Signs of the times.

The sign squad

After a roof-raising speech by Montana governor Brian Schweitzer, whose charm and effectiveness undoubtedly reenforced his reputation as a rising Democratic star, the Pepsi Center's lights dimmed for a Hillary Clinton tribute video -- an odd mix of elements that featured two clips from Saturday Night Live, including one that seemed to cast Tina Fey as a real news anchor instead of someone who occasionally pretends to be one for chuckles. While the film screened, a squad of yellowish-smocked workers flooded onto the floor dispensing white placards dominated by her first name -- and once those were gone, they returned with signs on poles that read "Unity" on one side and "Hillary," "Barack" or "Michelle" on the other. That's how spontaneous demonstrations are staged in the media age. -- Michael Roberts

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