for the excellent coverage.

    August 29, 2008 at 9:28 am |
  4. Beverly

    The stage, toga's, Greek Gods..... does all of that matter? We need to concentrate on the issues at hand. We need to hear exactly how our candidates propose to make the sweeping changes that must be made in this country. We are a nation in trouble and it will take monumental changes in government to bring them about. The stage is just a stage, maybe it should have been less maybe more does it really matter?

    August 29, 2008 at 8:53 am |
  5. Kenneth T. Tellis

    People in the U.S. do really care about animal welfare, that is why they voted a Jackass to the presidency. What country would dare vote a Jackass like George W. Bush to be its leader? Only in American can insanity replace sanity.

    Look at the very people now in office and you will be surprised at how they got there. People in America at best are not atable, so that is why the very government is made up of idiots. Perhaps that will change for the better come November next.

    August 29, 2008 at 8:21 am |
  6. Lew

    Barack Obama left no doubt in the minds of Americans that now is the time for change and the time to take our nation back from the big dollar republicans that have driven us into the ground. I think this is the most exciting time in our nation since the hugh changes brought about by the civil rights movement of the '60s. I am blessed to be alive to watch such a "change" sweep across our land.

    August 29, 2008 at 7:15 am |
  7. Lorraine Chay

    Four years ago my husband watched the democratic convention and told me when I got home from work that there was a speaker from Chicago who would be running for president in 2008. So impressed was he with the man's speech.

    My husband worked then for the Premier of Alberta and resigned recently after twenty years. He is a political specialist. I said yesterday that he should be proud of making that prediction since it has come to pass and is such a momentous occasion.

    We are not liberals but we are rooting for Mr. Obama. We believe that he is the best candidate for the position.

    L. Chay
    Victoria, BC

    August 29, 2008 at 4:22 am |
  8. Frank

    The fact that this is even being thought of as a possible "issue" just shows the fact that most Americans are to lazy to think about things for themselves, and only listen to what pundits tell them to think.

    Think people, other then "green/roman temples" where have you seen architecture like that on the stage at Mile-High stadium? The White House and Capital, sure, but also many Museums (Chicago's Natural history Museum, Art Center, and Shedd Aquarium, along with Soldier Field), Libraries, Post offices, Banks, Everyday buildings, High schools, Universities...

    When did people start thinking that having a president who was smarter than they were was a BAD thing? I want someone running for president who looks like he is in front of a library, or other traditional, "classical" architecture. Thats all the set was, classical architecture. if you don't believe it, when was the last time you saw a roman temple with WINDOWS in it? People, use your brains, and THINK before you decide things, don't jsut say "well Rush and O'Reilly said it, so it MUST be true."

    August 29, 2008 at 2:25 am |
  9. Pat

    The media should stop taking the Republicans talking points and making them an issue. Blogging on backdrops is that the issue? It is because you did not challenge or look into the Iraq war that we viewers were helped tricked. Just like now throughout the entire political process John McCain has been given breaks and his whiny allies supply talking points and you make cases about backdrops, is Senator Obama elitist, or a celebrity. Why not lead the public on issues? Is that too difficult, cnn? Or will it lower the ratings if you take the high ground?

    August 29, 2008 at 2:18 am |
  10. Pat

    Republicans and John McCain followers cannot talk about the issues because they are ashamed of what they have done in the last eight years. So they discuss backdrops, not political issues. Call names, like celebrity when they vote for Ronald Regan who was a "B" star and John McCain who has been on Saturday live trying to act. Its a shame. Vote McCain and four more years of the Bush legacy of failed economics, failed foreign policy.

    August 29, 2008 at 2:13 am |
  11. Linda Jenkins

    I have a question for CNN and the rest of you. Has Joe Biden voted for the war and approved monies to be spent there to initiate sending troops there and so forth. I think as a look back – that he did. If he did voted "yes" to the appropriations and for this costly War in response to Pres. Bush's push for it – should we start questioning Biden's judgement now as the Media did so thoroughly in the recent past with Sen. Hillary Clinton. Should we also question Obama's judgment for chosing Biden OVER others for VP who voiced admantly against against the invasion of Iraq. I suspect that Biden seems to be best choice because he can be easily led like so many others in Washington despite what he says.

    Hyprocrisy is everywhere. I just wish that the American People are not so easily moved by the glitter and gloss. But they are. The stage, the event as a whole is dramatic and it would be tough for the Republicans to push age and experience to be a better choice with shallow minds out there over the glitz; the glamour; good looks and the voice and great dramatic speeches of DNC's candidate.

    August 29, 2008 at 2:08 am |
  12. sky gray

    Go obama 09

    August 29, 2008 at 2:06 am |
  13. Moureen

    re: Chris August 28th, 2008 6:30 pm ET

    Something is seriously wrong in America when people are expected to march along like lemmings to the drum beat of one party instead of utilizing their intelligence to make up their own minds about who is or isn't capable of being the better candidate for President. Oh, wait, marching along to the same tune is how we got blessed with eight years of Bush because Dems were too busy infighting. How'd that work out for ya? The problem with politics are the voters.

    August 29, 2008 at 1:54 am |
  14. Anita

    I'm disgusted at the desire on the part of so many people to dumb down intelligence in our leaders. Why is it a crime to act intelligent, if you are?

    August 29, 2008 at 1:45 am |
  15. Greg Matsunami

    Loved CNN's coverage of Senator Obama's speech tonight. And what an amazing speech it was... personal, inspiring, concrete, confident, authoritative and informed. WOW! But what's going on with John King? While speaking about a new Democratic party, he called the make-up of the delegates "black and white, young and old..." Huh? Senator Obama's campaign is about recognizing the plurality of this nation. And CNN's ticker tape has spelled out that the delegation is 12% latino, 6% asian and other percentages of people with disabilities, veterans, gays and lesbians, etc. As John King stated, this is a more diverse convention than we saw sixteen years ago when President Clinton accepted this party's nomination.... but please, John King, it is more than just black and white.

    August 29, 2008 at 1:44 am |
  16. Tom Fenton

    Somewhere out there a man named Kin and a president named Lincoln are looking down arm in arm and saying in unison... "Only in America!"

    August 29, 2008 at 1:40 am |
  17. eduardo e. martinez Alb NM

    your coverage of the Dem convention was just great.
    Your team did wonderfully, Perhaps too much.
    I think you should have done less commentary between
    your staff and should have shown more of the speakers and
    the activities at the Pepsi Ctr and at the Invesco field.
    But you really did good.

    I know you will do better next time.


    August 29, 2008 at 1:34 am |
  18. tonya

    Re-read the speech. Review the content. If only one aspect is implemented, it would be step forward for our country. We made a choice where we are today-We chose to sacrifice our ecomony, our values, our childrens futures, and our place as world leaders. Please, re-think that choice in this election.

    August 29, 2008 at 1:00 am |
  19. Sylvia

    I was disappointed that the Greek god, Barack Obama, did not enter the Barackopolis on a chariot.

    August 29, 2008 at 12:52 am |
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